How to find a job, unemployment insurance during coronavirus pandemic

31 Mar

Suddenly losing your job is unsettling at any time, but it's especially scary during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the unemployment rate likely to skyrocket, COVID-19 is turning out to be an economic wrecking ball.

"Almost every company and almost every sector has been hurt, so it really makes this a very, very different experience for the job seeker," says David Lewis, founder and CEO of OperationsInc, a Norwalk, Connecticut-based human resources consultancy with more than 1,000 clients in 50 states.

"The last thing a job seeker wants to hear in a normal economy is be patient, and it’s the best advice I can start off with for someone who is finding themselves unemployed in this market."

Still, there are you suddenly find yourself unemployed.

File for unemployment benefits

Unemployment insurance is a collaboration between the federal government and state governments to help provide some compensation to people who are trying to get a job but can't find one. As soon as you lose your job, contact your state's unemployment insurance program to begin the process. Visit this page to get started.

The good news is that bipartisan legislation making its way swiftly through Congress is likely to increase average weekly unemployment compensation by about $600 for four months. 

Lost a gig? A new option is on the way

So-called "gig economy" workers, such as Uber drivers and freelance contractors, are typically not eligible for unemployment insurance. But a new program in the federal legislation, if passed, would provide unprecedented jobless benefits to self-employed workers and contractors.

Stay tuned for details on how to sign up for these benefits, but there's a good chance you'll do so through the typical unemployment insurance program in your state.

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