CHICAGO (CBS) — The Coronavirus crisis has led to unprecedented levels of unemployment as businesses across Illinois have been forced to close.
We’re collecting resources for unemployed workers and small business owners looking for ways to cope during the pandemic.
Illinois Unemployment Benefits
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation: Unemployed workers can get $600 per week in addition to regular unemployment payments. Money started going out during the last week of march, and current unemployment recipients will start receiving money automatically.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation: Unemployment recipients can get 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits during the crisis.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: People who wouldn’t typically get unemployment benefits — gig workers, independent contractors and tip workers — are eligible for unemployment under new guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. Officials say this program is still being rolled out, but workers will get their funds retroactively once payments are sent.
Federal Stimulus Checks
Individuals are eligible for payments of at least $1,200 from the U.S. Treasury Department as part of the CARES Act. People who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 will receive their checks as soon as April 15, but people who don’t normally file tax returns can apply here.
New Job Openings
Some companies are still hiring — we’re tracking new openings as we hear about them here.
Drug maker Bristol Myers Squibb is expanding their Patient Support Program, which gives all of their medications to recipients for free. If you’ve lost health coverage due to COVID-19 and need vital medicine, call 1-800-721-8909 or apply online
Small Business Owners
Paycheck Protection Program loans: Congress set aside $349 billion for small businesses to help keep employees on their payroll. The loans will be fully forgiven if 75 percent of the amount is used for payroll.
Click here for a list of participating lenders.
SBA Express Bridge Loans: The SBA is also offering Express Bridge Loans to businesses that have already applied for disaster loans. The program offers up to $25,000 for short-term funding until businesses receive their disaster loans. A full list of SBA Express lenders is here.
Employee Retention Tax Credits: Fully refundable tax credits for employers equal to 50 percent of wages that they pay their employees. Wages paid between March 12 and January 1, 2021 are covered, and the maximum credit for any employee is $5,000.