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Update on Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits

The United States has lost more than 20.5 million jobs in the month of April, bringing the unemployment rate to over 14.7%. This unprecedented situation has sent our country into a spiral as unemployment claims have skyrocketed. Those seeking help from the state are finding it almost impossible to talk to anyone, let alone getting the financial help they desperately need. If you are unemployed, what do you do? What options are available to you in California?

File a Claim with the Employment Development Department (EDD)

If you haven’t already, make sure to file an unemployment claim first. You can complete the process online here. This is the first step at receiving help if you have been recently laid off or if your hours have been recently reduced.

How Long Does It Take Before I Receive Benefits?

Typically, it takes around three weeks for the EDD to process unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. However, because of the sheer number of claims, the EDD is experiencing long delays. For employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors, the EDD requires a wage audit, which can slow the process down. Those employees can expect at least a six-week processing time for their claims.

What If I Don’t Qualify for UI Benefits?

If you don’t qualify for UI benefits through the EDD, you still may be able to receive assistance through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. This was established by the CARES Act to help business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, or those who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for state assistance. The program offers an additional $600 in benefits for 39 weeks. Claim approval can be much quicker for the PUA program, ranging from a few days to a few weeks.

You can find out more information on how to file a claim for the PUA program online.

Can I receive Workers’ Compensation?

If you are unable to work because you contracted COVID19 while at work, you may qualify for worker’s compensation, California recently made it easier to receive workers compensation by switching the burden of proving workers were exposed to COVID19 to the employer, rather than the employee.

As the situation with COVID19 continues to change, The Law Offices of Tanya Gomerman will be here to inform employees of their rights and benefits available to them. If you need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to call our office at 415-545-8608 to schedule your FREE consultation.

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