What to expect when you apply for unemployment during COVID-19

I’m sorry to hear that you lost your job and now must navigate the challenges of Unemployment Insurance. You may encounter busy phone lines, an inability to speak to a live person, and state unemployment website issues. This will depend on what state you live in and when you filed. Presently over 42 million are out of work and seeking unemployment, which exacerbates these problems.

Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUI) will likely replace most or all your earnings temporarily. However, it might take a month or more for funds to arrive. If you have become unemployed, I recommend that you immediately apply for Unemployment Insurance. Apply for the existing Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, New Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, and the New Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (an extra $600 per month under the CARES Act). Depending on your state, these program applications may be bundled together into a single application or separate. Either way, you apply for all of them via your state’s UI Agency. Find your state’s UI Agency at this website.

It will likely take at least three weeks after your application is approved for your first payment to arrive. So apply in the first week that you are without work or have had your hours cut. Because of the many and significant changes to UI, you should forget what you thought you knew about the program. Even if you have never qualified for UI before or think you are not going to qualify, go ahead and apply.


Recommended Articles

Five Ways to Manage Financial Stress During COVID-19

Even under the best circumstances, most of us deal with financial stress in our daily lives. With the additional stress that has been placed on many individuals and families as a result of COVID-19 from job loss or changes in income, and uncertainty about the future, financial worries are even more common. Dealing with your… Read more

If I receive unemployment insurance, are my benefits taxable?

Unemployment benefits are taxable income. They are subject to federal and state taxes (if your state taxes income). You can choose to withhold 10% in federal taxes from your benefits by completing a W-4V and giving the form to your unemployment office. Some states automatically withhold taxes; some states do not. Go to your state’s… Read more

Applying for SNAP Benefits if You’re Newly Unemployed

If you’ve lost work or earnings, you may be curious about programs that you can use during this difficult time. Your first move should be to apply for unemployment insurance. This is likely the most valuable benefit, especially while the additional $600/week is available through late July 2020. Unemployment insurance often replaces only a portion… Read more