Unemployment Insurance Applications Skyrocket in the US

Last modified: January 22, 2021

The number of people applying for unemployment insurance is on the rise across the US, largely due to the coronavirus outbreak

In Ohio alone, the state government revealed that the number of applications has tripled since last week. Meanwhile, in Washington State, calls received by the Unemployment Law Project increased by 150% last week, executive director John Tirpak said. 

Tirpak added that most of these calls were from people with customer-facing jobs, either in restaurants or airlines. Yet, as more institutions and businesses shut down, he expects more calls from people who will be hit by the virus outbreak. 

Experts reminded that unemployment insurance can help keep one’s financial footing steady during a crisis, yet they warned that the application process is not that easy. 

There are many restrictions concerning unemployment insurance and the rules may vary depending on your state. For instance, each state has different requirements for how long you need to be employed to get coverage. The duration of the unemployment benefit and the amount of money you’ll get also depend on your employment status. 

Although states are trying to figure out how to implement the varying and changing unemployment insurance rules, Tirpak told workers that it was not a good time to quit jobs; preserving them was definitely the wiser choice at this moment. 

He also assured everyone that the concerned authorities were trying to do the right things. New York and California were handling the situation better than most. According to Michele Evermore of the National Employment Law Project, some states are slower to adopt since they haven’t felt the effects of the outbreak just yet. 

To make matters worse, reports found that state unemployment agencies may not be able to handle recessions. As of the moment, several states already decreased the number of weeks covered by unemployment insurance, all the while denying claims frequently and increasing application requirements.

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