The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act saw the Treasury Department send $1,200 stimulus checks to millions of eligible Americans. What many citizens might not know though is that those checks aren't the ones available to them, in fact, a lot of people can get an additional $2,400 - and they can do it every month.
It's all thanks to a part of the CARES Act called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which lets unemployed Americans get an additional $600 per week on top of their state's unemployment benefits. With nearly 15% of the workforce out of jobs, that's a huge amount of people who might be able to get some extra cash.
In fact, since two programs have been set up, Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, an unemployed person could get the additional benefits for 39 weeks for a total of $23,400.
So who gets it? It depends on your state since each state has different rules, but if you are out of work through no fault of your own and you met the wage requirements for a base period, you're eligible. To find out the guidelines in your state, head here.
Meanwhile, you might be able to get some money even if you don't qualify for your state's unemployment insurance. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance also works for people who were scheduled to begin a job but couldn't because of COVID-19, people who had a job offer rescinded, gig workers, people caring for a family member with coronavirus, people unable to work because they didn't have childcare for their out-of-school kids, and others.
Best of all, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance isn't calculated based on your earnings, it's the same for everyone who qualifies.
To apply, head to your state's unemployment insurance application site - even if you don't qualify for state unemployment benefits. You may need to submit documents like a tax return, 1099 forms, W-2s or pay stubs. If you do wind up getting any benefits, make sure you either withhold some or save up since you will have to pay taxes on them next year.
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