The National Insurance Institute (NII) estimates that half a million people will be collecting unemployment benefits by the end of April, due mostly to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Another 95,000 Israelis went on unemployment as this week, Israel’s Channel 13 reports.

According to the Israeli Employment Service, 86 percent of them were those being forced by their employers to take vacation without pay.

Israel’s Employment Service estimates that the monthly unemployment benefit budget will expand seven times in April to NIS 2 billion. This compares to 800 to 900 million this month, Channel 13 reports.

According to Social Security data, in January and February, an average of NIS 340 million was paid a month.

In a typical month, the number of employed is 80,000 with 17,000 newly unemployed added to the rolls.

The expected payment for March will be NIS 1 billion.

In April, there are expected to be 500,000 unemployed and the payment will amount to NIS 2.5 billion.

The self-employed are generally not covered for unemployment benefits. However, the NII has declared that in this particular case, tour guides, mentors, lecturers, teachers and artists who were left without work due to the coronavirus outbreak will be compensated.