With millions of American workers being furloughed from their jobs due to the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis, many people will turn to unemployment benefits to help them survive the days ahead.
In fact, a reported 16 million people have already applied to receive these in just the past three weeks. These benefits would come from a person’s unemployment insurance, which would ideally give them temporary income paid weekly to recipients.
Those who may be accessing this benefit for the first time would surely have a lot of questions regarding the process and its terms. So, here’s a short guide detailing everything one should know.
How to File
People should first file for unemployment in the state where their work was located. This means finding out their state’s specific program and looking up the exact process through the labor department’s Benefits Finder.
Fortunately, one doesn’t need to physically go to offices anymore as they are closed due to the pandemic. They can opt to file their claims online instead.
Also, be aware that certain states have put out specific filing procedures that schedule people to apply on specific days based on their family name.
Expanded Benefits & Payments
The good news is that the CARES Act has added to the benefits people would receive. The whopping $2 trillion economic relief package resulted in the extension of the duration of payments as well as bigger weekly checks.
The law reportedly added $600 a week to beneficiaries, which they would continue to receive until the end of July. People originally just got $378 a week in benefits before the recent pandemic-induced economic troubles.
Those who would find themselves unemployed after the said time duration would continue to receive benefits for an additional 13 weeks after the standard duration.
In general, the passing of the CARES Act meant that workers who were initially ineligible to collect benefits based on previous laws can now enjoy the same perks.
However, this would only be the case if their unemployment was caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This includes cases where a person can’t return to work due to being quarantined and even self-employed individuals who lost their source of income.
Still, it’s important to note that these new rules may be subject to a person’s state’s interpretation. Thus, some people may not be guaranteed to receive benefits at all.