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What Americans Can Expect From The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program

The United States government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This act increased the unemployment insurance amount of the people who lost their work because of the implications of the coronavirus pandemic. According to recent reports, there has been a record number of 10 million Americans who have filed for unemployment in just the past two weeks, and an estimated 47 million jobs are expected to be lost due to the pandemic.

The CARES Act has a program called the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that extends financial support to previously ineligible employees, including freelancers, contractors, and those who are self-employed. Here are the details of the program:

The CARES Act now includes an unemployment assistance

Who Is Eligible?

Financial assistance is extended to self-employed workers, gig workers, and farmers. This is particularly relevant for the gig workers, like Uber drivers who do not receive any employment benefits. They are now eligible for insurance to help them recover from the loss of income. This also includes part-time workers and those who have not yet gained much experience with employment.

These people only need to prove that they have become unemployed because of the pandemic, including health reasons, caring for a patient, tending to a child who is unable to go to school due to the quarantine, and quitting. 

Freelancers and self-employed people are now eligible

How Much Can You Get?

Workers who are eligible will be receiving at least half of their state’s average unemployment benefit. Last January, an average of $385 was received by the workers. The amount received in every state ranged from $213 to $546. This benefit will be given for 39 weeks. Aside from this, workers will also be receiving $600 every week until July 31. After this, the state benefit will be given for the rest of the 39-week period.

The amount they will receive will depend on the rate of their state

How Can One Apply?

Workers should be well-informed on state policies and procedures regarding employment insurance, as it differs from each area. But generally, the requirements to make a claim are contact number, email address, social security number, bank details, employer details, and the first and last days of working for the latest employer.

Workers should also be ready to provide a record of previous earnings for the calculation of the insurance benefit. This could, however, become a challenge for self-employed workers who do not have easy access to these files. Tax documents are good to have, but there should also be a compilation of bank statements invoices and most recent proof of income.

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