What it means for Independent Owner Operators

SCI has been spending significant time and resources researching the new CARES Act that was signed into law late last week.  Our goal is to ensure that each our customers understands what this all means, and most importantly how Owner Operators can best take advantage of the provisions in this act.


As a self-employed independent Owner Operator, you are traditionally not eligible for unemployment assistance.  However, a subsection of the CARES Act provides self-employed independent contractors (Sole Proprietors) with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.  If you’re no longer able to provide services, for various reasons, you may be eligible to receive PUA benefits of $600/week until July 31, 2020.  Your state may also allow state benefits for independent owner operators.
If you wish to receive PUA, you should apply at your state Unemployment Insurance agency.   Some states have a separate section for PUA or Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) on their forms or website.


Independent Owner Operators may also take advantage of a program provided through the Small Business Association (SBA) called the Paycheck Protection Program. This program is intended to provide small businesses with eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100% federal guaranteed loans.  These loans can be forgiven and essentially turn into a non-taxable grant.
Highlights and advantages of this program include:

  • No collateral is required
  • Provides up to 250% of Average Monthly Expenses (Your 1099 Income would be considered expenses in this case)
  • Loan could convert to a grant that is considered Tax Free
  • Applicable to all contractors’ types (Sole Proprietor, LLC, Corporation)
  • If you’re a Master Contractor, we highly recommend this option.

You need to apply through a bank to get this loan, but the process is made to be very simple.  We recommend looking to your personal bank in helping to acquire this loan.

Please click here to view an FAQ about this Program

For both of these programs, documentation may be required.  You may need a copy of your Independent Owner Operator Agreement and previous year’s 1099s to assist you in applying for these programs.  You can find these documents at

If SCI can assist you with any of these programs, or alternatively, helping you find additional work, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 800-821-5344.