Here’s How Much You’ll Get From the New Unemployment Benefits

Ha ha. Just kidding. You can find dozens of stories telling you how much to expect from the one-shot $1,200 stimulus checks. Here, here, and here, for example. You can also find dozens—or hundreds—of stories about low-wage workers who have suddenly lost their jobs and are now terrified because they don’t know how they’ll be able to afford food for their kids, let alone rent and utilities.

But what you won’t find are dozens or hundreds of stories explaining how much money people can expect from the expanded UI benefits in the coronavirus rescue bill. Or explaining that for a great many people UI benefits will completely replace their usual income. Or that this is good through June.

As a result, lots of people don’t know about this. They don’t realize that they don’t have to be terrified. The next week or two will be tough, but at least there’s something to look forward to if they can make it through the middle of the month. For example, here are approximate unemployment benefits in California before and after the $600 top-up from the rescue bill:

Under the stimulus bill, UI benefits, including the $600 bonus, are even available to freelancers and gig workers who don’t normally qualify for unemployment benefits. Don’t you think a lot of people would have their minds put at ease if they knew this? I do.

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