Something very important to note for anyone that normally wouldn't be able to apply for unemployment benefits but can now due to COVID-19, that would be -- independent contractors, self-employed, gig workers, freelancers:
You should receive backdated unemployment benefits, dating back as far as January 27th, 2020.
So if you got laid off or furloughed or hours significantly reduced on or after January 27th due to coronavirus specifically, and you are just now able to apply, you will get weekly benefits for all approved weeks retroactively from when you provable lost your job.
If you are an independent contractor and got laid off due to coronavirus on January 29th lets say, you would not have been able to apply in most states until today or maybe even a week or two from now. That's because states have been waiting on guidance from the federal govt. It is now here. This new, expanded unemployment due to COVID-19 is called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
And once you can apply and get approved, you will receive state benefits for all the weeks you have been without work. Retroactively.
In this example, that would mean you will receive benefits checks for the approved weeks of:
January 29th - date of approval. But that would NOT be for the additional $600/wk. Only the state benefits.
The $600/wk extra is only retroactive from March 29th, 2020.
In summary, under that scenario, let's say you get approved for $250/wk with your state under the new regulations. You should get the following:
$250/wk retroactively for 11-12 weeks (Jan 29th - this week), totaling $2750 - $3000
$250/wk going forward for the remainder of your max weekly payouts + 13 additional weeks
$600/wk on top of your $250/wk for up to four months (March 29th through July 31st)
All that together would be approximately up to: $3000 + $6750 +$9600 = $19,350 of total benefits, paid out over 39 weeks. That's the pre-tax numbers keep in mind, and those numbers assume your state does 26 weeks max (most do).
To figure out your approx benefits, you just have to adjust the variables for when you can prove you got laid off or were otherwise effected, how much your state approves you for weekly, and your state's normal max weeks of payout.
I know it might seem complicated. Hope that helps though. This is really good news for many people struggling right now. If you have an example and want to see the math, lemme know. I'll try and do an approximation for you, best I can.