Federal aid could soon be on its way to Americans who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis.
According to state officials, some jobless people could soon receive their enhanced unemployment benefits as part of the $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law nearly two weeks ago to help bolster an economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting this week, qualifying residents in New York are expected to get their first weekly payment of $600 — which is in addition to state benefits — as well as up to 13 weeks of extended benefits. New Jersey also intends to send out payments this week, but a spokesperson for the state’s Labor Department indicated that it may take longer.
Georgia and Missouri will begin delivering payments the week of April 12, followed by Indiana the week of April 19. States including Ohio, Oregon and Texas are still working on the rollout process, and many states have yet to release a time frame for sending out assistance to the unemployed.
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While some states will provide a single check, others could route the state and federal benefits separately. For many, the aid could come just before May 1.
On Friday, the Labor Department reported the first decline in payrolls in nearly a decade, with March’s jobs report reflecting only the beginning of a labor market collapse spurred by the novel coronavirus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. employers slashed 701,000 payrolls last month — the first drop since September 2010 — while the unemployment rate jumped to 4.4%.
Most of the data was collected in the first half of March, just before the states and localities across the country imposed broad shutdowns and stay-at-home orders to help stem the spread of COVID-19, which has sickened nearly 400,000 people and killed at least 12,900 in the U.S.
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