Millions are still waiting for unemployment checks


A month of unemployment has passed and Kyle Quigley from Portland has not yet received an unemployment check from the state of Oregon. The unemployed restaurant waiter said he submitted, waited and waited for his jobless application on March 16, and then received a letter by mail two weeks ago.

He said state officials wanted more information about Quigley’s professional history this year and asked him to submit additional documents. He did it, but never heard of it.

“Now I’m just waiting for something [else]I think, “said Quigley, 25th.” I mean, I didn’t think it would take that long. “

Quigley is one of an estimated 6.2 million Americans who have applied for unemployment benefits to their states last month but have not yet received a first payment. This is the result of an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, which contains data on the US Department of Labor’s claim to unemployment.

Nationwide, more than 22 million workers have applied for unemployment Last month the Department of Labor said Thursday that 5.2 million of them had only applied for unemployment last week.

Economists predict the national unemployment rate will double-digit next month as more companies close and Americans stay in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“As bad as the current unemployment rate is, it is likely to get worse before it gets better,” EPI said in a research report Thursday. “We believe that the short-term job loss could exceed 30 million [by the end of June] even taking into account the existing aid measures. “

New Jersey’s 21-year-old Aria Cueva lost her part-time job in a boutique on March 23 when Cueva’s boss called and said that all employees would be on indefinite leave. She is still waiting for her first check by the state unemployment system.

Aria Cueva

Americans are waiting for payments at a time when they should see more unemployment benefits than they would normally get. The CARES Act, which was passed in late March to provide $ 2 trillion in financial relief, will provide an additional $ 600 a week to people who have been unemployed for up to 39 weeks. Some states, including Pennsylvania, have already started handing out the extra money.

Aria Cueva, who lives in New Jersey and lost her part-time job in a boutique on March 23, is another of the millions who are still waiting. In Garden State, unemployed residents have flooded the unemployment system so quickly that Governor Phil Murphy asks for volunteers who know COBOL, a 40-year-old computer programming language that still supports the state’s outdated unemployment benefit systems.

Cueva’s application was accepted and she should start receiving weekly benefits two weeks ago. When she went online to claim weekly benefits, the system informed her that the money was “not payable at the time” and gave her a phone number to call. Cueva, 21, said she called the number more than 100 times.

“All I get is either a busy signal or a robo voice that I can call back tomorrow,” she said. “It’s just frustrating.”