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Who Gets Unemployment, and How Much Do They Get?

For people who are laid off and are unable to work as a result of COVID, the stimulus package includes a dramatic expansion of federal unemployment insurance benefits, covering more workers who are normally left out,  like part-time and self-employed persons or gig economy (independent contractors). 

The stimulus package offers a weekly benefit increase of $600 for four months, on top of what a person would typically get for state unemployment. It also extends unemployment coverage an extra 13 weeks for people who have exhausted existing benefits.

We get lots of questions around, "How much Unemployment does the state pay?" The answer is, we simply don't know. Only the State can tell you. And with offices and phones jammed, we suggest you go online to find that information.

The definition of "unable to work as a result of COVID" includes persons who:

  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms;

  • a member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with it;

  • the individual is providing care to a family member or person in household diagnosed with it;

  • a child for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility for is unable to attend school because it is closed as a result of COVID;

  • the individual cannot reach their place of employment because of a quarantine, or because they need to self-quarantine;

  • the individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID–19 public health emergency.

Individuals cannot receive unemployment benefits if they:

  • have the ability to telework with pay;

  • are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits.

How much can an individual receive?

The bill provides $600 per week of benefits on top of whatever the individual would be entitled to receive through state unemployment benefits. This extra $600/week only applies through July 31, 2020.

In addition, unemployment benefits are extended for an additional 13 weeks after state unemployment benefits end, through December 31, 2020, with a maximum of 39 weeks.


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