Am I eligible for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Am I eligible for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits eligibility guidelines, but you usually qualify if you:

  • Are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.
  • Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period.” (In most states, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed.)
  • Meet any additional state requirements. Find details of your own state’s program.

Can I get unemployment assistance if I am partially employed under the CARES Act?

A gig economy worker, such as a driver for a ride-sharing service, is eligible for PUA provided that he or she is unemployed, partially employed, or unable or unavailable to work for one or more of the qualifying reasons provided for by the CARES Act.

Are self-employed, independent contractor and gig workers eligible for the new COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

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Self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and people who have not worked long enough to qualify for the other types of unemployment assistance may still qualify for PUA if they are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of the applicable state law and certify that they are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable or unavailable to work for one of the following COVID-19 reasons:

You have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have symptoms, and are seeking a medical diagnosis.

A member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

You are caring for a family member of a member of your household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

A child or other person in your household for whom you have primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of COVID-19 and the school or facility care is required for you to work.

What kinds of relief does the CARES Act provide for people who are about to exhaust regular unemployment benefits?

Under the CARES Act states are permitted to extend unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks under the new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program.

Who is more likely to have severe COVID-19 symptoms?

Older people and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes are most likely to develop severe or critical form of COVID-19.

How does coronavirus disease spread?

COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person via droplets, contact, and fomites. It is transmitted when one individual talks, sneezes, or coughs producing ‘droplets’ of saliva containing the COVID-19 virus. These droplets are then inhaled by another person. COVID-19 transmission usually occurs among close contacts — including family members and healthcare workers. It is therefore important to maintain a distance of more than 1 meter away from any person who has respiratory symptoms.