CORONAVIRUS

Extra 600 dollars unemployment benefits: when will it be delivered?

As part of the government’s 2.2 trillion dollar rescue package, unemployed Americans will receive an extra 600 dollars on top of their benefits.

Extra 600 dollars unemployment benefits: when will it be delivered?
FREDERIC J. BROWN AFP

At the end of last month, the US Congress unveiled plans for a 2 trillion dollar stimulus initiative designed to prevent the country from collapsing as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis. The stimulus package involves giving financial aid to those whose jobs might have been furloughed until the pandemic is over and also to give an extra helping hand to those who are without a job at present. Those who are not eligible for unemployment insurance will be able to claim for other benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

Unemployment benefit top-ups will last until 31 July

The government has promised that those who are officially unemployed will receive an extra 600 dollars per week on top of their usual state insurance benefits. The 600 dollar top-up will continue for up to four months, and possibly beyond 31 July, depending on how the situation in the US develops.

Unemployment Benefits applications handed out in Hialeah, Florida this week

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US unemployment figures make dismal reading

Earlier today, the US Department of Labor announced that 6.6 million workers had lost their jobs during the past week, adding an additional strain onto the country’s benefits system. Since the coronavirus crisis started in the United States, 16 million have become unemployed.

Authorities have confirmed that the first 600 dollar top-up checks are expected to go out this week although not everyone will receive them at the same time. The states which have been most affected by the coronavirus pandemic will be given priority. New York has been one of the hardest hit by the crisis – as of today, there had been 151,079 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in New York, more than 76,876 of them in New York City.

Unemployment insurance in other States

The remaining States will start issuing checks from the start of next week and all claims will be retroactive, meaning that claimants will receive the full amount they are due, backdated to 29 March. Those who have only recently become unemployed will have their claims processed and receive their topped-up benefit payments in two to three weeks.

Indiana expects the new unemployment insurance payments to start being delivered from 20 April but due to the rapid escalation of the crisis, some payments might not be received until the first week in May as the unemployment offices have been overwhelmed by increased number of jobless signing on.

Find out more about what unemployment benefits you might be entitled to in your State here: