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How to apply for unemployment benefits if you lose your job due to coronavirus

The economic impact of coronavirus intensifies as it spreads throughout the United States, which affects the working life of many Americans. Writes about this Fox Business.

Photo: Shutterstock

Goldman Sachs' new analysis suggests that this week it is likely to file up to 2,25 million applications for unemployment benefits. The head of the Department of Labor, Eugene Scalia, noted that the number of applications for unemployment benefits for the week will be "large."

In the week that ended March 14, 281 people applied for unemployment benefits as federal and state governments across the country asked businesses to close and workers stayed home, trying to limit people-to-people contacts.

If you are among those who have been unemployed, you should know how to apply for unemployment benefits.


Eligibility for unemployment insurance usually requires that people meet certain criteria, as indicated on the Department of Labor website. These criteria include:

  • You are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means that you had to quit your last job due to a lack of available work.
  • You meet the requirements for work and wages. You must meet your state's wage or time requirements within a specified period of time called the “base period”. (In most states, this is usually the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before applying).
  • You meet any other specific criteria set by your state.. Unemployment programs are jointly implemented by the federal and state governments, so procedures and criteria may vary. Check out your state program here.
How to apply

To apply for unemployment benefits, you must apply through your state’s program, which (depending on where you live) may require you to apply online, in person, or by phone.

On the subject: US unemployment rate hits record high; economy in recession: what comes next

The Department of Labor recommends that you contact your state program immediately after you become unemployed. As a rule, receiving the first check takes two to three weeks after submitting the application.

To ensure timely processing of your request, make sure that all the information you provide is accurate.

The Department of Labor allows states to make changes to their programs to address new problems caused by the coronavirus. This flexibility allows states to pay insurance to individuals who, for example, are fired because of the risk of contact or caring for a family member.

Lawmakers were counting on higher unemployment insurance for those who lost their jobs due to coronavirus. Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said they both supported the proposal to “substantially” increase unemployment compensation.

Graham said lawmakers are considering the federal government "compensating" the amount of unemployment benefits for an individual at the state level, up to 75% of income, for a person earning $ 80 a year.

The government also plans to send $ 1200 checks to many Americans as a separate form of assistance.

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