NASHVILLE, TN.- The Government’s nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill enacted Friday helps millions of Americans out of work because of the pandemic. 

“This package is going to cover all of those people with pandemic unemployment assistance.--Not just people who are classified as employees,” Government Affairs Director for the National Employment Law Project said.

The Act creates three new federally funded unemployment insurance programs to cover a variety of unemployment situations.

“It will provide $600 extra dollars a week. And it will provide 13 extra weeks of unemployment insurance for state claims. But very importantly, it will also provide unemployment insurance for people who are self-employed. Independent contractors. Gig workers. Freelancers. People who don’t have enough work history to qualify for state unemployment,” Conti said. 

One thing you’ve got to remember is that it will take these benefits 3 weeks to get processed, maybe a little bit longer.

“State unemployment agencies have a lot of reprogramming of their technology that they need to do--plus they’ve got to get the money from the federal government. So it’s going to take a little while to get up and running. But claims will be backdated and paid retroactively and people need to just be a little bit patient with the state agencies,” Conti said.

Chris Cannon with the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued this statement: 

“Federal lawmakers passed the COVID-19 stimulus bill two days ago and the President just signed it into law. Once TDLWD determines how Tennessee will obtain the federal funding and implement the changes, we will announce details for independent contractors, the self-employed and business owners who will soon be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.”

For more information from the National Employment Law Project, click here: 

Unemployment Insurance Provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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