Does Working for Instacart Affect Employee Benefits?

The pandemic resulted in the loss of a lot of jobs. To keep afloat, businesses had to let employees go. Some, unfortunately, lost their jobs and are not lucky enough to be earning unemployment benefits. However, if you are, you might be wondering whether Instacart employees have to deal with decreased benefits. Does Working for Instacart Affect Employee Benefits?

Does Working for Instacart Affect Employee Benefits?

Part-time gigs and side hustles are picking up traction these days. You cannot entirely rely on one job to earn an income, so you look to multiple sources. Instacart is a side hustle like any other, but if you are going to work as an Instacart employee, you will have to consider some things:

  • As an Instacart employee, you are a 1099 employee.
  • You are required to report the income you earn to unemployment. 
  • Depending on how much you earn, your benefits are likely going to be reduced.

What Do 1099 Employees Do?

They offer up their services to the public for a fee and work independently based on some sort of contract rather than for one company. Think sort of self-employed, where instead of taking orders from one company, you decide what jobs you are going to take and what direction to head in. 

Why Call Them 1099 Employees?

The name has more to do with taxes. Independent or freelance workers handle their taxes. Normal employees handle:

  • Medical
  • Income
  • Social Security
  • Unemployment

You do not want to confuse either of the two. Independent workers use their resources and work in their own time. They also have the added benefits of refusing unappealing jobs and having control over how the job gets done and what the final product is going to look like.

What’s the Difference Between a 1099 Employee and a Normal Employee?

The difference is easy to spot. You hire an independent contractor or someone self-employed for one job. You decide terms and conditions for how it should be done, how much to pay and how long they have to complete the job. They do the job and afterward, they no longer work for you. Normal employees follow a routine and obligations to their work. They have to show up at work most days at the same time, follow a dress code and work under a supervisor for a certain amount of pay each month.

What Are Some Examples of 1099 Jobs?

They mostly consist of small gigs and the pay varies depending on the job. Work times are not fixed and they can be flexible to accommodate different situations. Some examples include:

  • Working as an uber driver 
  • Making deliveries
  • Freelance work 
  • Caregiving 
  • Dog walking
  • Babysitting 
  • Even working as an Instacart employee. 

How Will Working Independently Affect My Unemployment Benefits?

Earnings you make have to be reported, and this might mean your benefits get reduced. However, considering 1099 work is not always consistent, you are not going to be completely cut off from your benefits. The reduction of benefits depends on how much you make from your independent work.

On the bright side, the reductions only happen weekly. Meaning you can earn a certain amount in a week and benefits will only be reduced for that week. However, if you earn nothing the next week, your benefits will not be affected.

Additionally, you will need to be actively looking for work. Working part-time at a 1099 job does not mean you will be available to work full-time. However, Instacart makes things easy by allowing you to work according to your schedule. That way you will have time to do some job searching and you will be able to work full time if you find full-time employment. 

Are 1099 Employees Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

1099 employees that lose their jobs do not qualify for unemployment benefits. Freelance and self-employed workers are not usually eligible for unemployment benefits. Independent workers do not have access to the same benefits as full-time employees. Employees usually contribute to unemployment benefits for full-time employees. 

How Much in Unemployment Benefits Do You Get for Working at Instacart?

It Depends on the paychecks you make doing Instacart jobs. How much you get in unemployment checks depends on how much you can earn. If the benefits are being reduced, you would typically expect the benefits to be half of what you earn. There is also a limit to how much is paid and the duration you receive it at. This all depends on the policies being implemented in your location. 


Choosing to work for Instacart would affect your unemployment benefits. Even so, Instacart provides flexibility in work hours, which is especially beneficial if you plan on continuing your search for a full-time job. Then a reduction in benefits is a risk you should be prepared to take. Even then the risk of your benefits being reduced to nil is unlikely. 

Does Working for Instacart Affect Employee Benefits?

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