THE coronavirus pandemic continues to take its human toll as millions of US workers continue to look for jobs while hundreds of businesses remain closed.
Although the jobless rate dipped to 8.4 percent in August from its peak of 14.7 percent, out-of-work Americans are still seeking unemployment benefits to hold them over until their next gig.
But how much money are jobless workers getting during the pandemic, and how do they apply for the funds?
How much are unemployment benefits?
There's no standard dollar amount for unemployment benefits - the eligible amount each individual receives is determined by the state where they live.
Nearly all states use your recent work history and earnings during a one-year "base period" to determine whether a person is eligible for benefits.
In most states, the base period is the earliest four of the five complete calendar quarters before you filed your unemployment claim, according to Nolo.
In March, Congress passed a $2.2trillion coronavirus aid bill - known as the CARES Act - that included an additional $600 in unemployment benefits.
But since the extension on the COVID-19 jobless benefit expired on July 31, lawmakers continue to remain at odds about how much longer to provide the extra cash and exactly how much.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in August that would give those on unemployment an extra $400 weekly after the $600 guarantee expired.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced in September that more than 40 states will offer an additional $300 benefit to people on unemployment.
How can I apply for unemployment benefits?
There's no federal system for unemployment benefits, so to receive them you'll first have to apply through your state's individual system.
Claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online, according to the Department of Labor.
First, select your state in the Unemployment Benefits Finder and follow the links to find details on your state's program.
Next, be sure that you're filing a claim with the state where you worked.
If you worked in multiple states or in one different from where you live now, contact the respective unemployment agency for more info on how to file in different states.
Once your application is filed, you'll be asked for certain information like your address and dates of your former employment.
To ensure you get your money in a timely manner, give complete and accurate info.
Is more unemployment assistance on the way?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday reportedly called on Democratic leaders to draft a new coronavirus stimulus bill.
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The anticipated legislation would include a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks and financial assistance to restaurants and airlines, according to The Washington Post.
According to the report, the $2.4trillion bill will hopefully "include stimulus checks, aid for airlines, small businesses, cities and states, as well as rental assistance, unemployment assistance and funds for election security and the U.S. Postal Service."