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COVID-19 Resources

{Information on this page may change. Please check back frequently.}

Emergency Assistance for Musicians

Returning to Work Safely: 
Guidelines for Small Venues, Studios & Rehearsal Spaces
Guidelines for Theater and Pit Musicians


As of July 31st, the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits has ended.
Click Here to tell your Senators to extend expanded unemployment & other critical relief for musicians.

The House of Representatives has passed the HEROES Act, which would extend pandemic unemployment benefits, provide important relief for our AFM multi-employer pension fund, and implement a range of other appropriate pandemic response measures. The GOP-controlled Senate must now take action, but Republican leaders have downplayed the urgency of another relief bill.

Whether your Senators are supportive of the HEROES Act or not, they need to hear from you that this is urgent, and that this should be a priority in negotiations over COVID relief.  Most importantly, tell your Senators how the crisis has impacted your ability to work, and why these benefits are so important.

Shame On Senate Graphic

AFM is working to ensure economic relief for members, including expanding unemployment benefits and protections against evictions, foreclosures, and utility shut-offs. Click Here to tell your Senators to pass the HEROES Act.


Doing everything possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 is vital, but we understand the disastrous financial impact this will have on many musicians and other working people.

Where To Find Help (U.S. Residents)

Where To Find Help (Canadian Residents)

As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact people around the world and confirmed cases grow throughout North America, health and safety are our top priority. Please stay current with national, state/provincial and local public health guidelines.

Visit the following links for more information:

Get Help

 

Unemployment Information
Recent federal legislation gives jobless musicians and other working people larger unemployment benefits over a longer period of time—including those who rely on contract work, freelance jobs, and others who have traditionally been excluded from unemployment insurance. For the first time, 1099 workers are able to receive unemployment benefits!

You can claim unemployment benefits for an extended period of time (up to four months) and the typical one-week waiting period to start receiving benefits has been waived. Weekly unemployment benefit amounts are increased by $600 through the end of July.

Please Note: All benefits are administered through state unemployment agencies, but many states have not yet implemented these expanded benefits or updated their websites. This means there could be a delay before you may access benefits available for 1099 workers and freelancers. Please keep checking with your state unemployment agency for updates.

Step-by-Step Guide to Unemployment Resources Is Here.

Frequently Asked Questions About Unemployment Resources Are Here.

2020 Recovery Rebates
APRIL 2020: Besides unemployment benefits, musicians may be eligible to receive one-time cash benefit to households of $1,200 per adult ($2,400 per couple) and $500 per child. People earning $75,000 ($150,000 jointly) or less will receive the full amount. This phases-out for people earning more than $99,000 ($198,000 jointly) with no children. People with no federal tax liability will receive only $600.  You do not apply for this benefit.

Which Unemployment Benefits Do You Apply For?

 

What Do You Need to File for Benefits?

Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility guidelines, but you will usually need certain information including:

  • Addresses and dates of all your former jobs for the last 18 months.
  • Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (if you have one). FEIN is on W-2 forms.
  • Social Security number.
  • Driver’s license or state issued ID card number (if you have one).

Follow through the application process. If there is a question you can’t  answer, do your best. Make sure you finish! Even if it’s imperfect, it at least gets you in the system and in line.

Where Do You File for Benefits?

  • Federal funds will be distributed to state unemployment agencies, and all benefits are administered through your state.
  • To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to generally file a claim in the state where you worked.
  • If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
  • Please Note: All benefits are administered through state unemployment agencies, but many states have not yet implemented these expanded benefits or updated their websites. This means there could be a delay before you may access benefits available for 1099 workers and freelancers. Please keep checking with your state unemployment agency for updates.

Find your state’s unemployment program and other state benefits available for workers impacted by COVID-19.

Musicians’ Relief Fund
The Musicians’ Relief Fund helps union musicians who work gig to gig and are confronting extraordinary financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please Note: We have more applications than we can currently fund. We are pausing applications at this time and will reopen the process as more funds become available. We will reach out directly to all musicians who have already submitted applications.

The Actors Fund
Musicians affected by COVID-19 should contact The Actors Fund for information on emergency financial assistance and other resources including affordable housing, health care and insurance counseling. Learn more about The Actor’s Fund here. 

Union Plus
Musicians participating in certain Union Plus programs who have been impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for additional assistance through the Union Plus Mortgage Assistance Program and Union Plus Hardship Help. Learn more about Union Plus programs here.

Petrillo Fund
AFM’s Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled Musicians was established to assist members-in-good standing who become ill or disabled, and are unable to accept work. You may be eligible for assistance if you are diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19). AFM members may learn about the Petrillo Fund here.