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Can I collect unemployment benefits after being let go from a long term "contractor" position?

by Raymond

This is a unique situation, I'm sure. I was recently let go from a position I held in TN for 4 years, however, the position was held on an "independent contractor" basis. No taxes were withheld and each year, I'd receive my 1099 and have to pay independently.

Because I was let go suddenly, I'd like to be able to collect unemployment benefits but it didn't seem like I'd be able to as my "employer" was not by legal terms an actual employer.

With that said, does the government have a separate fund that covers people in this situation? Is it still in any way possible to collect benefits?

Any advice on this situation would be greatly appreciated!



Hi Raymond,

Thank goodness I don't have to limit an answer to exactly what is asked.

No, there isn't a separate fund for those considered to be independent contract employees.

And, whether self employed people might be able to collecct .. is dependent on the type of business entity that is closed and the state it's in.

Who told you that you were an independent contractor and that was that?

Have you always been self employed?

However, just the fact that you told me you were "let go" makes me question whether the employer was avoiding paying taxes associated with what the distinction is between an employee and a self employed independent contractor.

Namely, SSI, and unemployment taxes are taxes on top of the wages paid from which your taxes are taken and then sent on by the employer to the proper place. It's common you know and it's often the end of a contract employee's employment that raises the issue.

So, follow the link to find out what test TN uses to determine if someone is actually working in covered employment for purposes of unemployment.

And then .. if you have anything to say .. let me know.

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