COVID-19 Relief Package Fact Sheet

What the $2T relief package means for music makers


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package, contains a number of key protections and provisions that put music creators in a better position for immediate and long-term relief.

As the benefits roll out nationwide, here are several key areas of relief that certain music creators are now eligible for:

  1. New pandemic unemployment assistance program for eligible self-employed workers 
  • Available to self-employed music professionals who, due to the effects of the Coronavirus, is out of work or unable to work. This includes cancelled gigs, closed venues or studios.
  • Eligibility for unemployment benefits is retroactive and the duration of unemployment benefits is extended for an additional 13 weeks (beyond the standard 26 weeks) through the end of the year.
  • In addition to standard unemployment benefits, individuals will also receive an additional $600 per week for a period of four months, ending July 31.
    • 8/1 Update: The FPUC program has now expired. An Executive Order, signed by the President, will provide additional temporary unemployment benefits to certain qualified applicants.
  • Select your state of residency here to learn more about how to apply.
  1. New Small Business Administration loans for self-employed workers
  • Individual, self-employed music makers are eligible to apply for “paycheck protection” loans from the SBA which may qualify for full loan forgiveness if they are used to provide income support.

    • 8/9 Update: Pending further Congressional action, the Paycheck Protection Program has now expired and the SBA is no longer accepting applications.
    • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
    • The application for borrowers can be found HERE.
  • Individual, self-employed music makers are also eligible to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), including a special advance grant up to $10,000 that can be used to pay for expenses and does not have to be repaid.
    • 7/1 Update: While businesses can still apply for emergency loans, pending further Congressional action SBA is no longer accepting new applications for EIDL advance grants.
    • Click here for the EIDL application.  
  1. Establishes a $75 million supplemental fund for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • 60% of funds are dedicated to direct grants for non-profit organizations and other eligible recipients to respond to the coronavirus.
  • The remaining 40% will be distributed to state and regional arts councils, which also can go to fund and assist local musicians and artists.
  • Funds are available through September 2021 and are in addition to the $162 million appropriated for the NEA in the current fiscal year. 
  • Visit the NEA to learn more about grant opportunities. 



Recording Academy’s “Contact Congress” campaign resulted in tens of thousands of emails to Congress asking for this relief. At the same time, Academy lobbyists in Washington, working with a broad coalition of entertainment organizations, lobbied key Senators and Congressional leadership.  Many of the provisions that would help freelance music professionals were not included in the original drafts and were added as a result of lobbying from the music community.

As the next phase of COVID legislation is already being contemplated, the Academy is working with House and Senate leadership to explore additional areas of support for the music community.