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Unemployment Skyrockets Throughout the U.S.

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    Unemployment claims have skyrocketed in the U.S. this past while shutting down large swathes of the economy, thus causing hundreds of thousands left without work for the foreseeable future. Mid-March brought on numerous U.S. states issuing most, if not all, non-essential business to close their doors to keep the virus from spreading as fast as it would with normal daily interaction. And many business have suffered from the calls to keep their distance from others during this time, otherwise known as "social distancing". The non-essential store closures has left many without the ability to earn their normal wages. Some of these business have been able to implement work-from-home projects and/or are continuing their normal daily operations from home (such as call centers) to keep things operating smoothly, while other business such as restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and stores do not have that option entirely. As of now grocery stores are not affected by the orders, being that they are essential to the public.

    Whether mandated by the states or otherwise, the closures of all non-essential business have lead many to have no choice but to claim unemployment for the meantime. The number of those claiming unemployment benefits jumped from the initial 211,000 by over 70,000 in just the first week of businesses and the U.S. economy being affected, this was around early-mid March. According to the Department of Labor report released on March 19th, just over 280,000 claimed unemployment benefits from March 8th through March 14th. Now the number of people filing a claim in the U.S. has jumped to almost 700,000 in just the past few days. This number is continuously climbing as the situation unfolds.

    Another financial issue coming from this situation is that now families are having to purchase more food and daily supplies than they normally would have. The virus has also caused dozens of states to close their schools for at a minimum of 2 weeks, many of which are beginning talks on whether or not to close their schools for the remainder of the school year. This would leave families with an almost 4-5 month summer break. Most families, financially speaking, rely on the normal schedule of a 2 month summer break. This means meals and childcare normally provided by the school will be non-existent until school resumes. Unemployment benefits will be desperately needed for this unprecedented spike of families in need of assistance.

    I hope that our benefit system can handle this. The situation is unprecedented. When you consider a large portion of the country lives paycheck-to-paycheck, taking away so many opportunities to earn desperately needed funds all at the same time leads to chaos in the system.

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    This is Senator Chuck Schumer calling for the govt to enact a new form of unemployment insurance as part of the emergency stimulus bill Congress is set to pass in a matter of days. The bill is said to be made up of $1 trillion in emergency funds and currently the Republicans and Democrats are debating on the best ways to disperse the money to have the most lasting impact on the economy, in the short and long term.

    This video is in response to the Republican's proposal which is quite different and can be seen here if interested. While the Democrats don't have an official bill on the table like the Republicans at the moment they want the stimulus to be primarily focused on helping workers, as you will here Chuck say repeatedly. He talks specifically about unemployment starting at 11 minutes and 38 seconds in. But the whole thing is well worth a watch.

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    I know many states are having their sites crash from the onslaught of new unemployment applications. And I expect delays and many issues for tens of thousands during this uncertain time. Hopefully Congress acts swiftly and makes the whole process much easier and much faster. Tall order though.

    Anyone following this please post updates or useful info and links when you can about this issue. Also your own personal experiences with applying, getting funds, how much they were compared to what you were making, just anything you think of that would be helpful for others.

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    how do I sing up for unemployment
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    Donald H PullmanJr Wrote: how do I sing up for unemployment

    Check this guide out. It covers everything you need, and it provides you a link that will take you directly to your state's application page.

    Filing for Unemployment Guide

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    What you need to know about unemployment benefits

    Good news. If you are unemployed right now, the $2 trillion relief bill is going to substantially increase unemployment insurance.

    They will be giving those receiving unemployment $600/wk in addition to whatever you qualify for in your state. For 4 months. And then expand the state program and cover their benefit costs for an additional 13 weeks. Check out his exert:

    How much will benefits increase?

    The legislation offers an additional 13 weeks — roughly three months — of unemployment insurance, funded by the federal government. The bill also gives an additional $600 a week for up to four months.

    This would be in addition to current jobless benefits offered by the states, which administer their own unemployment insurance programs.

    Expanded benefits would last through December 2020.

    So, how much unemployment will I get?

    This depends on several factors, including your prior wages and the state in which you live.

    States generally base payments on a worker’s prior four quarters of wages.

    In January, state programs paid an average $385 weekly to unemployed workers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

    The new legislation restricts the maximum duration of unemployment benefits to 39 weeks — or, almost 10 months.

    So, under the new legislation, a typical worker could expect $985 a week for four months ($600 in extra relief plus state benefits), followed by up to 23 weeks of $385 a week in standard state benefits. Unemployment benefits are taxable.

    However, state benefits vary widely. Some are more generous and some (typically southern states) far less so.

    That's great, great news. So that means the average person receiving unemployment could/should be getting around $4000/month. Before taxes. For 4 months. And then regular benefits for as long as the end of 2020.

    Problem is websites and call centers to apply for unemployment are extremely flooded right now with a record number of applicants. And we aren't 100% sure when these changes will take effect though it should be soon.

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    Since my last post, we are now at 22 million that have officially filed for unemployment in the last 4 weeks. That's an average of over 5 million per week. That means hundreds of thousands are applying per state, and obviously that's causing major crashes, bottlenecks, extremely long queues of applications waiting to process, and impossibly long wait times to get through to someone on the phone for help, or even get an email answered.

    Not to mention most states are still using a coding language from the 1960's that's so outdated most coders don't even know how to work with it. And its been a real mess for states to update their states for the expanded unemployment, as well as creating new portals for 1099 employees to apply.

    It's all a great, big bureaucratic mess right now.

    And that 22 million is just the officially processed applications. No doubt millions more have tried to apply but are still waiting in their state's queue, or simply gave up because the site was crashing too much.