Self-Employment Assistance is a special program that helps eligible unemployed workers, including those with disabilities, attempt to become self-employed while collecting state unemployment benefits.
Typically, unemployed workers must regularly seek new employee jobs to remain eligible for receiving state unemployment benefits.
Under the Self-Employment Assistance program, unemployed workers may instead attempt to become self-employed, such as by starting up small businesses or becoming independent contractors. Better yet, they may receive free help and encouragement from local workforce investment boards in order to succeed at it.
State unemployment offices are not required to participate in the Self-Employment Assistance program, but may do so voluntarily. To date, unemployment offices in the following states were voluntarily participating according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
- New Jersey
- New York
If you become eligible for unemployment benefits in one of those states (or in a state that participates in the future), then you might also be entitled to receive self-employment help under the program.
If you are accepted into the Self-Employment Assistance program, then you’ll collect the same weekly dollar amount in unemployment compensation while becoming self-employed as you would if you were seeking a new employee job. Unemployment compensation varies by state.
For more information, read our article entitled Self-Employment Assistance.