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If you’re out of work due to the coronavirus, the relief bill passed in the Senate last night (and expected to soon pass in the House of Representatives) will offer expanded unemployment benefits.

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If you’re out of work due to the coronavirus, the relief bill passed in the Senate last night (and expected to soon pass in the House of Representatives) will offer expanded unemployment benefits.

The bill offers $600 per week for up to 13 weeks for people who are out of work due to the coronavirus.

People eligible for the $600 payments include self-employed and gig economy workers, part-time workers, and people who can’t go to work due to the coronavirus pandemic. It also includes people who don’t have enough work history to ordinarily qualify for benefits, according to CNBC. Self-employed workers may be eligible to receive 50% of their state’s average benefits on top of the $600 per week from the federal government.

Most states offer about 26 weeks of benefits, but typically only replace 40-45% of a worker’s weekly income. The additional payments from the federal government seek to bridge that gap.

Here are two examples of how it would work for you.

You’re a server and the restaurant you’ve worked at for years is closed right now. You hope to pick up shifts as soon as the restaurant is allowed to reopen. You live in Florida, where you can get unemployment benefits for up to 12 weeks and can get a maximum of $275 per week during that time.

Let’s assume you’re eligible for the entire $275 per week. For the first 12 weeks you get unemployment benefits, you’ll get $875 ($600 from the federal government and and $275 from your state). For week 13, your Florida benefits will end, but you’ll get one more $600 payment.

What if you work in another state that offers a longer period of unemployment benefits? Take Arizona for example: You’re a server there and your restaurant is closed. You’re eligible for up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits with a maximum weekly payment of $240.

For 13 weeks, you’ll receive $840 ($600 from the federal government and $240 from your state). Then, for the next 13 weeks, you’ll just get $240 per week from Arizona.

Of course, if you go back to work before you hit the maximum number of weeks for your unemployment benefits, you won’t get any more payments from your state or the federal government.

Critics of the relief bill have cautioned that the benefits expansion will encourage employers to lay off workers rather than keep them on payrolls through the uncertainty. More than three million people across the country filed for unemployment last week. The $600-per-week payments are supposed to run through the end of July.

Earlier in March, the Labor Department granted states the ability to expand their unemployment programs so people could apply for benefits if the coronavirus prevented them from working. That expansion covers people who can’t work temporarily along with those leaving the workforce during this time.

To apply for unemployment benefits, search for your state in the Benefits.gov directory. But be prepared for the process to take a while: state unemployment offices are reporting a flood of new applicants, resulting in long wait times for callers and website glitches.

Source: How Unemployment Benefits Are Changing With the Senate Coronavirus Relief Bill