Jobless Americans Get Extra Unemployment Benefits Under Coronavirus Bill

May 5, 2020

People eligible for unemployment benefits are starting to see an extra $600 a week from the federal government. That's due to Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. 

People who receive regular unemployment insurance, pandemic unemployment compensation, work share or trade readjustment allowances are eligible for the additional $600

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Leslie Hodges, a postdoctoral research associate at UW-Madison, says there are about 300,000 workers in Wisconsin currently receiving unemployment benefits. And they're all eligible for the additional money. 

In Wisconsin, Hodges says the average amount someone gets per week is about $320. But she says that's less than half of what they would usually earn in a week — someone would usually earn about $850.

"By getting this extra $600, they're getting brought up to what they would just normally make in a week or maybe a little bit more. And in terms of being able to pay your rent, being able to pay utility bills, being able to put food on the table, having that income is super important. I can't imagine it being anything but beneficial to those families."

According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, the extra $600 a week from the CARES Act will last through July. 

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