The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.
As unemployment claims around the country skyrocket to unprecedented numbers due to the coronavirus — nearly 3.3 million people have filed claims, a record — state labor departments have been overwhelmed with a wave of new applications from recently laid-off workers.
BuzzFeed News, in the chart below, has cobbled together information on where to find unemployment benefits for every state in the US.
First, it’s important to know whether you qualify for unemployment benefits: If you are laid off or furloughed, you should qualify, Richard Cecchi, a certified public accountant based in Babylon, New York, said.
Still, closely review the information from your state’s labor department about who qualifies and what you need if you want to apply, especially if you’re filing for unemployment for the first time. Those are the websites we put into the second column of the table below, right next to the first column that contains each state name.
If you do not have access to the internet, state departments offer assistance on the phone.
Many of the websites used to administer the application process have crashed under sudden influx. Experts told Bloomberg News that people would eventually get their benefits, though it’s unclear how these benefits would be funded. Between 11 and 21 states could be depleting their unemployment insurance reserves depending on how severe the economic fallout of the coronavirus will be, according to one study about the impact of the coronavirus on unemployment benefits.
Additionally, you should see whether your state’s labor department has issued policies around job losses that are related to the coronavirus on its website — a lot of the rules are currently changing.
The Senate passed a stimulus package that would provide expanded unemployment insurance benefits and put a $1,200 check in nearly every US citizen's pocket. This would be in addition to what state governments offer.