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If I’m self-employed or own a business, am I eligible for unemployment or other benefits?

Last Updated: 02/17/2023

If you've lost your job and are seeking help, refer to this general guide that will help you connect to benefits and resources you may need while trying to safely get back to work as well as tips for coping with the stress of losing a job.

Self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers:

Unfortunately, federally expanded unemployment benefits expired on September 4, 2021

Currently, independent contractors are not eligible for traditional unemployment insurance benefits. Learn more here.

If you have a new unemployment claim, and are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, there are no additional unemployment benefits for you at this time.

To see if you are eligible for New Jersey's Unemployment Insurance, Temporary Disability Insurance, Earned Sick Leave, and Family Leave Insurance programs visit

Note: Self-employed workers may have been eligible for tax credits for federal paid leave in 2021. Learn more from the IRS.

Business Owners

If you are a business owner, information regarding unemployment insurance eligibility can be found at NJDOL's Information for Corporate Officers & Business Owners.

In addition, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority encourages businesses to explore the Authority's business support programs that are not specific to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. More details about these programs can be found on the NJEDA's website.