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Help for unemployed in the stimulus bill

Jennifer Lewke
Updated: March 26, 2020 06:31 PM
Created: March 26, 2020 04:50 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving its mark on the U.S. economy.  

More than 3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, which more than quadruples the previous record set in 1982.

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New York has been particularly hard-hit since an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down all non-essential businesses last week.

The new federal Stimulus bill will offer major relief to those who’ve lost their jobs.  

“If you're unemployed, the federal government will pay your full salary… remunerate you, for most people... if your salary is very high you won't get your full salary but you will get a good, good chunk of it and they will pay it for four months,” Senator Chuck Schumer said on a conference call with reporters.

As part of the new $2 trillion stimulus package, the federal government will give everyone on unemployment an additional $600 per week for the next four months. That $600 is on top of the benefit a claimant gets from the state.

So, in some cases, people will be making more money on unemployment than they were when they were working.

In addition to the extra cash, the federal government has created a new program that will allow independent contractors and those who are self-employed to apply for benefits too.  

The bill also extends the number of weeks a person is eligible for benefits. 

In New York, it will go from 26 weeks to 39 weeks, the additional 13 weeks will be completely funded by the feds.

A spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Labor said, “We are still getting details and guidance from the Federal Government on the Assistance and we will be posting information to our website with many of these frequently asked questions. We will let you know as soon as it is live.”


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