The Senate Coronavirus Bill Will Replace 100% of Earnings For Most People

You may be curious about just how generous the expanded unemployment insurance benefits are in the Senate rescue bill. I was. First of all, here’s the average unemployment benefit across the nation:

These are not huge payments! Here’s what the Senate bill provides:

  • Your normal UI benefit + $600
  • A minimum of half the average benefit + $600
  • A maximum of 100 percent of your normal income
  • For independent contractors and gig workers, the weekly minimum + $600

In Maine, for example, an above-average worker would likely see their benefit rise from about $450 to $1,000 per week. Low income workers would get an increase from around $250 to $850. Gig workers would go up from $0 to about $750. (All with a cap of 100 percent of your normal earnings.) This would be available through the end of June.

This is a pretty large increase, and for most people will probably replace 100 percent of their income or pretty close to it. Add in the average of $3,000 that most families will get from the “checks for everyone” program, and all but a handful of people will be made entirely whole. The biggest exception is those who didn’t work this year and therefore are ineligible for UI benefits.

If anyone knows of a more detailed analysis of the average amount of income replaced by the rescue bill, let me know. Overall, though, it seems pretty well designed.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate