The U.S. Senate just passed the third Coronavirus (COVID-19) relief package which would provide economic aid to most musicians and their families. While gig economy workers were largely left out of earlier COVID-19 packages, this legislation would extend benefits to those who rely on contract work or freelance jobs.
“Earlier versions of this legislation lacked economic assistance for gig economy workers, but musicians called, emailed and put pressure on our elected representatives and we improved this relief package. By standing together, musicians made a difference and this is how we will get through these uncharted waters—by standing together in solidarity,” said AFM President Ray Hair
This legislation once approved by the U.S. House of Representatives would:
- Establish a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program to help freelancers, gig workers, and others who have not traditionally been covered by unemployment insurance.
- Increase the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week for up to four months.
- Extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks.
- Send a direct $1,200 payment to individuals earning up to $75,000 per year (Married couples earning up to $150,000 per year will receive $2,400).
- Protect collective bargaining agreements when businesses accept federal loans.
- Increase arts funding for programs including the National Endowment for the Arts.