How COVID-19 has impacted Unemployment

If you are a Massachusetts resident you can apply for employment benefits here:

Unemployment has increased as a direct consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.However, there have been many struggles when trying to receive unemployment benefits.

1. Many people have been denied unemployment benefits. One reason is because every state has its own minimum requirements to qualify for government assistance. 

2. Due to the increased number of job loss, unemployment claims have skyrocketed. As of January 2021 there have been a total of 965,000 people seeking unemployment benefits.

3. States have struggled to deliver benefits on time. 

“The reasons are manifold: In some states, it’s computer reprogramming. In others, application backlogs caused by staffing shortages mean applications from months ago are still languishing in the queue.”(Forbes Advisor,2021) 

 This is also discussed in Boston’s Local NPR , GBH news,“address[ing] an unprecedented nationwide fraud scheme … may unfortunately slow the process of claimants receiving benefits”, The Department of Unemployment Assistance acknowledged.

4. There are a number of programs available right now. Making it difficult to figure out which ones an individual may qualify for.Additionally, slowing administrative processes.

  • Your states own Unemployment Benefits (UI)
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

5. Though illegal, individuals face income discrimination when searching for an apartment or home. People have been turned away when searching for a new place to live due to their source of income being unemployment benefits

6. Some people will not be receiving money back during tax season. Contrary, many will owe the government money as a result of collecting unemployment during the pandemic.