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Start A Business While On Unemployment

Self-Employment Assistance is designed to encourage and enable unemployed workers to create their own jobs by starting their own small businesses. 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 weekly allowances while they are getting their businesses off the ground. This is a voluntary program for States and, to date, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania have Self Employment Assistance programs. The State Workforce Agency web sites for these states can be accessed at: . Generally in order to receive these benefits, an individual must first be eligible to receive regular unemployment insurance under the State law. Individuals who have been permanently laid off from their previous jobs and are identified as likely to exhaust regular unemployment benefits are eligible to participate in the program. Individuals may be eligible even if they are engaged full-time in self-employment activities – including entrepreneurial training, business counseling, and technical assistance. You should contact the State Unemployment Insurance agency as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. At the time you file your claim you should ask whether a Self Employment Assistance program operates in your State. See:

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According to the Washington Post…

  • Barbara Sheperd, a librarian in Michigan City, Ind., says an article in a
    Matthew Lesko newsletter led her to a state program that gave her elderly mother
    a low-interest loan to put a new roof on her house.
  • And then there’s the Zufall family, who are dairy farmers in Lisbon, N.Y. Two
    years ago, they bought three of Matthew Lesko’s books and a DVD called " Free
    Money for Everybody." From the DVD, they learned of a local government program
    that gave them $12,000 to help pay for a gravel walkway for their cows.
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