Gov. Ricketts outlines plan for people to collect unemployment benefits

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Gov. Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Commissioner of Labor John Albin announced its plan to get unemployed people checks during this pandemic Monday.

Albin said this is a part of the federal CARES Act. Part of this includes a new portion called the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. People are allowed to apply for this if they work as a hairstylist, barber or are self-employed.

Those unable to collect these benefits include those who can work from home or can work. Benefits range from $174 to $440 and it all varies based on your income.

"I suspect that if you have a job," Gov. Ricketts said, "Or that long term perspective, you'll want to keep that job and not make a short term decision to go on unemployment."

He is stressing this idea because people will only collect on half of their regular earnings, capping at $440 a week.

Governor Pete Ricketts is encouraging citizens to support local restaurant businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the 10-person limit and other directive health measures, many businesses and restaurants have had to cut hours for some employees and resort to take-out or drive-thru options. The Directed Health Measures of limiting 10 people per area has been extended to April 30th. Many local DHMs have precedent over the order.

To help businesses, Gov. Ricketts proclaimed the next four Tuesdays in April as #TakeOutTuesday.

Gov. Ricketts encourages residents to go out and order take-out from local businesses. People are also encouraged to buy gift cards to help assist local businesses.

During the conference, Gov. Ricketts pointed out an “April Fool's Joke” which had been passed around online claiming that he would have students repeat the school year. The governor asked for people to avoid passing false information during this troublesome time.

“March has been a trying month, and April is likely to be another tough month," Gov. Ricketts said. "As we see our testing capacity expand, we should see more folks test positive…We have a lot of work getting ready to be prepared for that."