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How one week can cost you lots of unemployment income

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

One of the very first things that I recommend for anyone who has been laid off is to immediately apply for unemployment. If you need an overview on how to do this, please read this blog post. Immediately filing is critical because there normally is a waiting period to process your unemployment benefits. And if you delay applying, you delay the length of time it will take to actually receive your unemployment application and benefits (payments).

  • When I last applied for unemployment benefits in Texas, there was a two-week waiting period.

  • When I researched the waiting period for Colorado, my current residential state, the unemployment benefits site said there is a four- to six-week waiting period.

Many have asked me, “What’s the big deal with waiting a week to file?”

I don’t know about you, but procrastination for me can easily turn into one week, then two and so on. And every time I’ve procrastinated about something important, my stress only increased. In this case, if you wait too long, not only will you delay receiving your unemployment benefits, but you could miss out on some of the new $600 weekly unemployment payments that are being added to your normal state unemployment benefits.

Yes, you read this correctly.

The U.S. federal government is adding an additional $600 weekly payment on top of your state’s unemployment benefit, thanks to Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an emergency program established by the CARES Act.

  • As an example, this means that if you receive a weekly benefit of $500 from your state’s unemployment department, that benefit automatically increases to $1100 weekly, thanks to the additional $600 weekly supplement.

  • The extra $600 weekly payment is a limited benefit that expires on July 31, 2020, so you want to tap into it as soon as possible. I found a great New York Time’s article that has an extensive FAQ about the $600 payments. You can also find more FAQs about the $600 payments on the U.S. Department of Labor’s site.

If you haven’t filed for unemployment yet, know that you still can seize the day and file. I’ve heard that it can be frustrating these days because of extended wait times and reading through all of the rules, but it’s totally worth it! Trust me – a small inconvenience today can relieve a ton of stress down the road. 😊

Always sending positive thoughts your way,


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