COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

Coronavirus Updates

The U.S. Department of Labor and other government agencies have resources to help workers and employers respond to impacts of the COVID-19 virus.

Need to file for unemployment? Watch this short video and visit Unemployment Benefits Finder. (Want to share this video? Find ”Link” and “Embed” options on the top right.)


Need to file for unemployment?

Things to know:

Each state runs their own Unemployment Insurance Program, so visit the website of the state where you work.

Find links to your state site using CareerOneStop’s Unemployment Benefits Finder at www.CareerOneStop.org/Unemployment.

Learn about: How to Apply, Benefit Amounts, Eligibility, and more.

Many state websites and phone lines are experiencing extremely high traffic, so if you have difficulty getting to a website or completing your application, here are some tips:

Look for FAQs in your state website; most have specific tips on applying during this busy time.

Be patient and persistent. Continue to attempt to complete your application. Try at different times of the day including early morning or late evening.

You may have heard about new benefits for self-employed and gig workers, plus an additional $600 per week. Be assured: states are working to connect people with benefits as soon as possible.

If you don’t see this new information on your state website right away, you should go ahead and file as directed. Follow instructions to find updated information as it is available.

Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides unemployment benefits, usually in the form of weekly payments, to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own, and meet certain other eligibility requirements. UI is administered jointly by the U.S. Department of Labor and individual states.

In March 2020, new federal law greatly expanded unemployment insurance. Many workers who were not previously covered are now eligible. You may now be eligible if any of the following are true:

  • Your employer permanently or temporarily laid you off due to coronavirus measures
  • Your employer reduced your work hours due to coronavirus measures
  • You are self-employed and have lost income due to coronavirus measures
  • You’re quarantined and can’t work due to coronavirus
  • You’re unable to work due to a risk of exposure to coronavirus
  • You can’t work because you’re caring for a family member due to coronavirus

December 2020 update: New law passed in December 2020 adds both money and extra weeks to unemployment benefits.

  • Extra $300. Everybody who currently qualifies for unemployment benefits will automatically receive an additional $300 per week under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefit, which will be paid for 11 weeks, starting at the end of December through March 14.
  • Extra 11 weeks. The new law also adds an extra 11 weeks to the total number of weeks people can collect unemployment benefits. This is on top of the 13 week extension that had been added by the CARES Act in March 2020, and applies to anyone receiving either state unemployment benefits or pandemic unemployment assistance. If your benefits have already run out, check with your state’s unemployment insurance program to find out if your benefits will be automatically reinstated, or if you need to do anything.
  • Extra $100 for some self-employed individuals. States may also begin offering an additional federal benefit of $100 per week to people who have earned at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income, but don’t receive the self-employment version of unemployment benefits (called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) because they also had a wage-earning job that made them eligible for state unemployment benefits. States have to reach an agreement with the federal government to offer this benefit, so check with your state’s unemployment insurance program to find out if you qualify. If you do, the extra money would be added to the extra $300 weekly benefit, and would also end on March 14.

Find your state’s Unemployment Insurance website for more specific information about how to file. Please note that states are in the process of implementing these new rules and may not have updated information immediately. If you are out of work or have had your hours reduced you should continue to follow your state’s guidelines for filing for unemployment. Many states are experiencing extensive traffic and ask filers to be patient and persistent.

More resources for workers and job seekers during the pandemic

Get help with your job search, learn more about the current job market, and find out about additional benefits you might qualify for at CareerOneStop's Employment Recovery website.

Resources for employers and businesses impacted by the pandemic

Find links to information about loans and more at the CareerOneStop Business Center COVID-19 Resources.

More resources from the U.S. Department of Labor

Federal, state, and local governments continue to develop resources and programs to deliver assistance to those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit Coronavirus Resources from the U.S. Department of Labor for ongoing updates.