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Self-Employment Assistance Programs

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Definition: Self-Employment Assistance programs provide unemployed workers unemployment benefits while starting a small business. Under these programs, States can pay a self-employed allowance, instead of regular unemployment insurance benefits, to help unemployed workers while they are establishing businesses and becoming self-employed. Participants receive a weekly allowance which is equivalent to the their weekly unemployment benefits while they are getting their businesses started.

Self-Employment Assistance Program Eligibility

Typically, in order to receive these benefits, an individual must first be eligible to receive regular unemployment insurance under State law. Individuals who have been permanently laid off from their previous jobs and are identified as likely to exhaust regular unemployment benefits may be eligible to participate in the program.

States With Self-Employment Assistance Programs

Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania currently have Self-Employment Assistance programs.

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