Thursday, April 2, 2020

Expanded Unemployment Benefits: Who Qualifies, How to Apply

Be sure to get your piece of the great money pump or you will be left behind with fewer dollars to bid for goods and services.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act expands unemployment benefits to include part-time and self-employed workers, including contractors and gig workers. It also supplements state benefits with an additional $600 a week, which more than doubles the weekly maximum unemployment benefits in most states.

Under the CARES Act, you can receive unemployment benefits if you are unable to work or are working reduced hours as a result of the coronavirus. That includes people who are directly impacted by the virus — those who have symptoms, are quarantined or are caring for someone who has COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

You’re also covered under the following circumstances:
  • Your workplace closed due to the public health emergency.
  • You had to quit your job because of the coronavirus.
  • You can’t work because you are a caregiver to someone whose school or other facility closed and you need to care for them.
  • You were supposed to start a job but it fell through or you can’t get there because of the coronavirus.
The CARES Act also extends benefits to people who are self-employed (including gig and contract workers), work part-time or who normally wouldn’t qualify for unemployment benefits because they lack sufficient work history.
You do not qualify for unemployment benefits if you are able to work from home with pay or are getting paid leave while out of work.
How much money to expect
Weekly unemployment benefits will consist of two parts:
  • The benefit amount allowed in your state. The formula used to calculate this amount varies by state, as does the maximum weekly benefit.
  • An additional $600 a week of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. You can receive this amount even if you’ve exhausted your state benefits.
It’s important to note: The $600-per-week pandemic compensation does not impact your eligibility for income-based health insurance like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
These beefed-up benefits will be paid out weekly as long as you’re unable to work due to the coronavirus but are currently capped at 39 weeks.
While there is no waiting period imposed, it will take a few weeks for you to receive your first check.
How to apply for unemployment insurance
Contact your state’s unemployment office to apply for benefits. You can typically file your claim online, over the phone or in person if necessary.
Information needed for your claim will vary by state, but in most cases, you’ll need the following:
Your information
  • Your name, Social Security number and driver’s license number (if you have one). If you are a noncitizen, you will need your alien registration number and expiration date.
  • Your mailing address and phone number.
  • Your bank information (address, routing number and account number) for direct deposit. This is typically optional.
You will also need employment information for your most recent employer, as well as any employer you’ve worked for over the past 18 to 24 months.
Your employment history
  • The name of your employer (as it appears on your pay stub or W-2).
  • The complete address and phone number of the employer.
  • Your supervisor’s name.
  • Your start and end date.
  • Your wage information, including how you were paid (hourly, weekly, monthly).
  • The reason you are no longer working.
(source: Market Watch)


  1. State of Hawaii is already behind 3 weeks on regular state unemployment claims, This expanded program needs to be incorporated into the current system, people need to be trained and then they need to process claims, The state is trying to move workers from other departments but the unions are saying they can’t do that. I’m afraid it will be longer then a few weeks for people to get money.

  2. I’d be curious which states are able to process this expanded program right now,

  3. It's a total catastrophe. The system is completely swamped. It's at least 1.5hrs on hold to talk to someone who can do anything. Then you have to jump through so many other hoops, and get approvals, there is no way maybe half of people who need it will be able to figure it out and get what they need. Prepare for a financial total meltdown NOW! The people who need $$$ the most right now, are not getting them or getting enough $ to make a difference. Unemployment is not even enough $$$ to survive on because its less than half of what people need. I am telling you right now. People are not getting enough cash fast enough. Every citizen needs to recieve about $3000 each THIS WEEK or it is game over!
    Obviously that is not going to happen. It is going to be game over.

    Good job government and central banks, you did a great job pumping and crashing the economy. All the ensuing death and destruction and crime rests on you. This virus is a joke in comparison to what you did. Trying to blame the virus for this disaster too so pathetic. May the God of all power execute righteous judgement upon you!

    Government shutting down the economy is complete economic suicide! WOW! Such stupidity! Only explanation that makes sense, is it is done on purpose. Should be tried for treason by people who are debt free and not on central bank payroll.

  4. North Carolina has gone from 3000 claims a week to 175,000 a week without any self employed or independent contractors filing yet. Being self employed like I am normally disqualified one from UE bennies. Now they have to revamp the entire system to allow for this. Website says they are "awaiting guidance" from the Feds on how to proceed. Methinks the $ just isn't there and that the Feds will soon be printing trillions more and making payments directly in order to backstop the states. Can the Feds really "make whole" 50-75 million people put out of work by government order? I wonder what Mises would've said about this level of hubris.

  5. State UE benefits are usually $300-700 per week

    Now there is an extra $600 for "corona virus"?

    That's $900 to $1300 a week for 39 weeks!

    Who is going to want to go to work until they use up all these benefits?