The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, commonly known as the stimulus package, comes with a federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
This program expands coverage to people who generally don’t qualify for unemployment, such as self-employed and gig economy workers, according to a joint news release from U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
It also provides four months of additional unemployment benefits — $600 per week per worker, the release also said.
That’s good news for Teresa Rakoski, pictured above, who became a substitute clerical aide for Joliet Public Schools District 86, she said.
Rakoski had left the workforce to care for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. But her mother went to live with another relative in Colorado in December, leaving Rakoski free to work.
“I was hoping to get hired,” Rakoski said.
Fortunately, Rakoski's husband works for a brewery, where he’s been canning, instead of kegging, beer that people can pick up and take home.
Still, the loss of her income is making a dent.
"But we’re not desperate at this point,” Rakoski said..
Because Rakoski has asthma, she hasn’t really left the house since the sheltering in place order took effect.
“I ride to the store with my husband,” Rakoski said. “But I don’t go in.”