Topline: Because so many workers are now working in non-traditional arenas, the CARES act provides relief for workers who are self-employed, as well as independent contractors.
- About $250 billion to expand unemployment benefits: The Senate economic relief package provides much-needed support for workers by making a the most significant expansion in unemployment benefits in history.
- Unemployment Benefits for More Americans: The bill will make sure self-employed and independent contractors like Uber drivers and gig workers can receive unemployment, as well as furloughed workers who are unable to work due to coronavirus, which allows workers to stay connected to their jobs.
- More Money for a Longer Period for More Workers: It also makes benefits more generous by adding $600 per week on top of what the state normally pays in unemployment and provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits. And provisions will ensure state and local governments and non-profits can pay unemployment to their employees.
- Temporary Provisions: Most of the unemployment provisions go through the end of 2020, in recognition of the temporary nature of this challenge.
The Details: State unemployment offices are experiencing an unprecedented spike in claims. Texas had more than 37,000 unemployment claims in just the first two weeks of March, compared to just 3,100 claims in the week prior. This would make a tremendous difference for keeping workers afloat.