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In the wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act to offer financial support for workers whose incomes were harmed by social distancing and the economic recession (depression?) which followed.  However, the State of Utah did not offer unemployment insurance to independent contractors, self-employed workers, Etsy sellers, Uber drivers, etc.

So, today, Utah launched a new “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” — in addition to what is, now, being called “Traditional Unemployment Insurance.”

So, whatever your employment situation, if you lost income due to COVID-19 — or are sick with the illness itself — this program is here to help you and your family.

You should apply for the new “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” if you lost income due to COVID-19 and…

  • Are self-employed, an independent contractor, or working in the “gig economy;” or,
  • Lack sufficient work history to qualify for “Traditional” unemployment benefits; or,
  • Are employed by an organization exempt from unemployment taxes, such as a church or religious institution; or,
  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 — or have a member of their household that has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

As you can see, this is a pretty wide safety-net that Congress has cast, trying to help everyone in this troubling health and economic environment. If you’ve lost income, you should probably apply.

The assistance is designed to go on for many weeks longer than “Traditional Unemployment Insurance” did. In addition to the money the State of Utah would normally offer unemployed workers — which, in these cases, maybe zero — the federal government will still add $600 per week to each person. Plus, the financial assistance applies for many weeks longer than Traditional Unemployment Insurance normally would.

The reason for the $600 amount is that the average salary in the U.S. is about $1,000 per week. Traditional unemployment insurance supplies about 40% of a person’s salary. So, Congress is supplying the remaining 60% — or $600 per week. The money for Traditional insurance is paid out via direct deposit or debit cards. In Utah, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will be paid through paper checks.

To apply, or to learn more, go here:

As you’ll see in the instructions there, if you can apply for “Traditional” unemployment, then you should.

With active COVID-19 infections found in Sevier County, the Richfield Mall wishes you and your family well. We hope this information will be a help to you and yours.

Please share! Stay home and stay well!