More Than 24K Utahns File For New Unemployment Benefits
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There were 24,171 new unemployment claims filed in Utah last week, according to the latest report from the Department of Workforce Services.
The number is down from the previous week, when 33,076 Utahns filed for new benefits. Nationwide, 5.2 million new claims for benefits were filed.
According to DWS, a total of $11,661,720 was paid in traditional unemployment benefits for April 5 – 11. This was also the first week of the CARES Act $600 weekly stimulus, which added up to an additional $6,445,260 total dollars paid to residents who are out of work.
State officials hold press conference following news of 24,171 new jobless claims in Utah
Posted by KSL 5 TV on Thursday, April 16, 2020
“It’s been a nightmare this last month,” said Daniel Kidwell of Lehi. “I finally pretty much was on fumes by this past weekend.”
Kidwell works as a construction contractor and had to wait until this week for Utah to create the application for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program—which offers benefits to those who are not eligible for traditional unemployment.
The program was announced Wednesday and is part of the CARES Act.
He’s already waited weeks to apply, and now he’ll have to wait another three to four weeks for his unemployment to be approved.
“I just wish they would hurry up and realize this was an emergency. Let’s act like it. Let’s get this done,” Kidwell said in an interview with KSL. “And even if you do get approved for this unemployment, they’re mailing the checks out. You’re going to have to wait for that, too. Everything is delay, after delay, after delay.”
Since the program has never been administered in Utah before, the unemployment office said payments for Pandemic Unemployment assistance will be paper checks. There’s not an option for direct deposits or a Utah debit card—which are available for traditional unemployment benefits.
“Individuals that were self-employed have been impacted by the pandemic for several weeks but haven’t been able to apply, so there is a backed up demand for that program,” Burt said. “So we will see a significant spike in pandemic unemployment assistance this week and probably next week.”
These include Utahns who are self-employed or are working in the gig economy; residents who lack sufficient work history to qualify for traditional benefits; those who are employed by an organization exempt from unemployment taxes, such as religious institutions; and people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have a member of their household who has been diagnosed, or have been denied traditional unemployment benefits.
To file for traditional unemployment benefits, or to apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, go to jobs.utah.gov/covid19. To find out if you’re eligible for the program, use the “Am I Eligible?” tool at jobs.utah.gov/ui/home.
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