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Hybrid workers - mix of W2 and 1099

Updated: Feb 10

News: It's not unknown that hybrids are getting the short end of the stick, especially when the majority of income is classified as 1099. Adam B Schiff and Judy Chu wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader McCarthy specifically about this issue. See letter here.


If you have done any  W2 work within the last 18 month, even if you have a much greater self- employed 1099 income, your unemployment claim will be calculated off of your W2 work. This is a source of frustration for many people who have a significant 1099 income compared to their W2 work. You might be tempted to exclude your W2 work when filing, but legally you must report your W2 income when applying for either PUA or UI. Even if you choose to exclude it, your employer reports wages to the state and they will know what you've earned.


How much do I have to earn in order to qualify for regular unemployment?

You must have earned at least:

a) $1,300 in the highest quarter of your Base Period or

b) $900 in your highest quarter and total base period earnings of 1.25 times your high quarter earnings.


Anyone who makes over 1,300 with w2 wages will qualify for regular UI despite your 1099 income. The reason is because your 1099 income does not pay into unemployment.



My income should be considered because I was in fact an employee, what do I do?

If you believe your income should not have been 1099 and as an employee rather, you can consider reclassifying your income. What this means is you can dispute your 1099 income and this will involve your employer having to reclassify you as an employee. In situations such as a filmmaker, where you are technically an employee (working under supervision, set hours, etc) and not someone like a plumber (working on their own time and getting the job done on their own clock), then you have the potential to reclassify your income as w2 wages and therefore, having those reclassified w2 wages to contribute to your benefit award and weekly benefit amount.


From the EDD website:

What if I’m out of work due to COVID-19, have a small amount of W-2 income, and a large amou