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After leaving Americans in anxious suspense over Christmas, President Donald Trump has finally signed the coronavirus relief bill. This bill includes funding for expanded unemployment benefits, although they’re greatly reduced from those provided by the CARES Act (which provided a flat benefit of $600 per week). The maximum weekly bonus you can receive is a flat $300.
Use this calculator to estimate the total weekly unemployment benefits you could qualify for under the Consolidated Appropriations Act.
How Much Weekly Unemployment Might You Receive With The $300 Federal Boost?
Disclaimer: This calculator uses the average weekly state benefit amount reported by the Department of Labor (from Jan 2020 to Oct 2020) to calculate total unemployment compensation. You may be eligible for more or less than this amount. Use this tool as an estimate and consult with your state labor department to learn whether you qualify for unemployment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About The $300 Bonus Unemployment Benefit
Is what I see in the calculator the exact amount I will receive?
No. This calculator shows the average weekly unemployment payment in your state, plus the boost included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act. You may qualify for more or less than that amount. Refer to your state’s unemployment website to learn more about how much you might receive and whether you qualify. This calculator should be used as an estimate only.
Do I have to pay taxes on unemployment compensation?
Yes. Unemployment benefits are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). That means unemployment benefits are always subject to federal taxes, but state taxes on the benefits vary depending on the state in which you reside. When enrolling in jobless benefits, fill out a Form W-4V to request a flat 10% be withheld from your unemployment compensation. And remember: While that will cover many people’s tax obligations, depending on your total income, 10% might not be enough.
How long will I receive the additional weekly benefit under the executive order?
Initially, the bill accounted for 11 weeks of this additional benefit but because of the delay in signing the bill, this may now be 10 weeks. It’s not yet clear when states will roll these benefits out, but the additional $300 is slated to cover the weeks starting from Dec. 26, 2020 and ending on or before March 14, 2021. However, you’re unlikely to see this money in your unemployment check for at least another few weeks; states need guidance from the Department of Labor on how to implement the bonus payments.
How do I apply for unemployment benefits?
Every state runs its own unemployment program. Find your state at CareerOneStop, the Labor Department’s jobs resource website, and it will route you to your state’s unemployment website, where you can learn specific enrollment information.
What if I’ve run out of unemployment already?
You may be able to qualify for additional state and federal benefits. The Consolidated Appropriations Act increases the number of weeks you can stay on regular state unemployment benefits to 50 weeks.
What happens when these expanded benefits end?
So far, no one knows. President-elect Joe Biden has called for a third round of coronavirus economic relief after he’s inaugurated on Jan. 20.
However, whether there will be more help, or how much of it there will be, will likely depend on the Senate run-off elections in Georgia in January. Democrats need to win both seats to secure a narrow majority in the Senate. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell also welcomed the bipartisan agreement on the Consolidated Appropriations Act but hasn’t expressed a desire to pass additional stimulus in the near future.