The CARES Act expanded the current Unemployment Compensation program to include individuals affected by COVID-19. Closed businesses, reduced hours, and cut wages may qualify you to receive compensation. Each state is different in regards to amount, time eligible to receive benefits, etc so check your specific state for details regarding your financial situation. For detailed information, this article is great!
The main idea:
- Payments expended to receive up to $600 per week for unemployed individuals, in addition to the regular state amount.
- If you have already maxed out your eligibility in your state (i.e, you’ve used all your available weeks) you may qualify for up to 13 additional weeks through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC)
- If you are self-employed/contract worker you might have not have qualified for unemployment before. There is now an option through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for contract workers to receive unemployment (YAY!)
To get started applying:
- You’ll need to start with your state. Click here for a state directory for unemployment benefits.
Note: Several individuals I have talked with have described feelings of guilt, shame, or embarrassment when needing to apply for unemployment or any public benefits. I want to let you know it is completely okay to feel that way, and it is also completely okay to take advantage of benefits. The government said your job had to stop. That is not based on anything you could have done, nor is it a reflection of your work ethic or capability. Keep your head up, millions of others are in the same boat.