By Cheryl Fiandaca

BOSTON (CBS) — Viewers have been asking WBZ-TV about unemployment benefits and the federal stimulus money. Chief Investigator Cheryl Fiandaca took your questions to financial advisor Michael Finer.

If you are out of a job and worried about staying healthy and paying bills, Finer said the first step should be to sign up for unemployment at mass.gov as soon as possible.

Unemployment benefits entitles you to 26 weeks of pay, plus an additional 13 weeks of benefits added on. You’d also get half your weekly pay up to $823 and potentially an additional $600 for four months. If you are self employed, you will need proof of income.

As for the stimulus bill money, Finer said you should automatically receive this from the government. You do not need to sign up for anything.

To qualify, you must have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, and earn less than $75,000 yourself or less than $150,000 if you file jointly.

Citizens will receive $1,200 per person and $500 for children under age 17. Finer said it will take three to four weeks for families to receive their money.

Financial experts also say be proactive with your finances. If you need help with car payments, the mortgage or credit cards, contact the individual lenders. Don’t wait until you are in trouble.

Cheryl Fiandaca

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