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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:
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:
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
Information needed for your claim will vary by state, but in most cases, you’ll need the following:
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.
(source: Market Watch)