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3-27-2020 – The $2 trillion economic stimulus bill that passed the Senate Wednesday includes potential benefits and allowances for the self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers, which may include sports officials.

The bill, which still needs to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President before it goes into effect, consists of more than 400 pages of legal language covering stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and much more.

At NASO we immediately went to work discovering how the bill impacts you, the nation’s working sports officials, and especially those sports officials who have lost income during the coronavirus pandemic. There is still much that is unknown, but we promise that as soon as it is clear how the stimulus package impacts sports officials, we will provide accurate information, clarity and guidance not only to our member sports officials, but to the entire sports officiating industry.

While it is much too early to provide guidance on the details of the bill, some potential benefits should the bill pass the House and be signed by the President may include:

  • Unemployment insurance payments that may benefit independent contractors (and others) under a certain income threshold during the crisis.
  • Loans for certain independent contractors with deferred or forgiven repayment.
  • Potential credits against federal self-employment taxes.

It is also very likely that any financial relief will require proper documentation. That is to say that independent contractors who don’t keep good financial records, or who don’t report income may not benefit at all.

We are actively communicating with the offices of various Senators and Representatives to get more answers and clarity. We are hearing that further information on the self-employed and gig workers will be forthcoming from the Department of Labor – maybe as early as next week. Included within will likely be instructions on how and where to file and what documentation will be needed.

It might be possible that sports officials who can demonstrate significant financial impact from the nation’s game cancellations will be able to apply for some form of unemployment assistance under the Federal bill. On the state side of things, requirements will differ by state and details will be likely be provided by your state’s unemployment office.

Bear in mind that not all officials will qualify. NASO will continue to follow up and provide answers as they pertain to sports officials. Check back often to both Referee.com and NASO.org and be sure to follow both organizations on Facebook and Twitter.

 
 
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