Understanding Self-Employment Assistance

If you are self-employed, then you might not know there are self-employment benefits that can help. Self-Employment Assistance is a program that provides an opportunity for re-employment to workers who were dislocated. If you qualify as an unemployed worker, then you can use Self-Employment Assistance to create job opportunities for yourself by starting a small business. The term self-employment in this program means that you own a small business and you are working on getting it off the ground.

It can be exciting to work as your own boss, but it can be difficult. You can leave whenever you want and you call all the shots, of course. However, you will be responsible for every single detail of your business. Also, you need to make sure that your business runs smoothly all day and every day. If you do not look out for your business, then no one else will. That is the catch to being your own boss. But, you can ask for help from the federal government. The federal government can help you get your business off the ground through the Self-Employment Assistance Program.

What is Self-Employment Assistance?

The Self-Employment Assistance program is a welfare program that helps business owners and start-ups to push their business forward. It does not matter what kind of goods or services you provide. If you own a business, then you are a business owner. (Or, entrepreneur, whatever you prefer). With this Self-Employment Assistance program, you can work on growing your business and make sure it does not fail. (It is not a guarantee, but it is better than nothing). However, you will need to meet the requirements to qualify for the program, just like with other welfare programs.

According to the United States Department of Labor, “Self-Employment Assistance offers dislocated workers the opportunity for early re-employment. The program is designed to encourage and enable unemployed workers to create their own jobs by starting their own small businesses.” The federal government funds the Self-Employment Assistance program. But, state and local governments are in charge of managing and administering the program. Keep in mind that the program is voluntary, which means that not all states need to participate in the program. You will find that there are states who do not actively participate in a self-employment assistance program. Make sure that your state is participating in a self-employment assistance program before you decide to apply.

How Does Self-Employment Assistance Work and How Does It Work For You?

With self-employment assistance, you will receive funds on a weekly basis that will help you grow your business. Everyone knows that running a business can be difficult and the starting point is the hardest part. This is why you should think about applying for self-employment assistance. This program will help you move forward and help you stay afloat. Additionally, you can enroll in a training program on different topics of the business way. That way you can stay updated on the business industry and still have the space to focus on your small business.

Self-employment assistance provides an opportunity to remain focused on your business without the need to look for a job. Typically, business owners tend to focus on their business while they are working a full-time job. This makes it harder for the business to grow. With self-employment assistance, you will not be distracted and put your 110% on your business.

But, How Does Self-Employment Assistance Work?

Typically, the application process for self-employment assistance takes three weeks to finish. Within three weeks, you will find out if you qualify for self-employment assistance and if you will receive your weekly allowance. For potential recipients, you could receive an eligibility letter that lets you know if you qualify. There are more eligibility requirements that you have to meet. These eligibility requirements are similar to  unemployment requirements. With self-employment assistance, the implementation process is very simple. The program offers allowances on a weekly basis for business owners and entrepreneurs. You will not receive unemployment benefits, but you will receive a weekly allowance instead.

Additionally, you will find that self-employment assistance resembles the unemployment benefits process. You will need to file a claim every time you need the weekly allowance. But, you need to actively participate in your business and remain dedicated to your business. If you want to file a claim for your weekly allowance, then you need to contact your state’s unemployment insurance program.

Common Problems With Self-Employment Assistance You Need to Be Aware Of

However, self-employment comes with its disadvantages. You will have to be completely dependent on the weekly allowance and have no other source of income. One of the requirements to qualify is that you will not actively look for a job, even a part-time job. This means that you will need to adjust your finances around your weekly allowance and nothing else. Additionally, self-employment assistance helps small business owners and entrepreneurs. If you decide that the business world is not for you, then you will no longer qualify to receive a weekly allowance.

You also have to keep in mind that self-employment could negatively affect your mental state. There is a possibility that you will be stressed, overworked, and unmotivated. Unfortunately, you will not find any help in this department with self-employment assistance. It is up to you to keep yourself in check, when it comes to your mental health. As you already know, you are the boss now. You need to let loose and give yourself a break every once in a while. Believe us, you deserve it and it will help your business too! When you are in the right headspace, then your business will thrive.

Eligibility Requirements to Receive Self-Employment Benefits

There are different requirements so you can qualify for the program. You will need to qualify to receive unemployment benefits under state law. But, you are not disqualified if you take part in self-employment activities. These activities include technical training, business counseling, entrepreneurial assistance, and more. You might be able to receive self-employment benefits, if you are interested in growing your business. But, if you are not interested, then you can apply for unemployment benefits. If you want to qualify, then you will need to enroll in a training program that is approved by the Employment Security Department. Additionally, you will need to identify as a person who does not have any benefits or you qualify for a Commissioner-Approved Training (CAT).

According to the Employment Security Department of Washington State, the Approved Training Programs include:

  • “Entrepreneurial training
  • Business counseling
  • Technical assistance
  • Requirements to engage in activities relating to setting up a business and becoming self-employed.”

These training programs will give you the opportunity to qualify for self-employment assistance. Also, you will have the chance to understand the business world and take control of your business through these courses.

How to Apply for Self-Employment Assistance

If you want to apply for self-employment assistance, then you will need to meet the conditions of eligibility to qualify. Once you are eligible, you should reach out to your state’s unemployment insurance agency. Your state’s unemployment insurance agency is responsible for distributing the weekly allowance. You need to remember that the process to receive self-employment benefits is similar to receiving unemployment benefits. This means that you need to file a claim every week that you need the allowance. If you find that you do not need the weekly allowance anymore or you do not meet the eligibility requirements, then you will no longer receive weekly allowances.

The self-employment assistance application is similar to every other application form. You will need to mention the type of business you own and if you have an existing business or not. This application will also ask you about careers that you have the most experience in and how long you have worked in those careers. It is in your best interest to write down your last three jobs, when you started, and when you ended your employment with each job. Also, you will need to mention if you have any injuries or illnesses that stopped you from going back to your main job. All of this information will help determine your eligibility.


In conclusion, self-employment assistance helps small business owners and entrepreneurs grow their business and keep it afloat. If you are struggling with your business and you cannot get it to grow, then you should consider applying for the Self-Employment Assistance Program. The federal government funds self-employment assistance. But, you will find that state and local governments are responsible for the management and administration of the program. Keep in mind that states are not obligated to participate and that it is a voluntary program. You will receive an allowance on a weekly basis for as long as you need it. But, you cannot actively look for another job. You need to put your 110% on your business and nothing else. That way, you can help your business grow and hit the ground running!