Stretch Your Dollar: What you need to know when filing for unemployment

Stretch Your Dollar

Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, a record-breaking number of Americans are filing for unemployment. If you’re one of them, here’s what you need to know.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, a record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment in the week ending March 21. Millions more are expected to file.

The U.S. Department of Labor is urging people to contact their state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after a job loss. The department says you should file your claim in the same state where you worked. You’ll be asked for information like the dates you were employed.

The agency says it generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check. They recently passed a two trillion dollar economic stimulus package, which has also allowed more Americans to qualify for benefits.

The National Employment Law Project, a non-profit organization, says the CARES Act temporarily supplements the amount and duration of unemployment insurance benefits. It also provides emergency assistance to workers who are typically left out and allows for short-time compensation or work sharing, which helps employers avoid layoffs by putting workers on part-time schedules with partial unemployment benefits to help make up for some of the lost income.

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