All of my early season art fairs this year have been cancelled. I’ve been on unemployment since last year. I have to file forms weekly online.

September is the only month I have that looks almost normal, with 4 shows booked. As it so happens, unemployment benefits for people like me will end in September in my state.

I have ONE art fair scheduled for the first weekend in August. Then nothing the next 3 weeks.

Has anyone successfully gone back on unemployment after 1 show? The premises assumed on the forms don't exactly correspond to what we do.

Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  • Hi Linnea,

    I think that you should do whatever feels right and reasonable for your situation.  I agree that it's all very vague!

    This is the first time that unemployment has been given to self employed and there have been a lot of bumps.  Many months back, people who were receiving unemployment for their art show income were discussing on etsy forum what to do about any online sales while collecting unemployment.  People suggested calling your state office for info as each state seems to be handling this differently. It seemed that there was no set answer, also as Larry said, it is income minus expenses. 

    I have decided for my situation, that my first show means that I am "back to work" as I don't do a show every week.  My first show is a small one day local, in place of my usual 4 day out of state show that cancelled.  My other larger shows have also cancelled and I have replaced a few with little local shows.  I'm glad to get back and that feels "right and reasonable" for my situation.

  • Continue to apply for unemployment even when doing shows in September and report your income. Remember that you need to deduct all expenses and only report the profit each week, which may be a lot smaller than your gross, maybe even a negative number so you didn't earn anything those weeks.

    Larry Berman

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