What Are the Different Types of Unemployment Insurance for the Self-Employed?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 15 April 2018
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In many cases, getting benefits due to unemployment is difficult for people who are self-employed, in part because it's hard to explain how they came to be out of a job. There are, however, some little-known ways to get benefits through the government despite self-employment, as long as the claimant meets certain qualifications. When this is not possible, most people can pay to use private unemployment insurance programs that distribute benefits when income disappears and bills need to be paid. If injuries or illness keep someone from making enough money to pay their bills, then there is unemployment insurance for the self-employed that focuses on acting as income while the claimant gets treatment, whether short-term or long-term.

Many people assume they cannot get unemployment benefits from the government in their country if they are self-employed, but there are a few exceptions in some areas. One example is if the self-employed person's company is incorporated, because the corporation often pays into the unemployment insurance fund. Another way to get unemployment insurance for the self-employed is to prove that a disaster has made it impossible to work. In most cases, the disaster needs to be labeled as such by a major leader, such as the president of the country, and the beneficiary needs to be available for work unless he was injured during the disaster. Self-employed people who are unsure whether they meet these requirements are advised to apply at the local benefits office before considering other options.


One popular approach to obtaining unemployment insurance for the self-employed is to purchase a policy from a private provider. Many companies offer plans that pay claimants when their work dries up and they need income to pay the bills. Some offer a general plan to pay any bill, while others specify that the mortgage should be paid first, because this tends to be the largest expense for the average person. Self-employed workers are encouraged to check with local providers to find out what is available and at what price.

Sometimes there is plenty of work to be completed, but the self-employed person is unable to do it because of illness or injury. This is why there is a type of unemployment insurance for the self-employed that covers a few months' worth of bills so the claimant can recover without worrying about expenses. When the illness will last years, it may be more appropriate to obtain a critical illness policy, which often pays one large sum after the diagnosis is officially made. Health care for critical conditions often lasts more than a few months, so this type of coverage may allow sick workers to devote most of their attention to treatment rather than working just to pay the bills.



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