- Thursday | 26th Mar, 2020
- Posted by omahamusic.com
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.
The legislation has only passed the Senate at this point, but we are optimistic that the U.S. House of Representatives will approve the relief package that 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 funding by $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and an additional $75 million for the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities.
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!
AFM International President