Meanwhile, the extension of benefits to those new classes of workers sent state officials across the country scrambling to reconfigure software and other processes.
At least in Georgia, the system will be ready to handle applications – starting Monday, said Kersha Cartwright, spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor.
Workers who had already applied do not have to apply again, she said.
Once an application is processed, it could still be several weeks before the worker receives his or her money. When the payments begin, workers will receive $600 extra as part of the new law.
Also urged to file applications next week are workers who had previously been told their work history or limited wages made them ineligible. They should also apply starting Monday, Cartwright said. "If you have been told you had a limited work history or you don't have enough wages, you may qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program."
Even without the contractors and gig workers, the Labor Department has been inundated with claims for jobless benefits. Last week, the department reported it had processed 133,820 applications for unemployment insurance – three times more than the worst week of the Great Recession. This week's report, due Thursday, is expected to be worse.