These state and federal benefits can soften COVID-19 impacts on Puget Sound workers

The federal government recently launched the third wave of coronavirus relief aid, totaling more than $2 trillion which includes direct payments to taxpayers and expanded unemployment benefits.

The third wave of federal help comes as nearly 1 million workers in the Puget Sound region are at immediate or near-term risk of losing their jobs, according to study by the Seattle-based research firm Community Attributes Inc.

Commissioned by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the study predicted very near-term wage reductions or at least temporary layoffs in about 40 percent of the approximately 2 million jobs in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The economic shock “will take many months and beyond to recover from,” the study said.

The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package gives furloughed and laid off workers (which includes gig economy workers and freelancers) federal unemployment benefits for up to four months and adds $600 to weekly unemployment checks – in addition to state unemployment benefits they might already be receiving.

Senate Minority Leader and Senator from New York Chuck Schumer called it “unemployment compensation on steroids.”

The bill also temporarily expands unemployment coverage to people who want to work but can’t because they’re sick or caring for a family member who is sick.

For details on the first two waves of federal coronavirus relief, click here.

For information on Washington state benefits related to coronavirus, click here.

Emery Reddy helps workers. Call us if you have an L&I, workers’ comp, injury, or other employment law claim. You won’t get better advice.

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