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Increased Unemployment Benefits Under the CARES Act (COVID-19 Relief Act)

Date: April 8, 2020

As part of the COVID-19 Relief (CARES) Act enacted last week, Congress increased the weekly Unemployment Insurance (UI) payment that laid off and furloughed workers can receive through July 31, 2020 by $600. The CARES Act also extends the number of weeks of eligibility for those individuals unemployed longer term from 26 weeks to 39 weeks, temporarily eliminates work-search requirements and minimum work history (where, under normal rules, only those who have been employed for a year are eligible), and expands the categories of eligible workers to include self-employed and gig workers, in addition to traditional employees.[Gig workers are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers.]

Generally, if you take a leave or a reduction in hours as a result of the downturn, you will be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. However, the scale and scope of these benefits will vary depending on your state of residence. For more information about the changes the CARES Act has made to unemployment insurance, we recommend this guide put together by our friends at the National Employment Law Project. For additional information continue to read the article at www.afacwa.org

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