Reportedly, more than 36 million people have claimed unemployment in the past two months. A study by the Economic Policy Institute last month estimated that this figure is lower than the actual number of Americans out of work: millions more people could have applied if unemployment processes had become simpler.
Thechanged who is eligible for unemployment and for how much. Here's an overview of what to expect.
What is unemployment insurance?
When you are released from your job, you can apply for unemployment insurance. The requirements and benefits of each state are different. For example, I live in Florida, where eligible residents can claim up to 12 weeks of unemployment benefits for up to $ 275 per week. See how it is where you live.
Before the stimulus package was over, unemployment benefits were meant to temporarily meet your needs, such as housing costs, food, and energy bills, until you can find new work. If you are self-employed and lose customers or business as a result of the pandemic coronavirus you would otherwise not have been eligible for regular unemployment insurance.
Who covers the new stimulation package?
Apart from full-time employees, you are eligible for part-time or self-employed benefits, as well as if you are already unemployed or unable to work because of COVID-19. Others that are included:
- You would start a new job and you cannot because of the outbreak
- You receive veteran or social security benefits
- Your job ended because of the corona virus (for example, restaurants or businesses that are "not- essential "are considered)
- You are not working because you have to take care of children or other family members who would otherwise go to school or some other facility
How much money do I receive?
The plan gives you $ 600 extra per week on top of what you get through your state's current unemployment insurance package. It covers you for an extra 13 weeks. That means that in my state of Florida – which usually spans 12 weeks – residents are insured for 25 weeks. Most states have unemployment benefits of more than 26 weeks. The extension would mean that they are covered for 39 weeks. Even if you have already exhausted all your unemployment benefits, you can apply for the additional 13 weeks again.
Weekly payouts vary by state, but many would more than double their unemployment benefits. For example, residents of California receive $ 450 per week. The extra $ 600 would bring their weekly benefits to over $ 1,000. Median weekly earnings across the country were $ 936 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
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What if I got fired?
While a layoff means a job was closed, leave is temporary leave, usually with an end date. Leave is generally more advantageous, as some employers continue to offer benefits and there is some form of job security. For example, Macy & # 39; s put a majority of its employees on leave, but offers benefits to health care workers enrolled at least through May.
Usually, unemployment benefits for workers made redundant vary from state to state, but with the incentive bill, anyone fired from the coronavirus outbreak is eligible for unemployment insurance. Unlike redundancy filings, leave employees do not have to prove that they have lost their jobs.
Is something not covered?
If you can work from home or are currently on paid leave, you are not eligible for the updated unemployment benefit.
In some situations, if you resign, you may not be eligible for the new unemployment insurance. For example, if you stop because you are concerned, you will receive COVID-19, but if your location is still open, you may not be eligible. However, if you must quarantine yourself due to potential exposure, you are eligible.
The language about this is a bit vague. The bill is intended for those who quit their jobs as a direct result of the coronavirus, but it is up to individual states to determine whether you qualify for a benefit. While most states exceed the maximum capacity and have a hard time processing the large number of applicants, the only way to know if you are accepted is to submit an application.
When can I submit an application?
Immediately. Before the stimulus package was accepted, you had to wait at least a week to receive benefits. While some states have waived the waiting period, others may have implemented one. Remember that each state handles the influx of unemployment differently, and while you should receive benefits as soon as possible, your individual situation and state may mean getting your money later.
With millions of people applying for unemployment – and many more expected to be filed in the coming weeks – most workers will benefit from this package. If you have no other way of working from home or taking paid time off to take care of yourself or your family, applying for unemployment may be the only way to have enough money to survive. In your time of need, don't be afraid to exhaust all the resources you can find.
The program is retroactively established on January 27, 2020 and runs until December 31, 2020.
How to apply for unemployment insurance
There is no federal unemployment benefit system, which means that you must apply through the individual system of your state. Find your state's program here.
File according to your state's requirements, but it is a good idea to be patient given the circumstances. In the last full week of March, the New York Labor Department received 8.2 million calls, compared to 50,000 during a normal week.
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