Roughly 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last month while the coronavirus pandemic upended the U.S. economy. But those numbers only account for people who’ve been able to get past site crashes, never-ending wait times by phone, and other logistical challenges in order to file an unemployment claim with their state office.
On top of the surge in activity, it’s taken several weeks for the U.S. Department of Labor to issue guidance to states, which administer unemployment programs, and for states to start distributing boosted unemployment checks to a wider pool of workers as part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill.
In this particular period in history, getting an unemployment check isn’t good just for you, but it’s good for the local economy, and it’s an important public health measure. You need to take these benefits and not be making ends meet by going out to work.