Calculating your income: I lost my job during the COVID-19 pandemic
If you lost your job during the pandemic, you’ll need three numbers to estimate your annual income:
- How much money did you make before you lost your job?
If you lost your job during the COVID crisis, start with the amount of money you made this year BEFORE you lost your job. To do that, first figure out how many weeks you worked this year, using this calculator.
Then, either divide your yearly salary by 52, and then multiply that amount by the number of weeks you worked OR, multiply your weekly income by the number of weeks you worked.
Let’s say you lost your job on March 25th of 2020. That means you were employed for 12 weeks in 2020.
- If you made a salary of $52,000 a year, that means:
- You made $1,000 a week ($52,000 / 52 weeks = $1,000)
- So, you made $12,000 before you lost your job ($1,000 x 12 weeks =$12,000)
- If you are paid weekly and make $500 a week, you made $6,000 before you lost your job ($500 x 12 weeks = $6,000)
- How much money will you get from unemployment?
Next, calculate how much money you’ll get from unemployment.
We know it’s difficult to predict when you’ll have a job again, but for now, just assume that you’ll receive unemployment for the rest of the year. Unemployment benefits usually run out after 26 weeks, but Congress approved an extension of these benefits, so they’ll last for 39 weeks, or.
To do that, figure out the number of weeks you’ll receive unemployment, starting with the date your unemployment payments started and ending with December 31st– use this calculator again to make it easy.
Then, multiply the number of weeks you’ll receive unemployment with by your weekly unemployment payment.
*Be careful here* Right now, your unemployment benefit includes your base payment AND an extra $600. Just include your base payment here (so, your total payment minus $600). We’ll talk about that $600 bump in the next section.
Let’s say you start getting your unemployment benefit on April 9th of 2020. If you stay on unemployment for the rest of the year, you’ll get those payments for 38 weeks.
- If you receive the minimum unemployment benefit of $53 a week, you’ll receive a total of $2,014 ($53 x 38 weeks =$2,014)
- If you receive the maximum unemployment benefit of $586 a week, you’ll receive a total of $22,268 ($586 x 38 weeks= $22,268)
- How much money will you get from the $600 “bump”?
To help Americans that aren’t working during this crisis, Congress authorized adding an extra $600 to everyone’s unemployment check, starting the week of April 1st, 2020. But, that money doesn’t last forever! The extra $600 goes away after July 31st. So, we have to calculate this amount separately.
To do that, figure out the number of weeks you’ll receive the extra $600, starting with either April 1st or the week you first qualified for unemployment (if that was after April 1st) and ending with July 31st (again, use this calculator to make it easy).
Then multiply the number of weeks by $600.
If you received your unemployment benefits starting on March 25th, and the “bump started on April 4th, you’ll receive the extra $600 for 16 weeks.
That means you’ll receive a total of $9,600 from this extra “bump” in pay ($600 x 16 weeks = $9,600).
Once you’ve calculated the answers to these three questions, just add them together. So,
$ made before you lost your job + $ from unemployment + $ from $600 bump
= Your annual income
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