Why Are $600 Unemployment Checks Being Delayed in Some States?

Tarrah Gibbons
April 28, 2020 - 1:09 pm

With millions of people out of work across the United States, many Americans may be wondering: Where is my unemployment check?

The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package that was passed last month offered aid to taxpayers feeling the effects of coronavirus in several forms, including increasing jobless pay by $600 a week, reports CNBC.

The payments, which will be available in July and funded by the government, will be delayed in some states, while other states are paying out the $600 separately from their state benefits.

Between record unemployment claims — 26 million filed through April 18, effectively erasing all the jobs created since the Great Recession — and the fact that unemployment insurance is a state-administered program, individuals waiting on the payments are seeing variations in when they receive payments based on claim volume and their location.

Hawaii, for example, has seen significant numbers in unemployment and has been late in sending payments to residents.

The state writes on its website, “We are working as quickly as possible to update our technology to ensure that everyone eligible receives the full amount of [unemployment insurance] that they qualify for.”

Some states have already sent out payments to people, like California, who started sending out these payments during the week of April 11, according to its website, and North Carolina, whose state website reported that the state would make its first payments by April 17, “depending on the success of system tests.”

Benefits in Kentucky are coming in two separate ways. The $600 payments will likely come “a few days after” the traditional payment from the state, according to its website. Residents in the state will receive the $600 fee every two weeks, which adds up to $1,200, but claimants who filed online would receive $600 each week.

States are automatically sending these checks to eligible Americans, and they do not have to reapply for the federal payments.

Because many states are backdating the claims, many out-of-work individuals should receive their weekly $600 payments accounting for as far back as the end of March or early April.

Self-employed workers may have to wait longer for their checks due to a delayed and complicated process filing for unemployment, as in North Carolina, where officials anticipated gig workers would not be able to apply for unemployment insurance until April 25.

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