Coronavirus impact: Gig workers get unemployment benefits for first time under Pres. Trump's stimulus bill

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- For the first time, gig workers would be eligible for unemployment under the stimulus bill.

Many mistakenly associate the gig economy with just rideshare drivers. In reality, the gig economy includes a whole lot of other people.

Patrick and Beth Hunt work as performers ranging from hosting karaoke nights in a local bar to performing in a rollerskating performance group.

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The stay-at-home order cut them both off from gigs they take to supplement their income from their day jobs in the non-profit world.

"We are now missing our living money, right. Our groceries. How we pay our rent. Everything," said Beth.

Travis Fukuda is an audio engineer at a local theater. The shutdown left his economic footing on shaky ground.

"I'm still coasting on the money that was paid out to me on the last round of paychecks. After that, I'm not sure what I'm going to do," said Travis.

Travis, Patrick, and Beth should all qualify for unemployment benefits as independent contractors or gig workers under the stimulus bill.

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"We take a lot of different gigs as stage hands living in San Francisco. So, I was really happy to see that unemployment benefits had been extended," said Travis.

Beth and Patrick are also raising their 8-month-old daughter, Charlie.

"It's pretty scary when you have a baby, thinking about are we going to have to move if we can't pay rent," said Beth. "How long is this going to go on for?," she said.

Beth says her spirits have been bolstered by friends who have dropped off everything from toilet paper to meals to help her family.



Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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