The team at Davtyan Law Firm are committed to helping California employees navigate these uncharted times by providing information regarding unemployment benefits available from both the state and federal government. Since mid-March, more than 20% of California's workforce has applied for unemployment benefits as layoffs and business closures surge around the country. In the past 7 weeks, more than 4 million workers in the state have found themselves unemployed, many in the restaurant, entertainment and tourism industries. As employee rights experts, the team at Davtyan Law Firm is here to help workers understand their unemployment benefits and offer tips to those who have been laid off or furloughed.
Tips For Unemployed Workers
- Do Not Wait - Take action as soon as you become unemployed. Because a record number of workers are filing claims, the EDD is overwhelmed with cases. Make sure to gather all necessary information and file your claim as soon as possible. This can help you to receive benefits quickly.
- Be Persistent - Many applicants are reporting glitches with the online application system as well as delays in payments and other issues. Although these issues may be frustrating, being persistent can pay off in the long run.
- Stay Informed - The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing and being uninformed could make a big difference for the unemployed. Make sure to follow reputable news sources and regularly check for updates on the EDD website to ensure you are following all proper procedures.
Changes To Unemployment Benefits During Coronavirus
Under the federal CARES Act, which was passed on March 27th, more workers are eligible for benefits and typically for larger payments and longer lengths of time. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, workers were only able to collect unemployment benefits for 26 weeks. The CARES Act provides an additional 13 weeks of eligibility to those who have exhausted the original 26 weeks for a total of 39 weeks of benefits.
In addition, the CARES Act also grants an additional $600 per week to those receiving state unemployment benefits. This additional assistance will last through July. California has also waived the one-week waiting period for applicants.
New Benefits For Gig Workers & Self-Employed Workers
California is known for its nation-leading number of gig workers including rideshare and delivery drivers, freelancers, and small business owners. Until recently, this large portion of the workforce was left out of the generous unemployment benefits being offered by the state and federal government. Under the recently released revisions, there are three scenarios in which self-employed workers and independent contractors may qualify for unemployment benefits.
- The individual has contributed to UI Elective Coverage and paid the required contributions.
- A past employer made contributions on your behalf over the past 5 to 18 months.
- You have been misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee.
If any of these scenarios apply to you, you can file your claim through the UI Online portal from the Employment Development Department.
Call Davtyan Law For Your Employment Law Needs
Davtyan Law Firm is proud to serve Californians who need legal help. Based in Los Angeles, we focus exclusively on employment law, protecting employees' rights. We handle a broad range of employment disputes including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour issues, among others.