Unemployment and Covid-19

How to Apply for Unemployment

Unemployment and Covid-19 seem to be walking hand-in-hand. Have you lost your job due to Covid-19? Has your job been furloughed without pay due to Covid-19? Has your company closed temporarily or permanently due to Covid-19? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you qualify for Unemployment.  Careeronestop is a resource sponsored by the Department of Labor that will direct you to your state’s unemployment site.

A file folder with how to apply for unemployment benefits written on it.
Unemployment can help in the meantime

CARES Act

Additional unemployment funding is provided through the CARES Act.  This is for workers impacted by Covid-19.  The CARES Act includes coverage for the self-employed. In addition to unemployment benefits, you can receive up to $600 a week.  The CARES Act allows the additional payment to extend through July 31, 2020. 

The newly enacted CARES Act provides for expanded unemployment compensation
The newly enacted CARES Act

Unemployment Requirements

It would be prudent to file for unemployment immediately.  Coronavirus has affected every state but benefits do vary by state.  You may need to show that you are actively searching for a job. Moreover, you might have to prove you were employed by validating that you received a paycheck. Also, you will likely need to have consistent employment for a specified amount of time to qualify.

Person is handing proof of their employment to another person to reveiw.
You might need to prove your previous employment

How Much, How Fast

Unemployment benefit amounts vary by state and you will file and receive benefits from the state in which you worked. For most states, compensation is about half of your salary and  as State benefits vary, your compensation may be less than that amount. Disbursements are typically made weekly.

Clock is sitting atop a pile of cash. This indicates it will take time before the first check arrives.
It will take some time for your first unemployment check to arrive.

Unemployment and Taxes

Most states fully tax unemployment benefits.  Some states don’t tax them at all.  A few states will only tax part of your benefits.  Additionally, if you owe child support your unemployment may offset these payments.

TAX spelled in bold red blocks while sitting atop some coins.
Some states tax your unemployment funds

Who Does Not Qualify

Covid-19, Pandemic unemployment assistance does not apply to certain individuals. For instance, if you have the ability to telework with pay. Or, if you are receiving sick leave or other paid leave benefits.  These individuals will not qualify for CARES Act assistance.

Woman sitting at a desk, typing on her computer as she works from home.
You are fortunate if you can work via home

Help Center

Navigating unemployment and CARES Act assistance can be a daunting experience. For additional assistance with regards to unemployment and Covid-19 check out the U.S. Department of Labor site. Similarly, you can find assistance at benefits.gov

Soothing photo of bridge, illustrating there is help available with filing for unemployment.
Help is available

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