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  4.  » The Weekly Pulse: Has Your Employment Been Affected by COVID-19? Read About These Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Options

One of the big issues that has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic country has been the unprecedented acceleration of unemployment, especially in our great city of New York. We’re pleased to share updates and news regarding unemployment assistance and which companies/organizations are hiring right now.

If you’ve lost your job or were furloughed for reasons related to COVID-19, you may be eligible to collect weekly unemployment payments. Federal law now allows you to receive benefits if:

  • Your place of employment has temporarily closed due to the outbreak.
  • You are quarantining with the expectation of returning to work.
  • You left your job due to the risk of exposure or infection.
  • You had to stop working to take care of a family member infected with the coronavirus.
  • You had to stop working because your underaged child’s school has closed due to the coronavirus.

On March 27, 2020 the President signed into law additional Unemployment Insurance (“UI”) assistance to workers specifically impacted by COVID-19. The provisions in new laws include:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): extended eligibility for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for UI benefits (e.g – self-employed workers, independent contractors.) 
  • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC): an additional $600 per week, on top of regular benefits, to all UI recipients
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – an additional 13 weeks of UI benefits, beyond the regular 26 weeks already provided, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.

NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits who are out of work due to COVID-19 closures or quarantines. Before you can collect, you must Apply for Benefits. After you apply, you must claim benefits for each week that you’re unemployed and looking for work, including while you are waiting for your benefits to begin.

Due to COVID-19 hiring and opportunities may be limited, but here are a few employers that are hiring right now: NYC Health + Hospitals , Clerical Associates, and New York State are hiring immediately for these positions.

In the great state of California, Governor Gavin Newsom, announced new initiatives to help undocumented immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic. California is the first state to announce funding efforts aimed at helping undocumented immigrants gain as benefits for unemployment.

We’ve learned that:

  • The Executive Order allocated $125 million to provide relief to undocumented Californians affected by COVID-19 and would otherwise be ineligible for unemployment benefits.
  • The funds will be distributed as one-time $500 payments to undocumented adults with a $1,000 cap per household. According to the governor’s offices, applications will be accepted starting next month.

The Governor stressed that undocumented workers are ESSENTIAL and overrepresented in many sectors keeping the state afloat including health care, agriculture and food, manufacturing, logistics and construction. California has been the most aggressive state in the nation when it comes to giving benefits to undocumented immigrants.

How do you feel about California establishing this executive order for undocumented Californians affected by COVID-19?

Should other states in the nation create a similar executive order? 

Additional Resources: 

New York City Unemployment Assistance – https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm

California is giving its own stimulus package to undocumented immigrants – https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/16/us/california-stimulus-undocumented-immigrants/index.html