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 per week, which more than doubles the weekly maximum unemployment benefits in most states. If you’re out of work or have lost hours due to the coronavirus, here’s what you need to know.
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.
Note: If you need to apply for unemployment benefits for the first time, please refer to the schedule below to learn when the day and time you are scheduled to apply. You will only be allowed to apply on your assigned day (or on Thursday/Friday if you missed that day).
If your Social Security number ends in 0, 1 or 2, Monday is your day to apply. Those whose SSN ends in 3, 4 or 5, it's Tuesday. Wednesday is for people with an SSN ending in 6, 7, 8 or 9. Thursday and Friday remain open for everyone to apply.
"You will only be allowed to apply on your assigned day - or on Thursday or Friday if you missed your assigned day," a release from DEED said.
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