COVID-19 Entertainment Industry Resources
The CARES Act, passed on March 27th provides new and extended benefits to Americans suffering from the economic impact of COVID-19. As musicians or gig workers, details about how these new programs apply to you have been difficult to come by.
We’ve compiled advice and information from experts to make these programs easier to navigate and understand for those in the entertainment industry. Find out what programs you’re eligible for.
CARES Act Stimulus Payment
These direct stimulus checks will be issued in the coming weeks in these amounts:
• $1200 for a single adult
• $2400 for married couples filing jointly
• $500 for each child under 17
The amounts will begin to decrease at individual incomes over $75,000 ($150,000 for couples). The federal government will direct deposit payment based on information from your 2019 or 2018 taxes. If you haven’t filed 2018 taxes, do so immediately even if you don’t owe any money.
Learn more about timelines, how to submit your direct deposit info to the IRS and more HERE.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
Self-employed individuals, 1099, independent contractors, free lancers and gig economy workers whose income has been cut or eliminated by the pandemic are eligible for unemployment benefits under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA is 39 weeks of benefits effective 2/2/2020 through 12/26/2020. Claimants must first be denied Traditional Unemployment Compensation.
Red Dirt Relief Fund $250 Emergency Grant
Since March 16th, Red Dirt Relief Fund has granted $143,000 to 572 Oklahoma music people affected by COVID-19 related cancellations and postponements. These one-time emergency grants of $250 are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
To be eligible for a grant, you must meet these criteria:
-Sustained a financial loss of at least $1,000 due to cancelled/postponed gigs related to COVID-19
-Worked in the music business for the past 5 years. This includes creation, production and other jobs directly-related to the making of music.
-Are a current Oklahoma resident
To apply for financial assistance due to another unforeseen emergency, email us at email@example.com.
Free Dental Services
Dr. Gary Belenski is offering free dental services to any Oklahoma musician and their families for the next 12 months. These are pro bono services with no strings attached. Located in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Belenski is extending this offer as a way of giving back to all the artists who have brought immeasurable joy to him and his family, especially at a time when so many artists are out of work.
All dental services with the exception of wisdom teeth removal and molar root canals are included until August 2021 at his office in the Denver area. Learn more at https://www.drgaryb.com/. To schedule service or discuss treatment options, contact Dr. B at 303-913-4950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Grant Funds
Companies from Spotify to Verizon and nonprofits like Grammy Foundation’s MusiCares are also offering grant assistance to music people and small businesses. We direct you to our partners at the Oklahoma Film+Music Office for an updated list: