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Massachusetts Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

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Funding Options for Freelance Interpreters

Disclaimer: Information sourced from personal experience and research by Rachel Judelson and Lauren Parlapiano. We are not accountants or experts. Information is changing rapidly and daily. Please send feedback and questions to

There are five main funding options for freelance interpreters whose work has stopped or significantly reduced because of COVID-19:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”)
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”)
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance (“EIDL Advance”)
  • Unemployment Insurance (“unemployment”)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”)

GENERAL ADVICE: Apply for everything you are eligible for. Accept what makes sense for your situation and cash flow.


  • DUA – Department of Unemployment Assistance
  • IC – Independent Contractor
  • FPUC – Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
  • SBA – Small Business Administration
  • SP – Sole Proprietor
 ProgramWhat is it / How much?Must pay back?Federal or State Administered via For who? Apply where? 
PPPLoanMaybe not, if prove used as directedFederalSBA SP, IC Your bank or any participating bank 
EIDLLoanYesFederalSBA SP, IC
EIDL Advance$1,000 per employee (self=1)NoFederalSBASP, IC
UnemploymentFunds: Variable (+$600/week FPUC until 7/31/20)NoStateDUAW-2 workers
PUAFunds: Variable (+$600/week FPUC until 7/31/20)NoStateDUA1099 workers

Program specific notes


  • From CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act)
  • 1% loan
  • Initial funding ran out; funding to be replenished 4/27/2020
  • Apply through your bank OR
  • Apply through any participating bank or organization (some do not require you have an account: PayPal, Kabbage, Roseland Federal, Radius Bank)
  • Generic PPP application:
  • Your lender’s application process will ask for PPP application form and Schedule C (“Form 1040 C”) from 2019 taxes
  • Loan amount formula: Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)/12 x 2.5 [monthly income times 2.5]
  • If you have not done your 2019 taxes, application will allow you to calculate amounts
  • Loan may be forgiven (do not have to pay back) if at least 75% used to pay employees (pay self)
  • DOCUMENT PAYMENTS TO SELF. When approved, asked lender for documentation requirements for forgiveness and FOLLOW THEM
  • Payments deferred 6 months; 18 months to pay back
  • Banks accepting applications without an account: PayPal, Radius Bank, Rosedale Federal, Kabbage
  • Fact sheet


  • From CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act)
  • 3.75% loan
  • Initial funding ran out; funding to be replenished 4/27/2020.
  • Update: as of 4/27/2020, EIDL is not accepting new applications for the replenished funding. They will address prior outstanding applications first. New applications will be allowed at a later date.
  • Payments deferred one year
  • EIDL Advance had a hack and 8,000 names and account details were divulged
  • Fact sheet


  • Considers W2 income only
  • If denied, can apply for PUA
  • May be asked to mail physical documentation of income


  • For those with primarily or only 1099s
  • If you earned more than $5100 in W2 income in 2019, you are not eligible – must apply for Unemployment first

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