Ophthalmologist Ali Nelson sent the last orders of glasses to his clients last week before be forced to close your store in Washington DC to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Lea Semar opens vacancies for doctors and nurses

In the absence of indefinite earnings, Nelson is one of potentially dozens of million americans whose livelihoods are now up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Millions of Americans filed for unemployment benefits. Photo: AP

The number of Americans who filed requests initials of Benefits for unemployment last week it increased to a record of 3.28 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday, the clearest evidence so far of the devastating impact of the coronavirus on the economy.

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Behind those numbers are alarmed workers like Nelson. You have already completed the paperwork to receive unemployment benefits, a relatively simple process that takes a few minutes online.

But Nelson does not know how much money he will receive and is concerned about how to support his family of six. The maximum offered in the District of Columbia – about $ 450 a week – won’t be enough to cover your rent in Fairfax County, Virginia, much less if you add the costs of health insurance, food and the payment of services like water and electricity.

This is not sustainable, “said Nelson, 52, the main provider of her home, which includes her elderly husband and two children who also work.

Many of the millions of Americans who are struggling economically and are applying for unemployment insurance do so for the first time in their lives, after the retail stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and other small businesses that are an essential source of work in the country closed. .

Congress is on Dispatch an unprecedented economic stimulus bill that would increase unemployment benefits by $ 600 a week for people affected by the pandemic. It could also expand access to the program for self-employed and self-employed workers, who are generally not covered under the traditional scheme.

The amount of money that Americans without jobs should receive was a temporary obstacle on Wednesday, but senators finally approved the bill early Thursday morning. Currently, unemployment benefits in the United States generally equal half of a worker’s last salary, less than in most other developed countries.

Even if the bill passes this week, it is unclear when consumers will receive cash. The increase in jobless claims overwhelmed some states and led to delays in processing. Payments of $ 1,200 for low- and middle-income adults promised by the White House can take months to process by the tax agency.

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