DALLAS (NEXSTAR) — Millions of Americans are out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Experts say it’s essential to act quickly and apply for unemployment benefits to protect your financial future. 

Because filing for unemployment differs by state, you can go to careeronestop.org to get yourself moving in the right direction.  You can find “File for unemployment benefits” under “COVID-19 unemployment insurance info.”  After selecting your state from the drop-down menu, you’ll get the needed links to file your claim.  Careeronestop.org is a website sponsored by the Department of Labor.

Here are a few things you’ll likely need for the process:

  • Key personal information like Social Security number, date of birth, mailing address, phone number, email address, and driver’s license or state-issued ID.
  • Addresses of your former employer
  • Work dates with your previous employer
  • Reasons you’re no longer employed
  • Some states will ask for additional person information about dependents.

In most cases, you’ll likely start receiving benefits within 3-6 weeks.  According to NBC News, payments may be issued by direct deposit to your bank account or via a debit card.

The coronavirus relief package extends the amounts of compensation you’re eligible to receive.  Once you’re on employment insurance in your state, you will be eligible for an extra $600 per week in emergency federal compensation through July 31, 2020.

The $600 payments are in addition to what you’re receiving from your state, according to NBC News.

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the unemployment benefits are worth about $260 billion.  The new benefits should come alongside direct cash payments to individuals, according to NBC.