How Will The Corona Virus Relief Bill Impact Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

covid 19

On Friday March 27th 2020 president Donald Trump signed the Corona Virus Relief Package. A $2 trillion economic stimulus package, aimed to send financial aid nation-wide to the millions of Americans and businesses impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

There are two main parts of the coronavirus relief bill. One category is called The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which was created to assist people impacted as a result of quarantines, falling ill or caring for a family member. Employees, contract workers, self employed all fall in this category. The second part of the bill is an additional $600 in Unemployment Benefits per week for people that are jobless and receiving benefits. The additional $600 in weekly benefits are limited to the next four months.

Please note, individual states will process unemployment claims and follow the US Department of Labor guidelines. However, you must must make a claim with your state if you believe you are eligible for benefits.

The good news is that the Federal Government has allowed for states to be flexible during this challenging time with how they manage and distribute UI benefits. This significant flexibility will decrease the time it takes for states to approve benefit claims and add new qualifications for people to make a claim.

What Are The New Qualifications For Unemployment Insurance Claims Due To COVID-19?

  • A company closes doors temporarily to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Asking employees to stay home until further notice.
  • A person is in quarantine but planning to return to their job once given permission.
  • A person leaves their job to lower their risk of infection and decrease their ability to infect others. Or, they need to be home to take care of a family member. Parents with young children or a Person with family members that have tested positive for COVID-19

How To Make A Claim For Unemployment Insurance Post Corona Virus?

Click the following link. Select your state and go to your states unemployment insurance website. You can fill out a UI claim online here .

How Much Will Unemployment Benefits Increase Due to The Corona Virus?

On Average, $600 per week for the next four months.

Will COVID-19 Impact My Benefits If I’m Already Receiving UI?

You will receive your benefits as usual. The new legislation will increase weekly benefits for the next four months.

Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits If Corona Virus Caused My Employer To Close?

Yes. Local, state and federal governments are all working hard to expedite Unemployment Insurance claims and provide benefits to those directly affected by COVID-19.

Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits If I Choose To Stay Home From Work to Self-Quarantine Or To Take Care Of A Loved One?

In general, the answer is, no. UI benefits are only available to people who are partially or fully unemployed due to no fault or decision of their own. This might seem like a harsh decision given the current situation but we must examine each case. In this example if a worker could work from home via telephone or internet then they would not be unemployed and therefor would not qualify for UI. However, if the employer required the employee to stay home and did not offer any opportunities to work from home and withheld pay, then the employee might qualify for UI. It’s important to note that if a medical provider or employer asks the employee to remain home, they will then qualify for UI. 

How Long Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits?

In most states the current UI benefits a person can receive is 26 weeks of benefits a year.

Can you qualify for benefits if an employer requires the employee to quarantine due to a suspicion of possible infection of corona virus?

In general, yes. Each state has issued orders that if you are employed and asked to remain in quarantine by an employer or medical professional then you will qualify for UI.

What Will I Need To Have To Apply For Unemployment Insurance Benefits? 

You will need:  

  • Your SSC (Social Security number)
  • Your state ID, or License  
  • Personal info including, name, telephone, address, and e-mail address
  • Employer Information including: Name, telephone, address and date you were employed. Provide each employer in the recent past.
  • The cause or reason of loss of employment from each job.
  • Children and Dependents’ information, including: Names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers,
  • If you are claiming UI and have dependents, please include your spouse’s name, DOB and Social Security number.
  • For non-U.S. citizens, you will need to include alien registration number and expiration date
  • Provide your job skills and usual employment information. 
    In addition:      
  • If you have been employed by the federal government, or in the military and separated from service, include: 
    • For military. Form DD-214, member 4 copy 
    • (for federal government employment) SF-8 or SF-50 form is your online resource to simplify the qualification process for various assistance programs at a local, state and federal level.