CORONAVIRUS USA

$400 unemployment benefits: who is eligible?

After US President Donald Trump signed the executive order to extend compensation for those who lost their job, many are asking if they are eligible.

$400 unemployment benefits: who is eligible?
CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH EFE

After Republicans and Democrats failed to reach an agreement on a new relief bill to support individuals and businesses deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump signed several executive orders on Saturday in an attempt to fill in part of the void. One of these was for an extension to the unemployment compensation introduced as part of the CARES Act.

Unemployment benefit: eligibility criteria

In general, the guidelines are that if you have lost your job - or have been placed on the furlough scheme - and it was no fault of your own, then you should be entitled to the additional unemployment benefit. This does vary by state, however, so it is always important to check.

Based on the guidance from the US Department of Labor, you will usually qualify if you:

1. Are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.

2. Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a "base period." (In most states, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed.)

3. Meet any additional state requirements. Find details of your own state’s program.