Last month, the US unemployment rate decreased to 3.5 percent in February of 2020 from 3.6 percent in the previous month. The number of unemployed people decreased by 105 thousand to 5.79 million while employment rose by 45 thousand to 158.76 million.
Then came the coronavirus.
Restaurants, hotels, retail businesses, and more have closed their doors, and people living on the edge of working two part-time jobs to make ends meet have found themselves struggling. Most employers pay into the unemployment insurance tax trust, and anyone who’s lost a job due to coronavirus can apply. Anyone can file on the website, https://www.dol.ks.gov/.
The maximum weekly benefit amount is $488 a week, with 16 maximum weeks of benefits and maximum amount of $7584. The minimum weekly amount is always 25 percent of the maximum, or about $122 a week. Unemployment claims have increased by 600 percent this week alone.
Applicants need to have the following items ready when they go online to apply for benefits:
• Social security number
• Name, Birthdate and Contact Information
• Names, dates worked for, and mailing addresses of employers you worked for over your base period or 18 months.
• Citizen status /work Authorization
• Account or Routing Numbers of your bank or union for Direct Deposit
• SF-8 for federal employees
• DD-214 form for ex-military people
• Name and number of the union for those who find work as part of one
Employees can apply if an employer has to close up because there’s no work to assign, hours are reduced to business slowdown, or because a worker gets sick and others have to quarantine.
Kansas Secretary of Labor Delia Garcia released the COVID response web page, at www.dol.ks.gov/covid19response.
Gov. Laura Kelly signed an executive order on March 17 banning evictions and mortgage foreclosures through May 1 or until the state of disaster emergency expires. The City of Gardner and the City of Edgerton have stopped all water cut-offs.
Please check websites for up to the minute information.