Americans, who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak, will start getting enhanced unemployment benefits as soon as this week depending on where they live, said US state officials. The enhanced benefits come as states start implementing the historic enhancement of unemployment benefits, which was announced as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.
Coronavirus cases in the United States soared to 406,697 on Tuesday, with deaths touching almost 14,000. The United States is the new coronavirus epicenter. The US government announced a $2.2 trillion coronavirus package on March 27 to help the economy get back on its feet.
Enhanced benefits for US jobless
US state officials said that the people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak need not wait much as they will start getting the enhanced benefits as soon as this week. This includes a $600 weekly increase for up to four months. This is above the state benefits already in place. The enhanced jobless aid totals to $260 billion.
The additional $600 was approved by the Congress as part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that was signed into law by US President Donald Trump. Among the earliest beneficiaries will be the unemployed in New York, which has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. However, laid-off workers in majority of the states will be getting the full amount due, retroactive to as early as March 29.
Possibility of delay in many states
States had to wait for the Department of Labor to issue guidance on the extra funds, which will be covered by the US government. The guidance came only late last week, almost seven days after the bill was signed by Trump.
However, many states still don't have a timetable for the enhanced benefits, which covers people who lost their jobs or had to stop working following the coronavirus outbreak. As of now, the jobless in New York seems to be lucky ones who are likely to start getting the additional benefits from this week, said the Department of Labor. Those filing for new claims are likely to start receiving both the state and the extra federal payments in two to three weeks.
New Jersey too is expecting to get the extra funds from this week but it isn't assured. Missouri and Georgia too are expected to start sending out the additional $600 from the week starting April 12, while Indiana will follow a week later. Other states like Maine, Ohio, Minnesota and California are yet to ascertain a timetable for enhanced funds to be distributed .