CARES Act Unemployment Benefits ExplainedSubmitted by The Blueprint 360 | Financial Clarity Within Reach on April 10th, 2020
Unemployment Benefits under the CARES ACT
If you have found yourself recently unemployed, the CARES Act has several provisions that can assist. From the expansion of unemployment benefits, to the creation of new loans and grants administered by the Small Business Association, there is something for everyone affected. Here is a summary of the unemployment rules under the law.
Unemployment benefits have been enhanced and will now cover self-employed individuals, independent contractors, freelancers, members of the gig economy, and individuals who are still employed but have had their hours reduced. Individuals who have not found work at the conclusion of the regular unemployment period can extended their benefits for an additional 13 weeks.
Determining your Weekly Check
Unemployment benefits vary from State to State. To determine your benefit, you will need to check with your State. In Texas, you are eligible to receive up to $454 for up to 26 weeks. Your weekly check is determined by taking your highest earning quarter for the past year and dividing it by twenty-five.
Due to the CARES Act, States now have the ability to increase their unemployment benefits by $600 per week with federally funded dollars for up to four months. This has the potential to increase weekly unemployment compensation to over $1,000 if your last year’s earnings were over $40,000.
Let’s take a look at an example:
Jane worked for an ad agency making $80,000/yr. and lost her job due to coronavirus related layoffs. She applies for, and is awarded, unemployment through the State of Texas. How much will she receive?
- $1,054 for the first 17 weeks (Federal bonus of $600 + State max of $454)
- $454 for the next 9 weeks (remember, Federal bonus of $600 only lasts for 4 months)
- If she is still unemployed after 26 weeks, she will continue to receive $454 for the next 13 weeks due to the CARES Act extension.
If you have lost money due to the coronavirus, I encourage you to file for unemployment as soon as possible. I can’t guarantee that your application will be approved, but the likelihood is high. Even if you have not lost your job, all that is required is that you have lost income.