Coronavirus Unemployment Claims & Federal Relief Funds for Strippers
Despite the passing of the CARES Act, the processes for the registration of eligible citizens and the delivery of the $1,200 federal relief checks is still being worked out. This page will attempt to keep you updated on any new developments.
Today, the IRS released its official online portal to submit your info to receive your $1,200 federal stimulus check, as well as tracking that payment. As previously reported in the update below, the IRS in conjunction with TurboTax released a similar portal about two weeks ago. However, that portal was for a specific situation and also encouraged you to sign up for TurboTax products. The official IRS “Get My Payment” link can be found below.
Please read the instructions carefully. The “Get My Payment” portal is for those of you who have filed your taxes in 2018 and expect to also do so in 2019.
If you do not regularly file your taxes and do not expect to do so in 2019, you are still eligible for the $1,200 federal stimulus check. However, you need to use a different portal that is listed in the same IRS site above. Here is a direct link to that portal for your convenience.
Today, the IRS and TurboTax in partnership have released a registration website to provide them with your address and direct deposit banking info in order to get your $1,200 federal relief check directly deposited into your checking account rather than having it mailed to you.
Once you click on the link you will go to the section that says, “If You Don’t Need To File Your Taxes This Year,” then you will be asked to create a free TurboTax account, which is okay to do.
This registration website is only for those who will not be filing a tax return for 2019 and who also did not file a tax return for 2018. Basically, the IRS needs to confirm where you live and your back account info to be able to direct deposit your relief check. If you did not file taxes in 2018 and do not plan to file in 2019, they do not have a current address and record for you.
Note that the IRS is also solely (without the TurboTax partnership) going to be releasing a similar registration website soon. The link above is for the registration website that the IRS partnered with TurboTax to create. This particular site attempts to encourage you to use TurboTax products. Other than registering for a free TurboTax account, you do not have to use TurboTax products to complete your address and direct deposit registration. If you are uncomfortable with the TurboTax partnership, you can wait until the IRS releases its own registration website portal.
I have come across several dancers and other sex workers who have mentioned the following statement in regards to their eligibility for unemployment and federal Coronavirus relief funds as listed on the SBA.gov website:
“Applicant does not present live performances of a prurient sexual nature or derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature.”
An article on the Huffington Post titled Legal Sex Workers And Others In Adult Industry Denied Coronavirus Aid also discusses this subject. It has a big click-bait headline that is somewhat unintentionally misleading. Read all the way through the article carefully! Buried a few paragraphs below it states that:
“Strippers and other self-employed performers can still file for unemployment through the larger coronavirus stimulus package and are still eligible to collect a $1,200 check.”
The SBA.gov website is referring to a very specific federal SBA Coronavirus lending program called the “COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan.” This loan is for businesses, so it would forbid strip club owners, porn production companies, etc. from applying for this loan. You, as a stripper or sex worker, would not be applying for such a loan. So, to reiterate, you are still entitled to file unemployment and receive the $1,200 federal relief funds.
If your current address and bank deposit information is already on-file with the IRS because you filed taxes for 2019 or 2018 and you haven’t moved, then your $1,200 federal relief check is expected to be delivered/deposited within three weeks. If you have not filed taxes in years, then initially it was going to be required that you fill out a change of address form (IRS Form 8822) and mail it to the IRS, which would cause a several week delay in getting your check. Today, it has been reported that individuals eligible for the $1,200 federal relief checks will no longer need to mail any changes to their home addresses via IRS Form 8822 (if it was originally required, as discussed below in item #4 of my original post) if they rather have their checks direct deposited to their checking accounts. In the coming weeks, the U.S. Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to having checks delivered in the mail. If this is the case, then you can ignore the four item checklist that is listed below in the Original Post. As soon as the web portal is released to the public, I will post the web address link on this page. Note, that if you do not have a bank account and need your check delivered in the mail, you may still get a check delivered to you. If so, please see my original post below regarding the steps needed to be taken.
ORIGINAL POST: 3/30/2020
On March 27, 2020 the U.S. Congress and President passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) to address the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill provides various tax relief and loan provisions to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19, as well as expanded unemployment benefits for individuals affected by the pandemic. Additionally, the CARES Act allots $301 billion for the direct payments of $1,200 to each U.S. citizen who makes less than $75,000/year, as well as $500 per child. Those who make more than $75,000, but less than $99,000, will also receive funds at a reduced amount.
Strippers in most states are typically independent contractors and not employees of a strip club. Historically, independent contractors, the self employed, business owners, and gig-economy workers were not eligible for unemployment benefits, as they do not pay unemployment insurance as a deduction to their wages. Due to the explosion of the so-called gig-economy in recent years and the widespread impact caused by COVID-19 on all the self employed, the CARES Act was specifically designed to address the tremendous financial hardship of these types of workers. THIS INCLUDES STRIPPERS!
A summarized explanation of the CARES Act benefits for strippers is provided below, including some steps needed to navigate the assistance process and useful resource links. Note that there are two components to Coronavirus financial relief via the CARES Act for strippers – Unemployment Benefits and Federal Relief Funds. These two components are separate from each other, so you need to take action for each of these programs.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE AN EMPLOYEE! YOU WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY QUALIFY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT! The CARES Act has temporarily eliminated the traditional unemployment claim requirements. There are various conditions that can grant you eligibility, but for most dancers, you only need to certify/state to the unemployment official that:
“You are able and available to work but are unemployed or partially unemployed because your place of employment (the strip club) is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.”
This is a nationwide eligibility condition, it does not matter what state you reside. All you need to do is apply for unemployment on your state’s website or local unemployment office. Note that since the CARES Act just passed, the unemployment departments have not yet likely had the time to institute the system and guidelines, so it may take several days to have the ability to file. Also, keep in mind that individuals are filing unemployment claims at record numbers throughout the U.S., so it may be a painful and aggravating process. For those in Colorado, click here for the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment.
If you are an independent contractor and are not already collecting unemployment (from another job), then your weekly unemployment check amount will be based on 50% of your state’s average unemployment payout, plus an additional $600. Other key features of the new unemployment regulations include:
* Note: If you are a dancer in California, you are now considered an employee (and not an independent contractor) due to the enactment of California’s AB 5 law on January 1, 2020. As such, deductions for unemployment insurance should already have been taking place since then. Consequently, you are already eligible for unemployment benefits and do not have to wait for the new CARES Act unemployment guidelines to take place. However, your weekly unemployment check will be based on your minimum wage earnings. Unfortunately, it does not seem like you will get credit for all the money you have actually made and also that you will not get any additional benefit from the CARES Act when it comes to unemployment benefits (you will still receive the federal assistance paycheck of $1,200).
CARES Act Federal Relief Funds
IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU HAVE NOT FILED YOUR TAXES IN YEARS, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER YOU SHOULD QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL RELIEF CHECK IF YOU MAKE $75,000 OR LESS! To reiterate, the federal government, via the IRS, will be sending CARES Act relief checks to U.S. citizens in the coming weeks. Checks will be $1,200 per adult, or $2,400 for married couples filing jointly, plus an additional $500 per child.
The following list includes considerations to be made and steps to be taken to obtain your federal relief check:
Note that even if you already owe the IRS taxes, you will still get the federal relief check. The relief funds are not taxable. However, if you owe child support, you are not eligible for the federal relief funds.
If you have any questions or comments about these topics, please feel free to reach out to me using the Contact Page and I will do my best to answer them.
This abstract was created by the Admin of www.stripper-life.com who is not a CPA, tax adviser, or attorney. The information provided in this abstract does not, and is not intended to, constitute tax or legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available are for general informational purposes only. Information in this abstract may not constitute the most up-to-date information. Readers of this abstract should contact their tax adviser or attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular tax or legal matters. No reader of this abstract should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information provided without first seeking tax or legal advice from a CPA or counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Only your individual tax adviser or attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.
Everyone across Denver and beyond has been affected by business closures prompted by the spread of COVID-19. But one group that's been off the radar: dancers at local strip clubs. Why? Not only are the venues where they earn their living closed right now (and are likely to remain so for weeks or even longer), but the dancers are designated as independent contractors rather than employees. For that reason, they may not be eligible for unemployment benefits,
Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA is a national grassroots social justice network dedicated to the fundamental human rights of sex workers and their communities, focusing on ending violence and stigma through education, community building, and advocacy. SWOP is committed to the safety, autonomy, and human rights of people in the sex trade, and stands in solidarity with the many social justice movements intersectional to our own, including but not limited to Black Lives Matter, disability rights, drug and immigration reform, gender equality and the LGBTQ movement, and the rights of the working class.