NAR Releases Guidance on Unemployment Assistance Eligibility

April 3, 2020

The federal government’s stimulus package that's poised to provide aid to the economy and workers during the pandemic also extends unemployment benefits to those traditionally ineligible, including self-employed individuals and independent contractors— categories that many real estate professionals fall under.

The National Association of REALTORS® has released an FAQ on unemployment assistance outlined under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27. The nation’s temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program offers assist from Jan. 27, to Dec. 31, 2020, subject to some limitations.

To those who are eligible, the CARES Act provides benefits of $600 per week through July 31 as well as an amount provided under the state’s compensation law through Dec. 31. States usually base compensation amounts on an individual’s wages from their most recent tax year. Individuals may be eligible for up to 39 weeks of PUA benefits through Dec. 31.

REALTORS® are urged to check with their states for further guidance on their specific eligibility. The benefits will be carried out through each state and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The NAR FAQ provides an overview of the program to see what individuals might be eligible for. “States are taking different approaches to the new program, where some have already started to allow workers to apply while others are waiting for guidance from the [Department of Labor],” NAR’s FAQ notes. “Check with your state labor department or unemployment commission to find out whether a state is planning to participate and the potential eligibility criteria.” (View this state breakdown for more information.

Access NAR’s FAQ on unemployment assistance.