Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions. We have answers.

Membership


When will I receive a Freelancers Union membership card?

Membership is instant and virtual! We don’t mail out membership cards, but in order to access discounts, you may need to print out a Proof of Membership card, which you can find here. You can also just print one out ‘cause they’re spiffy.

What are the requirements of membership?

Membership is open to independent workers – freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, temps, part-timers, contingent employees and the self-employed.

How can I find out about upcoming events?

Check the Spark events page for regular updates about our monthly gatherings.

What are the benefits of being a member?

As a member of Freelancers Union you can:

Whom should I contact if I have questions?

Visit our Contact Us page.

I used to be a patient at the Freelancers Medical practice. How can I get my medical records?

You can send a written request for your medical records to requests@freelancersmedical.org and we will provide you, at no cost, your medical records electronically. If you need a hard copy of your records, please mail us a written request for your records with a check for $25.00 made payable to Freelancers360 LLC at:

Freelancers Medical
ATTN Medical Records
408 Jay St. 2nd Floor
Brooklyn NY 11201

How do I become a member of Freelancers Union?

It's easy! Just fill out the registration form on our website.

How much does membership cost?

Membership in Freelancers Union is 100% free, giving you access to members-only resources, benefits and discounts. Consider making an optional donation and help build a better future for independent workers. Donate here.

What can I do if one of my clients won’t pay me?

Unfortunately client non-payment is all too common a problem. Check out our resources for handling this situation here. and learn about our #FreelanceIsntFree campaign to bring new protections to freelancers.

Account


How do I change my username and password?

Sign in to the FreelancersUnion.org website and update your email address or password on the Account Information page.

What if I forget my username and/or password?

Your username is the email address you chose to register with.

If you have forgotten your password, enter your email address on the password reset page and click "Submit."

We’ll send you a validation email to confirm the change, so you must be able to access the inbox for the email address we have on file. Once you’ve clicked on the validation link in that email, follow the instructions to set a new password for your account.

Health Insurance


Where can I learn more about health insurance?

Click here to learn more

Dental Insurance


How can I add dental insurance?

You can add dental coverage at any time throughout the year. Shop dental plans on our dental insurance page

What are the differences between my current dental plan and the new plans offered for 2017?

Generally, the prices are lower and there are more plan designs to choose from. See our comparison chart.

Why is Freelancers Union switching to new plans with Guardian?

At the time that Freelancers Union started offering dental coverage, a group program was the best way to find affordable coverage. Now, as the dental insurance market has changed, we have worked with Guardian to bring you substantial dental coverage at a lower price through direct plans.

Life Insurance


How are life insurance rates determined?

Participant and spouse rates are based on age, gender and tobacco usage.

How much life insurance do I need?

Everyone has their own life insurance needs and budget, but the rule of thumb is that you should have 3 to 5 times your annual salary in life insurance coverage.

When will my coverage go into effect?

We will notify you by email when your coverage takes effect.

Can I increase my life insurance amount at a later date?

Yes, but any increase is subject to providing Evidence of Insurability, and approval from Guardian is not guaranteed. Email us if you are interested in increasing your coverage and we'll be happy to send you the needed forms.

Disability Insurance


What exactly will my disability plan cover?

Your plan will cover a portion of your personal income if you suffer from a disabling accident, illness, or pregnancy or disabling complications of pregnancy.

Once I receive long-term disability benefits, will my premiums be waived?

Yes, your premium payments will be waived once you satisfy the elimination period and are eligible to receive a benefit.

Will my disability benefit check be taxable?

Depending on how your disability plan is administered, your benefit check could be taxable. If you pay your plan premiums with pre-tax dollars, your benefit checks will be taxable. Any applicable Social Security or FICA taxes are automatically withheld from your checks. If, however, you pay 100% of your premiums with post-tax dollars, your benefit checks may be tax-free.

How often will I receive a disability benefit check?

Long-term disability checks are paid monthly.

Will payments from other sources affect the amount of disability benefits paid to me?

Yes, your disability benefit may be reduced if you receive other sources of income due to your disability, such as Worker's Compensation and Social Security

Why do I need disability and life insurance?

People who work independently stand to lose the most in the case of sickness or injury. Protecting yourself with disability insurance to cover unexpected costs and lost wages is a smart move. Investing in good life insurance will give you the peace of mind of knowing that the people who depend on you are taken care of, should anything happen to you. We selected Guardian as our life and disability insurance provider based on their 146-year history. As the fourth-largest mutual life insurance company in the country, Guardian can afford to make a long-term commitment to Freelancers Union and our members.

What about Worker's Compensation and Social Security?

Worker's Compensation covers you only if you are an employee injured on the job, and does not cover an illness unless it is work-related. Social Security disability coverage is not guaranteed and rarely provides enough coverage to maintain your lifestyle.

What is not covered?

Disability benefits are not payable for any disability caused by 1) war or any act of war (including service in the armed forces); 2) committing a felony or taking part in a riot or civil disorder; and 3) intentionally injuring yourself or attempting suicide while sane or insane. No benefits are payable for any period during which you are confined to a correctional facility, are not under the care of a doctor, or are experiencing a loss of earnings not solely due to disability. This plan may or may not cover a pre-existing condition; check your Summary Plan Description for more information. This plan provides disability income insurance only. It does not provide "Basic Hospital," "Basic Medical," or "Major Medical" insurance as defined by the New York State Insurance Department.

Will my long-term disability plan cover a work-related injury?

Yes. To the extent that benefits you receive from Worker's Compensation exceed 66-2/3% of your income, it will be deducted from your Guardian benefit check.

If I become disabled, how soon will my benefit begin?

There is an initial period of time following the start of a disability, called the elimination period, when benefits are not payable. If you are eligible to receive a disability benefit, the benefit will be paid after this elimination period has elapsed, which may be 30 or 90 days depending on your plan.

Retirement Plan


I have a Freelancers Retirement Plan account and have a question. Who can help?

If you have a 401(k) retirement account currently under the custodianship of Amalgamated, you should have received email notices as well as a physical notice letting you know that the Freelancers Retirement Plan is closing as of 9/1/17. You will need to take action based on your personal circumstances. Please click here for the transition page, with more info about the rollover options we’ve vetted for you.

I can’t log into my Amalgamated account. What do I do?

The Freelancers Retirement Plan ID # is 8622. If you are still experiencing difficulties, you can contact Amalgamated’s customer service team directly at 631-935-1048. Please note that due to the plan closure, they are experiencing a high volume of phone calls and you may be prompted to leave a voicemail message for a call back. We apologize for any inconvenience, and appreciate your patience.

Even though the Freelancers Retirement Plan with Amalgamated is closed, is there something for those of us who want to start saving for retirement?

Yes! We have partnered with Honest Dollar to offer members access to an IRA-based savings program. We’ve negotiated a deep discount on the fees associated with the program, exclusively for Freelancers Union members. For more info on the program, please go to our Retirement page and click on the orange “Visit Honest Dollar” button to watch a short informational video.

I am really more interested in a 401(k) plan rather than an IRA. Do you have something besides the IRA option?

We do not have a formal arrangement with Ubiquity for new enrollees, however they offer both Roth and pre-tax contribution options for Single(K) accounts. If a 401(k) plan is a better fit for you, you can email Ubiquity at singlek@myubiquity.com for more info.

I have other questions that I don’t see here. Who can help me?

Please email us at membership@freelancersunion.org with any additional questions that you may have. We respond to all inquiries as soon as possible, usually within 1-2 business days.