The US states government and congress yesterday passed a historic coronavirus relief bill aimed at alleviating the potential economic hardship the shutdown from the virus is causing to workers and the US economy.

The bill provides for expanded benefits for workers:

  1. It has expanded unemployment insurance payment to cover both payroll workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers and the self-employed. (these later three categories of workers did not qualify for such benefits before);
  2. The government has increased payments under the bill and applicants will get an extra $600 a week on top of their state benefits for four months;
  3. Coverage period for unemployment benefit claimants is extended to include an additional 13 weeks of benefits, which the federal government will pay for. This is in addition to the standard coverage of between 12 weeks and 28 weeks, depending on the state;
  4. Direct cash payment to individuals and families ($1,200 per person, $500 for each child).

The summary of provisions in the bill can be found here: