Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits to US Immigrants
As well as the human cost of the Coronavirus outbreak, there has also been and continues to be, a huge economic one. As the international and domestic business community has come to an almost complete standstill, there have undoubtedly been some very tough economic decisions to make for not only national governments but also individual businesses. Whereas some countries have offered to take on much of the wage bill of their businesses (such as in the UK), many countries have simply not been able to afford to do the same. This has lead, in the US particularly, to businesses shedding costs in the form of jobs.
So what has been offered to those who have been affected in the US? Well, a recently announced package from the US government has offered much-needed help to individuals and businesses that have been affected by the virus, to try and mitigate the damage that the COVID-19 outbreak will undoubtedly cause. The package, which will cost approximately $2 trillion, is unprecedented in history and shows the depth of the damage that has been wreaked on the world economy. In this article, we are going to look at how the stimulus package will help those in the US to survive the Coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus Causes Significant Economic Damage
As we’ve seen in the news media, the COVID-19 outbreak has hit businesses hard. Across a variety of sectors, jobs have been lost in their millions, and the US unemployment rate has skyrocketed. With 16 million jobs lost so far, the outbreak is doing more than just destroying lives, it is also hammering the economy.
Of course, some sectors are being hit harder than others - with tourism and hospitality taking the hardest hits. With international travel all but impossible, and lockdowns enacted across the country, the tourism industry has flatlined. As an industry that has some of the least secure and lowest paid jobs, it is unsurprising that this is the one that has been hit first and hardest. The same essentially applies also to the hospitality industry, which also has a bleak short-term future due to uncertainty and the insecurity that exists for those who work in the industry.
Until the virus outbreak is controlled, it seems unlikely that Americans will be heading back to work in huge numbers. With this in mind, it is obvious that something needed to be done, and that is where the stimulus package fits in. The scheme is offering welfare payments to individuals to help to tide them over and is also offering attractive loans to businesses that are looking to maintain their staffing levels. While there is certainly an argument that more needs to be done - and it is likely that more will need to be done - the package is certainly helping to keep some Americans in jobs, and that can only be a good thing.
Immigrants Disproportionately Affected by Outbreak
One of the worst things about the COVID-19 outbreak is that it appears that immigrants have been disproportionately affected. Not only are there vast numbers of immigrants in some of the worst affected industries, such as hospitality and tourism, there also appears to be less help available to them. Immigrant rights groups are severely concerned that the stimulus package that has been announced seems to offer less to immigrants than other groups. Considering how badly immigrants have been affected by job losses, this hardly seems fair.
As well as the lack of help for immigrants in the US, there is also the additional worry of not being able to travel. Many immigrants in the US have family in other countries, and the lockdown means that they cannot travel to visit them. It also means that there are many immigrants who are trying to return to the US but cannot due to international lockdowns. All in all, it appears that immigrants really are getting a rough deal.
What Help Is Available for Migrants Affected by Coronavirus?
So, what help is available to immigrants in the US who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak? Well, the help that you will be entitled to will depend upon your immigration status. If you are in the US illegally then it appears that you are not going to be receiving anything. Though a specific tax system has been set up to allow unregistered aliens (undocumented migrants) to pay taxes in the US, these same immigrants are not covered by the $1,200 checks that are being given out to those who have a Social Security Number and earn less than $75,000 per year (you can still get the checks if you earn over this but it is reduced depending on your earnings).
So how many are likely to be affected? Current estimates show that there are 4.3 million unauthorized immigrants in the US. As many of these use a taxpayer identification number to file their taxes rather than a Social Security Number, they are able to pay tax but not receive public funds.
What about those who do have a Social Security Number? Well, if you do have a Social Security Number then you will be eligible to receive a check of up to $1,200 per single person, $2,400 per couple and an extra $500 per child under 17. As well as the direct payment, there has also been an increase in many welfare benefits, including a $600 increase per week for the first four months for those who have been let go.
I Don't Have A Social Security Number, What Are My Options?
If you have been made jobless and don’t have a Social Security Number then please get in touch. Our team of immigration solicitors can help to find out what is available to you, and advise you on the best course of action that you can take. While your situation may seem desperate, our team is here to help send you in the right direction.
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