The Senate Coronavirus Bill Will Replace 100% of Earnings For Most People

You may be curious about just how generous the expanded unemployment insurance benefits are in the Senate rescue bill. I was. First of all, here’s the average unemployment benefit across the nation:

These are not huge payments! Here’s what the Senate bill provides:

  • Your normal UI benefit + $600
  • A minimum of half the average benefit + $600
  • A maximum of 100 percent of your normal income
  • For independent contractors and gig workers, the weekly minimum + $600

In Maine, for example, an above-average worker would likely see their benefit rise from about $450 to $1,000 per week. Low income workers would get an increase from around $250 to $850. Gig workers would go up from $0 to about $750. (All with a cap of 100 percent of your normal earnings.) This would be available through the end of June.

This is a pretty large increase, and for most people will probably replace 100 percent of their income or pretty close to it. Add in the average of $3,000 that most families will get from the “checks for everyone” program, and all but a handful of people will be made entirely whole. The biggest exception is those who didn’t work this year and therefore are ineligible for UI benefits.

If anyone knows of a more detailed analysis of the average amount of income replaced by the rescue bill, let me know. Overall, though, it seems pretty well designed.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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