unemployment

Here’s what you need to know about unemployment benefits eligibility

Some of the requirements for unemployment insurance have changed and the more than 30 million Americans receiving benefits will have to check more boxes to stay eligible.

When applying for unemployment benefits you have to file a claim with your state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after losing your job or getting hours cut.

Many Americans who are ineligible for unemployment insurance (UI) may qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that covers self-employed individuals, contractors, and others and is available until the end of January 2021.

Employment insurance claims in Canada during the Coronavirus pandemic
Employment insurance claims in Canada during the Coronavirus pandemic

What are the requirements for UI?

The first requirement is that you should have lost your job through no fault of your own and you lost your job because of a lack of available work.

The second requirement is to meet the criteria for wages earned or time worked. In most states,

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Trump’s executive order on unemployment could take months to implement; hundreds quarantining in Ga. school district

After weeks of stalled congressional negotiations over a new coronavirus stimulus package, President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders Saturday evening as the U.S. was approaching 5 million cases of COVID-19.

Trump, repeatedly referring to the coronavirus as the “China virus,” said the orders would provide an additional $400 per week in unemployment benefits, suspend payments on some student loans through the end of the year and protect renters from being evicted from their homes.

“We’re coming back very strong. We’re doing well with the virus,” Trump said, even as the U.S. was leading nations worldwide in confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 and confirmed an additional 50,000 new cases Friday.

Top Democrats criticized the move and unemployment experts were left confused about how it might be implemented, speculating it could take months for states to figure it out.

Meanwhile, South Dakota was hosting one of the largest

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Republicans Fussing With Unworkable Unemployment Plan As Benefits Lapse

Senate Republicans on Monday unveiled their long-awaited proposal for another coronavirus economic stimulus package, including big changes to the enhanced unemployment benefits that are set to expire this week for millions of Americans.

Based on Republicans’ previous descriptions of their plan, a trade association for state unemployment agencies said last week it would be an implementation nightmare with wildly different results among states.

The $1 trillion measure is supposed to be a starting point for negotiations with top congressional Democrats. But already it has divided the GOP and faces stiff opposition from conservatives. It includes another round of stimulus checks, similar to those paid out earlier this year, as well as aid to schools and smaller businesses, and expanded liability protections.

The Republican proposal would reduce the extra federal unemployment benefits that Congress created in March from $600 to $200 until October, then switch to a new payment formula. 

Despite

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More Help Is Coming, But $600 Unemployment Bonus Will Lapse First

A second economic rescue package is on the horizon, one that will likely include another stimulus check, funding for small businesses and schools, additional jobless benefits and more. But as lawmakers debate the finer points, a critical provision of the first relief package is set to expire.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, or FPUC, boosts all Americans’ unemployment payments by $600 per week, automatically. That provision of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act expires July 31 unless Congress acts immediately to extend it.

That deadline is according to the wording of the CARES Act, but the payments effectively end sooner. State unemployment agencies typically operate on a Sunday to Saturday schedule (or vice versa), meaning the last unemployment payment including the $600 bonus will be paid out either July 25 or July 26.

With the clock ticking, that means jobless Americans are likely to see a lapse in their unemployment payments —

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I wasn’t laid off but COVID-19 cut my hours. Can I get unemployment? Your money questions, answered

It’s hard out there. And, in this time of uncertainty, USA TODAY is working to find answers to your money questions – anything from stimulus checks or unemployment benefits to your 401(k) or retirement plans. You can submit your questions here and read earlier answers below.

We will be updating the Q&A, so check back often. But, also look to these places:

I heard ‘it should be’ or that ‘it should automatically update to be retroactive.’ Could Florida be withholding funds?

Answer: If you get any unemployment assistance at all, the $600 from the federal government is supposed to accompany it. And yes it is retroactive.

… I thought the CARES Act was supposed to help. I’m losing my entire mortgage payment per month and my hours have decreased, but I don’t qualify for anything, the unemployment office said.

Each state has its own guidelines, according to the Department of … Read More