OTTAWA, Ill. – With the COVID-19 pandemic creating economic uncertainty, state Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, is alerting residents of the expansion of unemployment benefits to cover self-employed sole proprietors and independent contractors whose jobs were directly impacted by COVID-19.

“The expansion of unemployment benefits to small business owners, independent contractors, and gig workers will help ensure families make it through this unprecedented time and are able to afford even their most basic needs,” said Yednock. “Providing support to these workers is absolutely vital, and I highly encourage those who have lost their employment to apply for unemployment benefits. Many of those who are self-employed are struggling to make ends meet as this pandemic continues to affect all of our lives.”

The new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program is designed to help individuals whose employment has been affected by COVID-19 but would not usually be eligible for regular state unemployment benefits, including self-employed sole proprietors, independent contractors, those with limited employment history and more. These individuals can receive up to 39 weeks of unemployment insurance, with claims backdated to the individuals’ first week of unemployment, but no earlier than February 2 of this year. To apply or for more information, please visit the Illinois Department of Employment Security website at

“As we follow the mandatory stay at home order and work towards slowing the spread of COVID-19, many jobs have been lost, resulting in severe financial instability for families in the Illinois Valley and across the entire state,” said Yednock. “As we start to reopen our economy and put people back to work, we want to make sure that everyone in our communities are safe from Seniors at the Veteran’s Home in LaSalle to our kids at the daycares in Ottawa.”

Contact Yednock’s office at 815-324-5055 (messages are checked frequently), by direct message on, or by emailing

Rep. Lance YednockRep. Lance Yednock

76th District

Springfield Office:
240A-W Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0140

District Office:
628 Columbus St.
Suite 204
Ottawa, IL 61350
(815) 324-5055