More than 54 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the CARES Act, the government expanded the scope of unemployment insurance to pay more money for a longer period of time.
The amount and length of pay varies by state, but the CARES Act added an additional 13 weeks to every state’s maximum pay period.
The extra $600 weekly boost to unemployment benefits formally expires on Friday, July 31 with no replacement.
But people still waiting on a claim from previous weeks are eligible to get the federal supplement after that date.
To apply for unemployment insurance, visit your state’s website.
personal finance coverage.
More than 54 million Americans have so far filed for unemployment insurance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurants, bars, nail salons, and scores of other nonessential businesses were ordered to close their doors in March and April to curb the spread of the pathogen. It sparked a wave of mass layoffs that erased a decade of record job creation after the Great Recession.
The speed and ferocity of the economic collapse prompted the passage of the CARES Act in late March, the largest rescue package in American history. Among its provisions, the $2 trillion stimulus law added $600 to weekly unemployment payouts and expanded eligibility to freelancers and contractors for the first time. By doing so, around half of the workforce can earn earn more on benefits than they did drawing salaries at their regular jobs.
But many states have struggled to process their claims with people seeking unemployment benefits all at once. The demand strained antiquated systems using 20th century technology, jammed phone lines, and sent websites crashing.
And as of Friday, lawmakers had not yet reached a deal to extend or replace the $600 federal supplement to weekly unemployment checks beyond July 31.
Here are some common questions around unemployment.
Table of ContentsWhat is unemployment insurance?
Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal government program that provides money for people who have lost their jobs. Under the CARES Act, the rules regarding unemployment insurance have expanded — more Americans will qualify for insurance, and the government will pay more money for an extended period of time.
How much does unemployment insurance pay?
Unemployment benefits range widely by state. While sometimes based on cost of living, it’s not always closely aligned: An unemployed person in expensive California might receive a maximum of $450 per week, but a person in Nebraska might receive up to $440. Every state has a different way of calculating benefits, and not everyone will receive the maximum amount.
According to data from The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the average unemployment benefit in America was $387 before Congress expanded the program temporarily.
Do I qualify for unemployment insurance?
Normally, there are two criteria for unemployment insurance:
You must have lost work through no fault of your own
You must have met your state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked
Under the CARES …read more
Source:: Business Insider