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Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) is a new program created by Congress. It helps gig workers, freelancers, and other self-employed workers access additional unemployment benefits.
Eligible MEUC recipients will receive an additional $100 per week on top of their normal unemployment insurance benefits. This is also in addition to the automatic $300 FPUC payment.
What is a Mixed Earner?
Mixed Earners are workers who earn money both through self-employment income and also through traditional W2 employment. For example, a songwriter who also earns money as an administrative assistant is a mixed earner.
The last payable week of MEUC benefits was September 4th, 2021. No new applications are being accepted.
To qualify for MEUC, you’ll need to meet all three of the following requirements:
- You are already eligible for unemployment.
To qualify for MEUC, you must already be eligible for another unemployment program. For example, this could be regular unemployment, PEUC, Extended Benefits, WorkShare IL, or TRA. However, PUA recipients are not eligible for MEUC.
- You received unemployment benefits for weeks between December 27, 2020 and September 4, 2021.
You must have received unemployment benefits for some or all of the weeks covered by the MEUC program, which are the weeks between December 27, 2020 and September 4, 2021. If you are approved for MEUC, you can receive the additional $100 weekly benefit for each week that you received (or will receive) your normal unemployment benefits.
- You earned at least $5,000 in net self-employment income.
To qualify for MEUC, the $5,000 in net self-employment income must have been earned in the most recent tax year prior to your initial application for regular benefits. We know this can be confusing, so read our FAQs for more details!
PUA recipients are ineligible and not allowed to receive MEUC benefits.
Net income is the amount you earned after taxes and all other deductions.
What documents do I need when I apply?
The most important document to have when you apply is a copy of your INDIVIDUAL or PARTNERSHIP tax return. You must submit your tax return for the correct tax year and Form 1040 Schedule C for self-employed persons, or Form 1065 Schedule K-1 for partnerships. Remember, this must show at least $5,000 in net self-employment income. [Note: officers and shareholders of S-corporations or C Corporations are not “self-employed” but rather are employees of the corporation. K-1 for Form 1120S is not valid proof of self-employment income.]
If you do not have your tax form for the correct year, but you have other documents that show net self-employment income for the correct year (this is the amount you received after taxes and other deductions were taken), then you may submit the other documents. But there are very few types of documents, other than the tax forms mentioned above, that show the net amount of income. Documents that only show the gross amount of income (money received prior to taxes) should not be sent to the Department because they will not allow you to be eligible for the MEUC program.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I apply for MEUC?
Upload your completed MEUC application, tax return, and any supporting documents to the document upload portal. Under "Type of Document", select MEUC Application.
Please Note: The only way to apply for MEUC will be via IDES’s official website. Beware of fraudsters, and never provide your personal information to someone you don’t trust.
When can I apply for MEUC?
The deadline to submit the MEUC application and supporting documents is September 6, 2021.
What tax year should my documents come from?
The $5,000 in net self-employment income must come from the most recent tax year prior to your initial application for regular unemployment benefits.
|I first applied for unemployment in calendar year 2020
||Your self-employment income must have been earned in tax year 2019.|
|I first applied for unemployment in calendar year 2021
||Your self-employment income must have been earned in tax year 2020.
To check when you first applied for unemployment, find the Benefit Year Begin (BYB) date shown on your UI Finding letter or other finding letters you’ve received from IDES.
If you filed a new claim with a BYB in 2020 and another new claim with a BYB in 2021, then you will need to prove your income for tax year 2019 and 2020 for MEUC payments on both benefit year claims.
For example: A new claim is filed with a BYB of April 5, 2020. The claim year lasts 52 weeks and ends April 4, 2021. Then, a new claim is filed with a BYB of April 5, 2021. The claimant who shows sufficient 2019 earnings only would be eligible from December 27, 2020 through April 3, 2021. The claimant who shows sufficient 2020 earnings only would be eligible beginning April 4, 2021 up to September 4, 2021 (or their last certification date, whichever is earlier). The claimant who shows sufficient 2019 and 2020 earnings would be eligible from December 27, 2020 up to September 4, 2021 (or their last certification date, whichever is earlier).
What happens if my tax return isn’t available?
The answer to this question is somewhat complicated. You should try your best to file tax returns for 2019 and 2020 before applying for MEUC. This way, you can use the tax return to provide the best documentation of net income.
Remember, you need to show you earned $5,000 in net income. If you are unable to show proof of net income, you will not be eligible for the MEUC program. Proof of gross income only is not acceptable. The best way to avoid delay is to submit tax returns covering the tax year immediately before your initial application for unemployment benefits.
How will MEUC benefits be paid?
Retroactive MEUC payments will be paid all at once (lump sum), but all payments going forward will be made once every other week after the regular benefit payment. Therefore, claimants should expect the additional MEUC payment to be received by Tuesday or Wednesday of the week following each bi-weekly certification. Payments will be delivered via the same method as the recipient’s regular benefits (e.g. direct deposit or debit card).
For example, Claimant X has been receiving regular unemployment insurance for eight of the weeks covered by the MEUC program. During the eighth week, Claimant X was approved for the MEUC program. Claimant X will receive $800 as a lump sum ($100 for each of the 8 weeks Claimant X was eligible). On their next certification date, they will be certifying for their 9th and 10th weeks of benefits. They will receive $200 ($100 for each week certified) on top of their normal benefits and $300 FPUC supplement. This will occur every certification through the duration of the MEUC program, as long as the claimant remains eligible.
After I apply and submit the required documentation, what should I do?
No additional action is required except to continue to certify as normal.
Once I apply and submit the required documentation, how will I know if I am eligible?
After your application is reviewed, a determination letter will be mailed to you. If the determination letter states that you are approved, the first payment will be issued in approximately 10 days. If the determination letter states that you are denied, you will have the option to file a written appeal within 30 days of the mailing date on the letter.
Can I still file for MEUC without uploading documentation?
Yes, however, the claim will be denied if documentation is not submitted at the time of filing. You will be able to submit documentation to support a reconsideration of an adverse determination.
Do I have to pay taxes on the $100 MEUC benefit?
Yes, MEUC is taxable and will be subject to 10% federal withholding and 4.95% state withholding. MEUC taxes will be deducted automatically if you elected to have taxes withheld from your regular benefits.
If I receive MEUC payments, does this affect any other federal programs?
Yes, please be aware that MEUC payments may affect your eligibility for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
I applied for unemployment benefits, but I still have not been paid, how do I know when I can apply for MEUC and submit the necessary documentation?
You can apply for MEUC immediately after you file for a regular claim, even though the regular claim is still pending. However, MEUC will not be paid unless your regular claim is approved.
I haven’t filed for unemployment benefits yet, can I still be paid MEUC?
You must first file an unemployment claim. Then submit your application and documentation for MEUC.
What if I apply and receive MEUC benefits for which I am not eligible?
IDES will use information the you provide to make an eligibility determination. Per federal and state law, an individual commits fraud if they knowingly made a false statement or knowingly failed to disclose a material fact, and as a result has received an amount of MEUC to which such individual was not entitled.
An individual who commits fraud to receive any UI benefit, including MEUC, may have future benefits denied, and may be subject to penalties, fines and potential prosecution.