COVID-19 unemployment insurance covers more workers

Are you a gig worker, self-employed or work fewer hours than usually needed to qualify for unemployment? You may soon be able to apply for COVID-19 unemployment insurance payments. That’s the advice of Washington State Employment Security. The CARES Act, a part of the new federal stimulus legislation, covers many workers not usually eligible. Just signed into law the state is still translating the legislation to fit with our own rules and procedures.

Employment Security expects to be ready to accept your applications by mid-April. The fact that the system is not ready does not count against you. Benefits start on the date you are eligible, rather than the date you apply.

The best way to determine when to file is to sign up for the state COVID-19 action alert.

Of course, if you already qualify for unemployment relief under current state laws, apply now. As you may have heard, an additional $600 per week will be added to each unemployment check through July 31, 2020.