Senate stimulus package "unemployment on steroids" for millions of jobless
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs as many businesses around the country temporarily close or reduce their hours because of the coronavirus pandemic. To soften the blow, the Senate late Wednesday passed a stimulus bill to help workers and businesses. Here's what you need to know about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act if you've filed for unemployment.
What's new about these unemployment benefits?
The $2 trillion package gives more money to unemployed workers for an extended period of time. It also covers more workers than traditional unemployment insurance has in the past. It's extra funding that Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer calls "unemployment on steroids."
How much extra money are we talking?
Unemployed workers will get up to $600 per week on top of what they get from state benefits. That's an unprecedented boost in money that will get most Americans close to their usual paycheck amount, said unemployment insurance expert Christopher J. O'Leary at the W.E. Upjohn Institute. The average unemployment check is less than $400 per week, O'Leary said. The low range is $144 in Tennessee and the high is $515 in Massachusetts.
The $600 payout was a point of criticism among some Republican senators Wednesday, arguing that the amount could give some Americans more pay than they would normally get from working in their jobs. Democrats and many other Republicans rejected that line of thinking, saying that few workers would benefit in that fashion and that any ...
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