Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

MFM Endorsed the Updated HEROES ACT which Includes Mixed-Earner Unemployment Benefit

October 1, 2020

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
Secretary
Department of Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania, NW
Washington, DC 20200

Re: Additional Benefits for Mixed Earners – Mixed Earner Coalition Letter of Support

Dear President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin:
The White House has expressed sympathy for unemployed mixed earners and a desire to
champion a solution to their unemployment issues. We write to request your support for this
proposed federal fix to that problem.
Title VI of the amended HEROES Act, Additional Benefits for Mixed Earners, is a much-needed
solution to a very real problem that will provide critical relief to what could be upwards of a
million American workers across the country who have fallen through the cracks. This proposal
comes at a time when out-of-work Americans are having their electricity turned off, are without
food in their fridge, are losing their apartments, falling behind on their mortgages, and are
otherwise struggling to pay for basic necessities.
We are a coalition of organizations and unions who represent entrepreneurs, gig workers, local
musicians, singers, songwriters, actors, writers, photographers, and other creators. Collectively
our members and workers are struggling, they need help, they need Title VI of the HEROES Act
to become law. And we know the issue of mixed earners exists beyond the arts, entertainment,
and gig economy world, as it also affects Americans working in recreation, food services,
education, retail, manufacturing, construction, finance, insurance, real estate, and rental
industries.
Under Title VI, mixed earners who are receiving traditional state unemployment and earned
$5,000 or more on their 2019 tax return will qualify for an additional $125 a week in federal
supplement. This simple approach makes it easier for state unemployment offices to help so
many families who have been receiving unequal benefits.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program was intended to protect independent
contractors and other self-employed American workers who lost work through no fault of their
own. However, the CARES Act unintentionally excluded such entrepreneurs and freelancers
who made just enough W2 income to qualify for traditional state unemployment, regardless of
however small that weekly benefit amount is. These taxpayers have missed out on thousands of dollars in aid since the beginning of pandemic. Furthermore, as many mixed earners in multiple states are now receiving less than $100 a week in benefits, they also did not receive the FEMA $300 federal supplement provided by the President’s much appreciated Executive Order.

As the White House considers further economic relief, we request a higher benefit figure as
many are still experiencing a loss of almost $800 a week in benefits. We also respectfully ask
that any future relief legislation apply this proposal retroactively. These workers have struggled
through as much as 28 weeks of unequal and unusually low benefits to date.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Respectfully,

Actors’ Equity Association
American Photographic Artists
Artists Rights Alliance
The Authors Guild
ExtendPUA.org
Freelancers Union
Music Artists Coalition
Musicians for Musicians
National Music Publishers’ Association
National Writers Union
North American Nature Photography Association
The Recording Academy
The Recording Industry Association of America
Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
Songwriters Guild of America
Songwriters of North America
SoundExchange
St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA), Missouri
Springboard for the Arts, Minnesota