The biggest economic stimulus in the United States was the immediate response of the government in March 2020 to combat the economic disaster caused by the Covid19 pandemic that saw the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities Act or CARES Act since March 13, 2020. The economic stimulus package in the CARES Act provides various benefits for businesses and some non-profits and families and individuals, who lost their earnings due to widespread job losses due to closure of businesses, explains William D King.

The Federal programs under the CARES Act had an emergency context with highly dynamic and fluid economic effects that would change with the changing situations. The lawmakers were aware that these changes might not only be substantial but would happen quite rapidly too. For example, the validity period for the Continuing Assistance to Unemployed Workers Act under the CARES Act was extended for a period from December 27, 2020, until   March 14, 2021. It included the program of Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.

William D King describes who is a mixed earner

Any person who has a dual source of income from self-employment and traditional W2 employment falls under the category of Mixed Earner. William D King cites the example of a person earning money as a bartender and even by selling crafts to explain clearly the status of a mixed earner. According to a 2014 Treasury Report, the category of mixed earners includes 6% of all workers and 45% of self-employed workers as more and more people learn the skills of balancing multiple jobs.

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What is the MEUC program?

The program MEUC or Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program is an addition to several other benefits provided under the CARES Act that kept evolving and changing to meet the new challenges resulting from the changing situations as they fight against the pandemic progresses.

The MEUC program is under the CAA or Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created for providing additional income to those who earn a minimum of $5,000 from self-employment, and they will receive a weekly benefit of $100 over the benefits that they are eligible to receive under the existing employment law of the state. The program receives funding from the Federal government and not unemployment taxes paid by employers.

The program provides financial assistance to individuals who were not eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits if they received some regular benefits from the traditional assistance schemes of the state because self-employment was out of the purview of the regular state law benefits.

The new MEUC benefit is in addition to the weekly benefit of $300 under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.

Validity of the MEUC program

Since the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program runs alongside the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, both the programs had the same validity till June 12, 2021. However, the MEUC program started only from January 2, 2021, much later than the FPUC program that was effective since the implementation of the CARES Act.

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Only self-employed individuals who earned at least $5,000in the latest taxable year ending before the individual applied for Unemployment Compensation. Those already receiving PUA are not eligible for MEUC.


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