Unemployment claims have surged in the wake of the coronavirus quarantines.

While states fielded hundreds of thousands of unemployment filings over the week of March 8, economists project that these numbers will grow by an order of magnitude in the coming weeks. Many expect between 1 million and 4 million new jobless claims by the end of March, numbers which don’t even account for workers ineligible for unemployment benefits. 

As businesses shut down across the country and citizens are told to shelter in place until the worst of this virus has passed, millions of Americans find themselves needing to suddenly understand the unemployment system. It’s okay to look for help, even if you didn’t think you would ever need to file for unemployment benefits or enroll in Medicaid. These systems exist to buffer Americans at a time like this.


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