Federal Stimulus Bill Includes Updates to Unemployment Benefits

Waived Waiting Periods, Extended Benefits, Inclusion of New Categories of Workers Part of Bill

Senator Dianne Feinstein at the Canary Hotel | Credit: Paul Wellman/S.B. Independent

In a unanimous vote on Wednesday evening, the United States Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus package to boost the economy amid the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic that has pushed millions of workers into unemployment and shuttered businesses across the country. It now awaits passage in the House of Representatives. 

California Senator Dianne Feinstein sent out an email on Thursday afternoon highlighting some of the most important information for those who are currently unemployed or have had their hours cut as a result of the pandemic. The press release included the following updates: 

  • Paycheck replacement: $600 per week increase above normal benefits for four months. That allows coverage for average Americans equal to their paychecks during the pandemic.
  • Waiving waiting periods: Encourages states to eliminate all waiting periods before individuals can receive benefits.
  • Extension of benefits: Automatically adds an additional 13 weeks of federally funded unemployment insurance to state coverage.
  • Includes more workers: Allows part-time, self-employed and gig economy workers to access unemployment insurance.

Those wishing to file for unemployment can do so here Sunday 5 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Monday 4 a.m.-10 p.m., Tuesday-Friday 2 a.m.-10 p.m. and Saturday 2 a.m.-8 p.m. 

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