Team Management

COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits for Every State in the U.S.

Caleb Newquist Editor-at-Large, Gusto 
Unemployment Insurance Benefits COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting businesses to the test. Most states have ordered non-essential businesses to close and there’s no indication of when many will be able to re-open. This has already caused millions of people to be temporarily or permanently unemployed, and seeking unemployment insurance benefits.

States all around the country are stepping in with measures to support the newly un- and underemployed. We’ve created a comprehensive list of state-by-state resources to direct those people affected to the latest information on changes to unemployment insurance benefits for their state. 

Please use this table of contents to navigate to your state, and check back frequently, as we will continue to keep this post updated.


  • FAQ or general info: Alabama’s Department of Labor has issued an FAQ on coronavirus and unemployment benefits.
  • Expanded eligibility: Alabama maintains that “unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own,” however, it notes that anyone under mandatory quarantine due to “suspicion of having the coronavirus” or “ ill because of the coronavirus and unable to work,” or “those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19,” would be eligible for unemployment benefits. 
  • Waived requirements: Additionally, claimants will not have to search for other work in order to receive benefits, and the waiting week will also be waived.
  • How to file: Start a new benefit claim or file online.





  • FAQ or other general info: The California Labor & Workforce Development Agency has a wealth of information and resources for those affected, including a chart of their various programs, their benefits, and links that point users where to file a claim.
  • Expanded eligibility: The guidance from the Employment Development Department (EDD) states that workers whose employers have shut down or reduced operations due to COVID-19 may apply for unemployment benefits. Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order from March 12 stated that this also “can include parents that have had to take care of kids whose schools have closed. 
  • Expanded benefits: Starting April 12, unemployment benefits will increase $600 per week as part of the new Pandemic Additional Compensation initiated by the CARES Act.
  • Waived requirements: The one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance has been waived. Also, on March 24, the California Labor Secretary directed EDD to streamline the benefit claims process. It will allow EDD the flexibility to award benefits before making a final determination on whether the claimant is able and available to work, as is typically required.
  • How to file: Claims are made online.



  • FAQ or other general info: The Connecticut Department of Labor has issued a COVID-19 FAQ for both employees and employers. 
  • Expanded eligibility: Furloughed employees are eligible for at least six weeks of benefits.
  • Waived requirements: CDOL has suspended its work-search requirements, including the requirement that recipients of unemployment to come in person to receive one-on-one help.
  • How to file: File your claim online.


  • FAQ or other general info: The Delaware Department of Labor has a COVID-19 FAQ that addresses common situations.
  • Expanded eligibility: Anyone quarantined will be treated like a temporary layoff.
  • Waived requirements: DDOL has waived the need for medical documentation. Work search requirements are also being waived.
  • How to file: Claims are made online.

District of Columbia

  • FAQ or other general info: The District has issued a COVID-19 scenarios and benefits document  page as general guide for its residents.
  • Expanded eligibility: District residents who may face work stoppage due to a quarantine or actual sickness may qualify for wage replacement.
  • How to file: Claims are filed online at


  • FAQ or other general info: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has distributed Reemployment Assistance COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Expanded eligibility: Individuals who may be eligible for assistance include:
    • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency,
    • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns, or
    • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • How to file: Create a profile or log on to file a claim.




  • FAQ or other general info: The Idaho Department of Labor has posted a page of Claimant FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and COVID-19.  
  • Waived requirements: Claims filed after March 8, 2020 will not be subject to the waiting week.
  • How to file: Users log on into the Idaho Claimant Portal to file.


  • FAQ or other general info: The Illinois Department of Employment Security has adopted emergency rules to their UI system in order to be as responsive as possible. 
  • Expanded eligibility: Employees may be eligible for benefits because: 
    • A medical professional has diagnosed employee as having COVID-19; 
    • The employee must stay home to care for their spouse, parent or child, whom a medical professional has diagnosed as having COVID-19
    • Or because of a government-imposed or government-recommended quarantine
  • Waived requirements: Under the emergency rules, individuals would not have to register with the employment service to search for work. They will be considered to be actively seeking work as long as the individual was prepared to return to his or her job as soon their employer reopened. Illinois is also waiving the 7-day waiting period for residents to apply for unemployment benefits, meaning anyone who qualifies can file and become immediately eligible.
  • How to file: Claims are filed online, and users are encouraged to review all the information required to file.


  • FAQ or other general info: The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has distributed a FAQ for COVID-19 work-related issues.
  • Expansion of benefits: Indiana will interpret its unemployment law to the broadest extent possible to benefit its residents who are out of work due to COVID-19. Benefits will be paid to individuals who file their claims late.
  • Waived requirements: DWD has suspended in-person meetings until further notice, and the one-week waiting period is waived retroactive to March 8. 
  • How to file: File online.


  • FAQ or other general info: Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) issued a press release detailing its assistance for employees affected by COVID-19 related layoffs. IWD has also issued a Scenarios and Benefits summary.
  • Expanded eligibility: Anyone laid off due to COVID-19 or required to stay home to self-isolate, care for family members or due to illness related to COVID-19, can receive unemployment benefits, provided they meet all other eligibility requirements. Additionally, individuals who are or will be laid off, or are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19, will no longer be required to use all paid leave prior to being eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Waived requirements: Work search requirements and fact-finding interviews will be waived and claims that are filed and identified as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19 will not be charged to employers. 
  • Additional resources: The IWD website also has a list of temporary job opportunities.
  • How to file: New users to the system can apply online, and returning claimants file here


How can Gusto and policymakers support your business during COVID-19?


  • Expanded eligibility: The Kentucky Career Center states that anyone laid off due to COVID-19 may be eligible for UI benefits. Individuals typically not covered by unemployment insurance, including self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers, childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and non-profits can now file. Those who left their job for “good cause” because of reasonable risk of exposure (self-quarantine) or due to caring for a family member affected by the virus are also eligible. Waiting period week and job search requirements are waived.
  • Waived requirements: Per Governor Beshear’s Executive Order, the seven-day waiting period and work search requirements have been suspended.
  • How to file: File your claim online at:



  • FAQ or other general info: The Maine Department of Labor also has a page on its website dedicated to information about COVID-19.
  • Expanded eligibility: Maine passed emergency legislation to allow for more flexible unemployment benefits. It has revised eligibility to include situations that were not previously covered, including:
    • An employer temporarily ceases operation due to COVID-19
    • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work once the quarantine is over.
  • Waived requirements: The legislation also waives the work search requirement for individuals still connected to their employer and waives the one-week waiting period so that benefits will be available sooner.
  • How to file: Register or login to ReEmployME or call 1-800-593-7660.The Maine Department of Labor also has video tutorials of how to get set up and apply.


  • FAQ or other general info: The Maryland Department of Labor has also issued a COVID-19 FAQ page related to unemployment benefits.
  • Expanded eligibility: Maryland enacted legislation that, among other measures, will extend unemployment benefits to workers who cannot work because they are quarantined, at risk for exposure, or caring for a family member with COVID-19.
  • Waived Requirements: Maryland has made a temporary exemption from the work search requirement.
  • How to file: Apply online through theMaryland Department of Labor website or by phone Monday – Friday,  7:30 am – 3:30 pm, at 410-949-0022 (within the Baltimore-metro area and out-of-state) or 800-827-4839 (from within Maryland).


  • FAQ or other general info: Massachusetts has developed a robust page of COVID-19 unemployment information.
  • Expanded eligibility: Massachusetts’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) have filed emergency regulations that will allow people impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment in the following circumstances:
    • The workplace is shut down and expects to reopen in four or fewer weeks. Workers must remain in contact with their employer and be available for any work their employer may have for them that they are able to do, but do not otherwise need to be looking for work.
    • An employer may extend the period of the shut-down to eight weeks, and the employees will remain eligible for the longer period under the same conditions described above.
    • Also, DUA may now pay unemployment benefits if a worker is quarantined due to an order by a civil authority or medical professional or leaves employment due to reasonable risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member and does not intend to or is not allowed to return to work.
  • Waived requirements: The worker does not need to provide medical documentation and need only be able and available for work. The one week waiting period for unemployment benefits is also waived.
  • How to file: Apply for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts online. You can contact the Department of Unemployment Assistance at (617) 626-6338 for assistance. 


  • FAQ or other general info: Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity released an FAQ page for COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits.
  • Expanded eligibility: Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits. It will extend eligibility to:
    • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill. 
    • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. 
    • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19. 
    • Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks. 
    • The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days 
  • Waived requirements: The normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended. 
  • How to file: File online using Michigan’s Web Account Manager MiWAM or call 1-866-500-0017.


  • FAQ or other general info: Minnesota’s Department of Employment & Economic Development COVID-19 page has information for workers affected.
  • Expanded eligibility: An executive order signed by Governor Tim Walz has extended unemployment benefits eligibility to persons who:
    • Have been ordered to avoid contact with others by healthcare professional or health authority.
    • Have been ordered not to come to their workplace due to an outbreak of a communicable disease.
    • Have received notification from a school district, daycare, or other childcare provider that either classes are canceled or the applicant’s ordinary childcare is unavailable, provided that the applicant made reasonable effort to obtain other childcare and requested time off or other accommodation from the employer and no reasonable accommodation was available.
  • Waived requirements: The order also waives the waiting week to give applicants access to unemployment benefits as quickly as possible.
  • How to file: File online. Note: for first-time filers, there are specific days to apply depending on the last digit of your social security number.


  • FAQ or other general info: The Mississippi Department of Employment Security has a specific COVID-19 FAQs page for workers.
  • Expanded eligibility: The Mississippi Department of Employment Security states that workers may file a claim if: 
    • They are quarantined by a medical professional
    • Laid off for an extended period due to COVID-19 
    • Have a diagnosis of COVID-19 or are caring for someone with COVID-19.
  • Waived requirements: The one-week waiting period and work search requirements have been temporarily suspended. 
  • How to file: File via the MDES online system.


  • FAQ or other general info: The Missouri Department of Labor has Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Unemployment Insurance Benefits Questions and Answers on its website. 
  • Waived requirements: The search for work requirement is waived, and the typical  waiting week requirement has been waived for claims filed due to COVID-19.
  • How to file: File claims online here, or call your regional claim center Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm: 
    • Jefferson City: 573-751-9040
    • Kansas City: 816-889-3101
    • Springfield: 417-895-6851
    • St. Louis: 314-340-4950
    • Outside Local Calling Area: 800-320-2519


  • FAQ or other general info: The Montana Department of Labor & Industry has a FAQ for both employers and employees that has up-to-date information.  
  • Expanded eligibility: The Department adopted temporary emergency rules to make unemployment benefits available to workers laid off due to COVID-19. Workers who must quarantine or who need to take care of a family member due to COVID-19 are also considered temporarily laid off and eligible for benefits.
  • Waived requirements: The typical one-week waiting period before receiving benefits.
  • Additional resources: Montana’s Benefits Estimator helps determine the approximate amount a claimant will receive.
  • How to file: File claims in Montana at



New Hampshire

  • Expanded eligibility: New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu issued three emergency orders, including Emergency Order #5 which states that individuals “who are unable to work or who have reduced hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have immediate access to unemployment benefits.”
    This order states that NH residents in the following situations will now be eligible for state unemployment: 
    • If your employer temporarily closes due to COVID-19; 
    • Individuals that need to self-quarantine or are directed to quarantine; 
    • Individuals that need to care for a family member that has COVID-19 or is under quarantine; 
    • Individuals that need to care for a dependent because of school closures, child care facility closures or other similar types of care programs; 
    • Self-employed individuals that are temporarily unable to operate their business because of any of the above listed situations will also be eligible.
  • Waived Requirements: The Governor has also issued an executive order that eliminates the one-week waiting period for benefits. 
  • Filing Process: Persons are required to file for new claims at set-times based on the first letter of their last name. 
  • How to file: Submit claims online at or call 603-271-7700.

New Jersey

New Mexico

  • FAQ or other general info: The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has a page dedicated to information for workers and employers affected by COVID-19. There’s even a video featuring the NMDWS Secretary explaining some changes and an FAQ sheet.
  • Expanded eligibility: Those changes are for certain workers who may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if:
    • Employers may lay off some or all of their workforce as a result of the impact of COVID-19; for example, a restaurant that sees a significant reduction in business due to lack of customers dining out during this time, or an event facility that cancels all events until a later date, or bus drivers who are out of work due to temporary school closures.
    • Workers who are self-quarantined or directed to be quarantined, or who have immediate family who is quarantined.
    • Workers who have their hours reduced as a result of COVID-19.
  • How to file: File New Mexico claims online at or call 1-877-664-6984 Monday–Friday, 8:00am–4:30pm.

New York

North Carolina

  • FAQ or other general info: The North Carolina Division of Employment Security (DES) has a page dedicated to UI changes due to COVID-19 that includes an FAQ. 
  • Expanded eligibility: An executive order signed by the Governor Roy Cooper specifically addresses individuals who are out of work, had their hours reduced, or are quarantined due to COVID-19. On April 9, Governor Cooper also signed an executive order issuing changes that will speed up certain benefit payments to those who are out of work.
  • Waived requirements: The executive order authorizes the Department of Commerce to waive any of the following requirements: 
    • The one-week waiting period to receive benefits
    • The ability and availability to work
    • Work search
    • The actively seeking work requirement
    • The “lack of work” requirement
  • How to file: You can file at or by calling the NC Commerce Customer Call Center at 888-737-0259.

North Dakota


  • FAQ or other general info: The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has an extensive Q&A on Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits, including information on Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s executive order that expands flexibility to receive unemployment benefits during Ohio’s emergency declaration period.
  • Expanded eligibility: Unemployment benefits will be available for eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COVID-19, even if they are voluntarily in isolation and quarantined, and not actually diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Waived requirements: The waiting period for eligible Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits will be waived.
  • How to file: File online at anytime or Call toll-free 1-877-644-6562 Monday – Friday 7am – 7 pm, Saturday 9 am – 5 pm, or Sunday 9 am – 1pm.




  • FAQ or other general info: The Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation has a page dedicated to information for Pennsylvania employees impacted by COVID-19.
  • Expanded eligibility: That pages notes that individuals may be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits if:
    • Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19
    • Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19
    • You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19
    • You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts
  • Waived requirements: Work search, registration and the wait week have all been suspended until further notice.
  • How to file: Fill out an online application, call 1-888-313-7284, or submit a paper application via mail to a UC service center.

Rhode Island

  • FAQ or other general info: The Rhode Island Department of Labor & Training (DLT) has distributed a COVID-19 Workplace Fact Sheet that contains information for individuals affected. 
  • Waived requirements: DLT is waiving the seven-day minimum amount of time that claimants must be out of work to qualify for benefits.
  • No further rule changes or legislation has been enacted at the time of this writing.
  • How to file: Submit online at or call (401) 243-9100.

South Carolina

South Dakota


  • FAQ or other general info: The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has developed a COVID-19 FAQ page for employers and employees. 
  • Expanded eligibility: It includes guidance that allows individuals who are required to be quarantined to be eligible for UI benefits provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.
  • Waived requirements: An executive order has suspended the one-week waiting period for benefits, as well as the reporting-to-work and work-search requirements.
  • How to file: Visit or submit through the Jobs4TN app, using this step-by-step guide.


  • FAQ or other general info: The Texas Workforce Commission suggests filing all claims through their online portal due to higher than normal call volumes and long hold times on their tele-center phone lines. More information can be found on the page for job seekers and employees
  • Waived requirements: The one-week waiting period has been suspended and Texas workers are able to receive unemployment benefits as soon as their application is approved. 
  • How to file: Submit a claim through TWC’s Unemployment Benefits Services or call TWC at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.



  • FAQ or other general info: Details and other information can be found on the Vermont Department of Labor’s COVID-19 FAQ page
  • Expanded eligibility: Employees who have been laid off, have reduced hours, or are required to self-isolate or quit their job because of COVID-19 may be eligible for unemployment insurance. 
  • Waived Requirements: Executive order has waived the work search requirement for people affected by temporary business closure.
  • How to file: Submit an electronic form, or call the full-service Unemployment Insurance Claims Center at 1-877-214-3330.


  • FAQ or other general info: Information is available on the Virginia Employment Commission’s Q&A on Claims Related to Coronavirus page. 
  • Waived requirements: Starting March 15, 2020 Virginia has waived the one-week waiting period and weekly job-search requirements for receiving unemployment insurance benefits. 
  • How to file: Submit your claim on or call the Customer Contact Center at 866-832-2363 Monday through Friday 8:15am – 4:30pm.


  • FAQ or other general info: Visit the Employment Security Department of Washington for a full list of programs to help workers affected by COVID-19. 
  • Expanded eligibility: While eligibility decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, employees can find information about filing claims here. Gig workers, like rideshare drivers, may be eligible for unemployment benefits, and are encouraged to apply.
  • Waived requirements: Washington Governor Jay Inslee has waged the one week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • How to file: Call 800-318-6022 to apply, or submit your application online. There are no in-person unemployment offices in Washington.

West Virginia

  • FAQ or other general info: For more information visit Workforce West Virginia’s COVID-19 and Unemployment page. 
  • Expanded eligibility: West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued an Executive Order, increasing unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19. Unemployment benefits will now cover those who lost their jobs, have reduced hours, or cannot work due to either a documented medical condition caused by COVID-19 or communicable disease control measures related to COVID-19. 
  • Waived requirements: The one-week waiting period, available work requirement, and work search requirements for West Virginia unemployment benefits have also been waived. 
  • How to file: Submit claims through WorkForce West Virginia’s website.


  • FAQ or other general info: See the full list of frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits at the Department of Workforce Development website.
  • Expanded eligibility: An emergency rule expands eligibility to those who are isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19.
  • Waived requirements: The work search requirement has been waived in Wisconsin. However, for the time being, there is still a waiting week required. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued an emergency order asking the state legislature to repeal the waiting week for unemployment insurance due to COVID-19, but the legislature has not acted to vote on it.
  • How to file: You can start the process online here.


  • FAQ or other general info: The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services released information around frequently asked questions. Individuals can file an unemployment insurance claim at Note, with the high volume of claims, if your last name begins with A-M you must file on Monday, Wednesday or before noon on Friday. If your last name begins with N-Z you may file on Tuesday, Thursday, or afternoon on Friday.
  • Expanded eligibility: Employees laid off due to COVID-19 may be eligible for unemployment benefits, if they meet the monetary criteria and the federal weekly eligibility criteria. Employees who have been temporarily laid off due to slower business in this time can also collect unemployment benefits without having to look for other work.
  • How to file: File an Initial Claim online, or call the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services at (307) 473-3789.

Looking for more information? Check out Gusto’s COVID-19 Small Business Resource Hub.

Our COVID-19 Small Business Resource Hub has legislation updates, advice, and support.

Updated: April 21, 2020

Caleb Newquist
Caleb Newquist Caleb is Editor-at-Large at Gusto. In 2009, he became the founding editor of Going Concern, the one-of-a-kind voice on the accounting profession, serving in the role for 9 years. Prior to Going Concern, Caleb worked as a CPA for nearly 6 years in New York and Denver. He lives in Denver with his wife, daughter, and two cats.


  • Kenneth Breeden

    Do I have to submit a weekly claim if I lost my job dued to covid 19 after my initial claim?

    • Gusto Editors

      Hi Kenneth—since, it may depend on your state, you’ll want to check your individual state’s unemployment benefits website + consult a lawyer or HR expert for more specific guidance.

  • Teresa

    Where are you getting your information for Oregon? There is no rule temporary or otherwise that is on an official page regarding waiving the waiting week for UI benefits. Only other requirements have been waived. Please advise as to your official source of this information.

    • Gusto Editors

      Hi Teresa — thanks for the catch! We’ve updated the article.

  • Michelle

    Oregon has not yet announced that the waiting week is being waived. Hopeful to see that announced soon.

    • Gusto Editors

      Thanks for the catch, Michelle! We’ve updated the article.

  • Timithy Kunz

    I work at a manufacturing plant in Wausau wi. They remain open as they are qualified as an essential business who makes food grade products. In early Dec of 2019 , my 70 year old uncle sufferd a stroke, how now lives with me.
    I was so afraid that I would bring that virus into my home and he would get sick. He isn’t in very good physical shape and I doubt he would make it. I asked my emoyer for a leave of absence for a few weeks so I could find a different living arrangement for him. None of the assisted living places are taking any new residents. I d k what to do. Would I, qualify for the unemployment benefits for this time off?

    • Gusto Editors

      Hi Timithy, each state has its own rules regarding unemployment benefits, so you will want to check with your state unemployment office to confirm:

  • mohammad ahad

    is it mandatory to put work search log at this outbreak covid19 time?

    • Gusto Editors

      Hi Mohammad — since guidance varies by state and industry, we recommend reaching out to your state unemployment office!

  • christina

    It is my understanding that you can apply for unemployment (we are in NY) if your hours are reduced? Do you know if the extra $600 is also proportionally applied?

    • Gusto Editors

      Hi Christina — since regulations may vary by state, we recommend you reach out to the New York unemployment office!

  • John

    Hi. When will we hear about options for self-employed/contractors?


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