Extra unemployment benefits update: Here’s the latest on which states are paying and what to expect
Is my check on the way?
That depends which check you’re talking about. The new COVID-19 relief bill includes four chunks of unemployment cash. Try to follow me here:
Which one of these do I qualify for, and how much will I receive?
That is a question for your accountant, local tax professional, or crystal ball reader.
If I do qualify, is my check on the way?
That depends on whether you live in a state where the state unemployment system has its $#*t together. Each state has its own system, which will pay you on its own timeline. Though the $300 weekly payments are federal payments, they are routed through state systems. So far, California, New York, Arizona, Rhode Island, Washington, and Tennessee are sending out payments.
To find out the status of your state, visit your state’s department of labor or Google “[your state] unemployment.”
Is there any reason that I might not get a check?
Of course! Have I mentioned that the bill outlining these programs is 5,600 pages? What could possibly go wrong?
What are some snafus that might snag my payments?
The PUA extension requires proof of unemployment, which can be tricky to acquire for gig workers and independent contractors, particularly if they were paid in cash, or if the businesses they worked for no longer exist; also, people who earned both W2 and 1099 money will now receive either PUA or unemployment insurance payouts, whichever is greater—which is a headache for your state and for you. As too many desperate Americans discovered in 2020, unemployment checks are easily waylaid by minor errors such as a typo in a birthdate or name, leaving numerous people at the mercy of understaffed local unemployment offices. Good luck.