Unemployment filing tips during coronavirus pandemic

The stimulus bill made some notable expansions to unemployment benefits

Unemployment in the U.S. has skyrocketed since the onslaught of the coronavirus, with the economy losing more than 700,000 jobs in March, according to Labor Department data released Friday.

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Labor attorney Stephanie Lewis told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Friday that since the unemployment field is so saturated, and job centers are shut down, the best way to receive benefits is by filing online.

Lewis said employees should have their Social Security information on hand, as well as information on their employer and coronavirus-related layoff.

CAN YOU APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE ON CORONAVIRUS FURLOUGH?

“Make sure that you have all of that information available when you initially file because the volume of claims is so high that you don't want delays from having [a] lack of information at the time of your initial filing,” she said.

Department of Labor visitors are turned away at the door due to closures over coronavirus concerns, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Since the volume of workers attempting to file is “intense,” Lewis said many of the unemployment systems are crashing. To relieve congestion, the state of New York is requiring employees to file by last name on scheduled days of the week.

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Lewis noted that unemployment benefits have been expanded since the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill was passed. The legislation allows people to claim an additional $600 in unemployment benefits each week for up to four months.

“It's a huge relief for workers who have been affected by this crisis,” she said. “And it's really giving a lot of relief to businesses too.”

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