About 9 million Americans are estimated to have lost work due to the pandemic but received no unemployment benefits.
Millions of workers experienced severe problems in receiving benefits throughout the pandemic. Workers across America faced long delays in receiving unemployment benefits as state systems were quickly overwhelmed with the mass influx of applications that caused months-long backlogs. Meanwhile, workers who made errors on their applications had missing records or had their claims flagged had their benefits stopped – and often had difficulty restarting them once problems were resolved.
The impacts were detrimental to workers around the US, who fell behind on rent or mortgage or car payments, experienced utility shutoffs and relied on food banks and assistance programs to feed themselves and their families.