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$ 300 Weekly Unemployment Checks: A new incentive bill pays you through April



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Lawmakers continue to negotiate a bill to expand benefits.

Angela Lang / CNET

A few stimulus bills totaling $ 908 billion presented by congress would include Democrats and Republicans on Monday an extension of unemployment benefits before they expire on December 31 instead of a second stimulus check. The greater, $ 748 billion share of the package extends the weekly unemployment benefit set under the CARES Act from March, 16 weeks with weekly bonus payments of $ 300 for unemployed workers, essentially lasting until April.

The second bill, amounting to $ 160 billion, contains two controversial provisions: support for local and statement governments and a corporate liability shield. Even if that part of the bill wasn’t passed, the federal unemployment premium still could.

In fact, the hope, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, is that a COVID-19 aid package will piggyback on the bill that the government is keeping funded. “We’re not leaving here without a COVID package. It’s not going to happen,” he added.

Here’s the situation with weekly federal unemployment insurance, who might qualify, how your state might handle the bonus, and more. This story is often updated with new information.

read more: Coronavirus Unemployment: Who Is Covered, How To Apply, And How Much It Pays


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What happens if the bill is paid with $ 300 a week in unemployment insurance?

For millions of unemployed workers, December 26 is the last check they will receive as benefits created by the CARES Act in March expire on December 31.

If it $ 748 billion note passes Congress and becomes law, the new $ 300 weekly bonus checks would make their way, but there is no indication that they will be applied retroactively. This means that no lump sum is paid to make up for the previous weeks in which you did not receive a check for $ 300.

When those $ 300 checks are sent depends on how quickly the states can turn around and send the money. The federal government funds these payments, but it is the states that actually process the funds. The timing will vary when it is believed that states approved for the weekly $ 300 Lost Wage Assistance back in August took weeks or months to process payments.

What happens if more unemployment insurance policies fail?

According to a Dec. 3 report from the New York Times, without a new incentive bill to expand the programs instituted by the CARES Act:

  • 7 million gig workers and contractors will lose Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • 5 million people who have lost their jobs will be left without unemployment checks
  • Millions of Americans will be deported
  • About 21 million people will have to start paying for student loans
  • 125,000 companies will lose tax incentives not to lay off employees
  • $ 150 billion in aid to the state and local government is expiring

The $ 748 billion package, if successful, would continue with unemployment benefits, another month of deportation moratorium, an extension of the student loan deferral to April and an extension of corporate tax breaks. Help for state and local governments should come through the second $ 160 billion bill, which also includes corporate liability protection.

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Tens of millions of Americans are facing financial hardship.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Who is eligible for another $ 300 unemployment check?

If you are fired or on leave, you are eligible to claim unemployment benefits from your state of residence. Once the state has approved your claim, you can apply to receive the state benefits to which you are entitled. Since states cover 30% to 50% of a person’s pay, there is no one-off sum you can get nationally.

When the CARES law was passed in March, it provided the unemployed with a weekly bonus check of $ 600 on top of the amount the state offered, but those payments stopped in July. President Trump’s memo signed on August 8 Recovery of a weekly bonus check for a reduced $ 300 funded by the federal government through FEMA. These were only offered to the states that applied for six weeks, and they were all except South Dakota.

The CARES Act also created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provides benefits to individuals who would normally not be eligible for state unemployment benefits, such as gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and small business owners whose income has been compromised by the pandemic. Those who receive PUA will also receive the $ 300 bonus. Under the CARES Act, PUA funding will be available until December 31, but for many their final payment will be on December 26.

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Time is running out for millions of Americans.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How are unemployment benefits calculated?

The state determines how much each applicant receives, usually based on that of an individual Gross Income. It varies from state to state, but is usually between $ 300 and $ 600.

How do I find out if I qualify for state unemployment benefits?

Eligibility criteria vary from state to state, but the general rule is that you must apply if you have lost your job or are on leave through no fault of your own. This includes a job that is directly or indirectly lost due to the pandemic.

How do different states deal with unemployment insurance?

Again, the duration and amount of the benefit vary. Most states offer up to 26 weeks of funding, but others, such as Georgia, have limited benefits to 12 weeks. Delaware, on the other hand, extended benefits to 30 weeks. The weekly benefit amount depends on an applicant’s gross income when they were employed and ranges between $ 300 and $ 600, with some exceptions. Mississippi had paid up to $ 235, while Massachusetts’ maximum was $ 1,220. Pandemic emergency unemployment compensation from the CARES law added an additional 13 weeks, funded by the federal government, but another incentive law with unemployment insurance would have to be passed to extend it further.

Where can I find more information about my state’s policies?

Each state’s employment office provides information on its specific unemployment benefits.


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