Leading Entertainment Unions and Organizations Call on Congress to fix relief benefits in New CARES Act

Jesus Figueroa

A broad coalition of entertainment industry organizations today sent a new letter to leaders of Congress that highlights the ways implementation of the CARES Act has fallen short in assisting workers in need in the entertainment community and requests that these flaws in implementation be remedied in a new CARES Act COVID relief package.

In the letter, the organizations point out the implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has overlooked workers who have mixed income and report it on W-2 and 1099 forms.
“For those of us in the creative field to survive – and recover – after this crisis, we must be able to access the full support intended by Congress. Given the unique nature of our industry, many in our profession work from project to project and gig to gig, not only in multiple jobs but in various capacities. As a result, creators often find themselves working as employees receiving W-2 wages and as independent contractors (or otherwise self-employed) receiving 1099 income for performances, royalties, and other services. Unfortunately, implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has overlooked workers with mixed income.
“In almost all cases that we see in every state, a minimum amount of W-2 income disqualifies a self-employed individual for PUA and significantly lowers the amount of assistance they receive. PUA must be updated to recognize these different income streams and allow individuals to show their mixed sources of revenue for a full accounting of their annual income,” the letter states.
The complete list of organizations that signed the letter is below:
Academy of Country Music (ACM)   
Alliance for Recorded Music (ARM)   
American Association of Independent Music (A2IM)
American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
Americana Music Association
Artist Rights Alliance (ARA)
Artist Rights Watch
Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP)
California Arts Advocates
Christian Music Trade Association (CMTA)
Church Music Publishers Association(CMPA)
Country Music Association (CMA)
Digital Media Association (DiMA)
Folk Alliance International
Future of Music Coalition
Guild of Italian American Actors
Global Music Rights (GMR)
Gospel Music Association
The Harper Agency
International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)
Music Artists Coalition (MAC)
Music Business Association (MusicBiz)
Music Managers Forum – US
Music Technology Policy Blog
National Independent Venue Association
National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)
National Songwriters Association International
On Board Experiential
Paradigm Talent Agency
Recording Academy
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
ReelMuzikWerks, LLC
Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
Songwriters Guild of America
Songwriters of North America (SONA)
Southern Gospel Music Guild
Writers’ Guild of America, East
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at sagaftra.org.

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