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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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