Find out all about filing claims for Coronavirus-related unemployment benefits     
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The Families First Coronavirus Response Bill was signed into law on March 18, bringing potential relief to millions of Americans. Though it is a good beginning, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic needs a lot more. Recognizing this, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) further expands unemployment, healthcare, etc. measures and aid. 

The President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on March 27, 2020. This $2.2 trillion package brings relief to the highly stressed businesses, workers and families reeling from COVID-19, while also bolstering essential goods and services. We take a brief look at everything in this law that supports the unemployed, directly and indirectly.

The government is progressively expanding the unemployment insurance umbrella to cover as many people losing jobs as possible. It’s important to remember to file unemployment insurance claim as soon as you know you are losing your job. If you have exhausted your unemployment benefits you may be eligible for Extended Benefits. Keep reading for more details.

Provisions for Unemployment Assistance

This law extends the eligibility to the following persons:

  1. Those who are not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or Extended Benefits under Law Or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation 
  2. Those who have exhausted their regular UI benefits or Extended Benefits under law or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation 
  3. Those who can self-certify that they would be able and available to work however
    1. They are suspected to have contracted COVID-19 or are suffering from it
    2. A member of the household is suspected to have contracted COVID-19 or are suffering from it
    3. They are a caregiver for a member of the household suffering from COVID-19
    4. They are primary caregiver for a child unable to attend school closed due to the pandemic. Or for a family member unable to attend a facility that provides care usually.
    5. Unable to go to work or workplace closed due to self-quarantine recommended by healthcare workers
    6. Scheduled employment didn’t commence due to the pandemic
    7. They had to quit due to COVID-19
  4. Those who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, without sufficient work history in the base period.

It excludes the following people:

  1. Those provided telework with pay
  2. Those availing paid sick leave

Period of UI Benefits

A covered individual can receive assistance for a maximum of 39 weeks. This includes the period for which one was able to get regular unemployment assistance, which is usually 26 weeks in most states with some exceptions. One can get Extended Benefits during the remaining period. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act waives the one week waiting period to get unemployment payments. The amounts will not be less than the normally calculated weekly benefits amounts. There will also be a weekly payment of $600 over the regular unemployment allowance, for four months.

The payments will arrive without the one week waiting period because the program is fully federally funded.

Elaboration of Extended Benefits

The law details the eligibility conditions to avail Extended Benefits as follows:

  • Those who have exhausted regular compensation under state or federal Law for any benefit years after July 1, 2019.
  • Those with no right to UI compensation or any other compensation under any federal law.
  • Those who are able and available to work, and actively seeking work though they may not find work due to the pandemic.

They will get as much as they were entitled to get under the regular program or an equivalent amount.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: Other Important Provisions

The CARES Act includes some other important measures to help mitigate the effects of massive job losses. The unemployment phenomenon has a trickle-down effect on people’s ability to meet their basic needs, which this law addresses. COVID-19 has caused an extraordinary situation where people can’t look for new jobs even if they wanted to.

Direct Cash Transfers

Individual Americans earning up to $75,000 will receive a one time transfer of $1200, while married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400. Families with children get an additional $500 per child.

This will help buy essential supplies and out-of-pocket meds.

Withdrawing From Your Investments

  • 401(k) loan limits are now up to $100,000 from $50,000
  • Required Minimum Distribution compulsions have been suspended from IRAs and 401(k) plans (at age 72). RMDs were meant to ensure that people didn’t avoid taxation on their retirement funds to leave them as inheritances.
  • No early withdrawal penalty on withdrawing retirement accounts for COVID-19 related reasons.

Others CARES That Support People

  • Americans need healthcare the most at this crucial time and thus the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act appropriates $127 billion to hospitals alone. 
  • The Act provides employee retention credits for businesses against an employer’s portion of payroll taxes, to encourage those trying to retain employees and paying them during this time.
  • Employment development program like the State Trade Expansion Program from the Small Business Administration will continue to be funded.
  • Funding for programs like the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program will continue, potentially providing employment avenues for those interested in acquiring such training.

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act is a big step in the right direction, addressing the large-scale unemployment concerns facing the country. At the end of the pandemic, the economy should not be in shambles and the law attempts to balance this with healthcare. 

The real challenge lies in implementing the ambitious provisions effectively. People are facing problems accessing unemployment insurance departments at this point in time. The very first thing to do for the government is to scale up the capacity of state labor departments to help people file UI claims.

In a speedy display of rare bipartisanship, Congress voted to get The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and President Trump signed it into law, passed on March 18. The law brings welcome relief to states in need of funds to pay unemployment insurance to claimants. It commits $1 billion to cover the costs of processing and paying UI as well as 100% federal funding for Extended Benefits. 

Also referred to as H.R. 6201, the law details provisions for paid sick leave to workers diagnosed with COVID-19 or caring for family members who may have the disease. There are certain requirements, which states must meet to get the funding. There are also welcome measures that look into other complementary aspects of combating this global pandemic.

What Are The Unemployment-Related  Provisions?

This section of the overall act has been called the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020. The biggest breather comes from the provision of $1 billion as emergency grants to states for the processing and payment of unemployment insurance benefits.

There is also a $500 million additional fund for staffing, technology requirements, systems, and other administrative costs. To obtain this $500 million assistance, the states have to:

  • Make it mandatory for employers to notify the laid-off employees about potential UI eligibility
  • Provide two ways to apply for UI by phone, in person or online
  • Keep applicants informed about the status of their application- whether or not its being processed and how to improve the success rate of processing

States which experience at least a 10% increase in unemployment may receive emergency grants worth $500 million. This is over the aforementioned provision. These states would be required to:

  • temporarily ease eligibility requirements such as work search and waiting period so that more people can access UI
  • increase employer UI taxes if they layoff too many workers
  • Ease UI restrictions which are a part of federal law

The Families-First Coronavirus Response Act enables states to get access to interest-free advances to meet unemployment-related needs until Dec 31, 2020.

The law also anticipates that the Extended Benefits program will be needed with the unemployment rate likely to rise over 10%. Hence funding for Extended

Benefits will totally be federal whereas 50% of funding would come from states at other times.

States which offer work-sharing programs can get assistance from the Secretary of Labor. This enables workers to get reduced pay instead of layoff. Employers opting for this plan get some incentives and assistance.

What Should You Do To Get Unemployment Compensation?

You can read all about how to collect unemployment benefits if you got laid off due to the Coronavirus pandemic here.

Most states have waived the waiting period, work search requirements and allowed part-time workers and the self-employed to file for unemployment benefits. If eligible you will receive your Determination Letter.

The new law does not require claimants to do anything outside of the ordinary application process to claim unemployment insurance benefits. 

It is best to file claims online as most states have a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications. There will be delays if you try phone filing or in-person visits.

What Can A Worker Expect From The Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

  • Governments and private businesses with fewer than 500 employees have to provide up to two weeks of paid sick leave at the regular wage rate if anyone contracts COVID-19
  • Those employees staying away to care for a sick family member or a child out of school are entitled to the same but at two-thirds of the regular wage rate
  • Sick workers also get an additional 10 weeks off at two-thirds of the regular wage rate
  • Companies with fewer than 50 employees will be exempted from these rules if they risk going out of business due to closure

What Are The Other Helpful Provisions Of This Law?

The fight against the Coronavirus pandemic requires a multi-pronged approach. Hence the Families First Coronavirus Response Act addresses various other requirements.

Healthcare Clauses

  • Health Insurance coverage at no cost to the customer for COVID-19 diagnostic testing under both private plans and Medicaid.
  • States can extend Medicaid eligibility to cover uninsured populations.
  • Medicaid will cover beneficiary cost-sharing for healthcare practitioner visits that order the test.
  • Personal Respiratory Protective Devices will be covered as countermeasures against COVID-19
  • Enhanced Medicaid funding
  • National Disaster Medical System will be able to reimburse the cost of diagnostic testing for SARS-Cov19 of insured individuals with a grant of $1bn

Food and Nutrition clauses

  •  $250 million for the Senior Nutrition Program which will supply about 25 million additional home-delivered, pre-packaged meals to low-income seniors.
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program gets $300 million to buy nutritious food and $100 million to supply and distribute it.
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children gets $500 million so that laid-off low-income pregnant women and mothers and their children get food.
  • Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) of food assistance to households with children who get meals in school and aren’t now due to COVID-19 shutdowns
  • No work requirements for “food stamp” program

What Is the Path Forward for The United States?

The Families First Act is a welcome beginning but will need to be expanded to cover various groups who will be left to fend for themselves. As of now, employers with over 500 employees do not have to provide paid leave. This includes workers in banks, grocery chains, etc. who come into contact with hundreds of people daily.

The vast majority of people will be left without protection from the financial hit of getting laid-off. Many applicants do not qualify for unemployment benefits due to having inadequate hours or wages. Further easing of restrictions is necessary.

Many states had cut unemployment staff and benefits on the back of good economic growth over the past couple of years. Twenty-three states had inadequate unemployment trust funds, though the new act should address this.

The technological capabilities will need to be scaled up largely to deal with the massive surge in UI applications as well as other forms of assistance. With so many people having to say home, there is also a shortage of manpower to provide state essential services. States have plans to employ workers to meet this requirement.

The Coronavirus Response Act has addressed all the different war fronts along which this pandemic will have to be fought with allocations for disaster response, food, Medicaid and veteran care, etc. As the situation evolves the US will have to prepare itself to deal with whatever this new world order will dish out.

The novel coronavirus has posed the US government with a dreadful conundrum- save the economy or save lives? It’s a chicken and egg situation. The social distancing and the resultant economic slowdown, spiking unemployment and poverty will endanger people.  Without these measures, lives will be lost due to disease and co-morbidities. This begs the question: how is the US equipped to deal with a pandemic breakout? Is there coronavirus preparedness?

The government has made the obvious choice to save lives on priority. A researched model from Imperial College London is the basis of this decision. It suggests that without stringent measures COVID-19 can potentially kill 2.2 mn Americans.

Experts from UCLA estimate that the tightening government restrictions will cause 2 mn job losses and raise the national unemployment rate to more than 5%. This is if social distancing measures are not needed well into the year. 

Emerging Unemployment Crisis In The United States: What Coronavirus Is Doing To The US Economy

The world remembers the 2008 Global Financial Crisis that began in the United States. That crisis began with the banking sector due to bad mortgages. The Coronavirus effects on the economic slowdown are from many economic sectors simultaneously, like travel, tourism, restaurants, movie theatres etc. shutting down. 

Here are some of the sectors shutting down and the ripple effects they will have across the economy:

  • Detroit automakers are temporarily shuttering production to try to contain the spread of coronavirus. Millions of workers and parts suppliers not to mention sales professionals will be affected.
  • New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut are temporarily closing all indoor shopping malls, amusement parks, and bowling alleys. These entertainment centers employ thousands of employees earning hourly wages.
  • The capital markets are in jeopardy with fluctuations in all the indices. The Federal Reserve has slashed interest rates to zero.
  • Many eateries and restaurants have been forced to shut down.
  • The real estate sector is seeing trickle-down effects as people save funds for emergencies (and buying houses is not one). Similarly, the tech devices companies will also see effects soon.
  • Delayed shipments from China jeopardize many consumer goods companies.
  • By contrast, supermarkets and food processing industries might see a brief revenue spike. It is however unlikely to last as people will stop having cash to spend over time.

There has been a huge jump in the number of claims filed for unemployment insurance, reflecting the increasing number of layoffs. 

  • Rhode Island alone has 17,779 claims for unemployment insurance over just 8 days.
  • Oregon has had a jump from 800 on March 16 to nearly 19000 on March 18.
  • Texas saw more than 16,000 people filing for unemployment insurance between March 10 and 16.
  • Hawaii’s state labor department website crashed due to over 3000 claims being filed on a single day, March 18.
  • 30,000+ claims have been filed in Connecticut since 13th March.

Typically the number of claims filed on an average in a week number about 4000 in normal times.

The full extent of the pandemic is yet to make itself clear.

Preparedness Of The States To Meet The Financial Requirements Of UI

An important concern is whether the states have adequate funds to pay out the unemployment insurance benefits. This is reflected in the solvency of the states’ trust funds. What does this mean?

Solvency refers to the ability of an entity, the State Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund in this case, to meet its long-term financial liabilities. To understand whether the states’ funds are solvent, we look not at the dollar amount but at the ratio of the fund balance to the wages paid out that year, called Reserve Ratio.

Consider this graph sourced from the US Department Of Labor which ranks the states on the State Trust Fund Solvency. It is worrisome to see States like California, Texas and New York in the red. They host some of the largest employers.

Only 31 out of the 50 states have funds that are at or above the recommended amounts for solvency. One reason why so many states are underprepared may be that there are no federal requirements for any minimum amount of funds that should be maintained in a state’s trust fund.

states fund solvency

If states use up all of their funds on UI payments, they can pay out pending claims by borrowing from the Federal government through the Title XII program. They will have to pay interest on these borrowings, which they may finance through private sector borrowing instruments or through tax revenue deductions by the Treasury Department.

The aid package being planned will not be meant to finance UI alone. If the global production stoppages continue for months, it is unclear how unemployment insurance payments will be extended beyond the usual 26 week period. Not all states will qualify for the extension of an additional 26 weeks.

Can The Proposed Aid Package Spur Coronavirus Preparedness?

Lawmakers are weighing a $1 trillion assistance package to small businesses, to keep them afloat during the coronavirus outbreak. The aid will likely have preconditions as measures to force bailed out companies to keep workers on their payrolls. These may include limits on executive compensation, and prohibitions on stock buybacks which have risen to unprecedented levels in recent times.

Many states have submitted requests to the U.S. Small Business Administration for the extension of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses. They are facing the brunt of the slowdown.

The President has signed into legislation The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

which gives $1 billion to the states so they can meet the administrative costs of processing unemployment insurance. This will briefly rescue those 23 states with very low UI funds even before COVID-19 hit. Read all about the new law here.

Are You Eligible For UI Benefits If You Lost Your Job Due To Coronavirus?

To help the newly unemployed, the U.S. Department Of Labor has announced unemployment benefits to those who lost their jobs temporarily. However, having understood the state of emergency, the authorities have eased the eligibility criteria. Know the updated rules of UI benefits before filing a claim. 

Most states have passed executive orders exempting people from the work search requirements. The waiting period of a week to receive the first payment has also been waived. Even part-timers and the self-employed are now eligible, as are those forced to remain away from work due to illness or caregiving duties.

Despite the eased rules, those who haven’t met the minimum number of hours of work, or those who haven’t worked in a specific state long enough may find their application rejected. Those ineligible for UI but eligible for Disability Insurance or Family Leave should certainly apply for those.

What Is The Likely Future And How Much Coronavirus Preparedness Do We Need?

More easing of UI norms will be needed along with longer payment periods to support the larger numbers of unemployed citizens.

So far, the government safety net to help the unemployed does not appear sufficient to handle the surge in the claim numbers. Labor websites have been crashing across the states and phone lines have been jammed. The departments find themselves woefully understaffed as some states have recalled retirees and temporarily hired staffers to handle the new claims.

Many employees are under quarantine leading to calls going unanswered.

The Families First Coronavirus response Act is a good start but a more robust response is needed for coronavirus preparedness. It only provides relief to employers with less than 500 employees, and their employees, not addressing bigger employers or groups like students and gig workers who move around a lot.

Those facing the heat of the Coronavirus outbreak with respect to job losses can now breathe easier since several states across the US are expanding unemployment insurance eligibility to deal with the fallout. We will tell you all about how you can collect unemployment benefits if Coronavirus-induced slowdown has gotten you laid off. Remember that you must file claims for UI benefits immediately upon being separated from work.

Claiming Unemployment Insurance 

The American Unemployment Insurance Program is meant to help tide you over a no-fault layoff, while you look for new employment. Taxes paid by your former employers finance the program. The present slowdown is an instance of the very reason for the institution of UI, to sustain consumer demand and help revive the economy.

Upon successful processing of your unemployment insurance application, you receive a weekly benefit, beginning two weeks later (now one week). The weekly benefit amount and the maximum amount you can get are calculated based on the wages earned by you during the base period, over the previous year. The Base period is the period of employment before the job loss.

Usually, Unemployment Insurance is provided by the states for 26 weeks from the date of effective application. In states where the unemployment situation has worsened enormously, there is a permanent Extended Benefits (EB) program, which gives an additional 13 or 20 weeks of compensation to jobless workers after their regular benefits are exhausted.

When Can You Claim Unemployment Benefits

Different states have slightly different eligibility criteria. But, the essential condition to be satisfied for unemployment insurance eligibility is that you have lost your job DUE TO NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN. Those who quit their jobs are not eligible unless there were extenuating circumstances (determined with a hearing) and all efforts made to resolve the same.

Second, you have to satisfy monetary eligibility requirements. You should have earned a threshold amount during the base period, which differs slightly across states.

Third, you must maintain your eligibility by fulfilling the following conditions:

  • Be physically able to work throughout the benefit week period
  • Be available to work.
  • Be ready to accept the work offered to you
  • Be actively seeking job opportunities

Some of these criteria have been modified to help people affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. One can file for Extended Benefits once the regular benefits run out.

What Are The Changes To Unemployment Compensation Rules

Unemployment Insurance claims can now be filed if:

  • An employer is forced to stop operations temporarily because a worker becomes sick and thus other workers need to be isolated or quarantined
  • An employer is forced to shut down offices temporarily due non-availability of work to assign. 
  • Working hours are reduced due to business slowdown or loss of production, resulting in a wage drop.
  • A firm goes out of business due to the coronavirus disease.

Individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits provided they meet the monetary criteria and weekly eligibility criteria. Most state governors have made the following relaxations:

  • Workers who have a return date to their employment, within eight weeks of the temporary layoff, are exempted from the active search for new job opportunities. This is referred to as standby.
  • Waiving of the requirement of being able to and available for work for claimants affected by the Coronavirus.
  • Under normal circumstances, part-time employment is not considered for UI eligibility, but now standby is available to part-timers. You should have worked 680 hours at least in your base year, and you should have a date of an anticipated return to employment.
  • Waiving of the one-week waiting period post-acceptance of UI application as well as training requirements. 
  • UI filing deadlines are being extended for employers and workers. As UI works on a weekly cycle, make sure you file it within the week preceding the one from when you will start getting the payments.

Unemployment insurance coronavirus

Some states like Mississippi are yet to do so.

What To Do If You Fall Ill Or Have To Provide Care

As COVID-19 is now a national emergency, some rules have been put in place to help those contracting it. All states have issued clarifications about claiming Unemployment Insurance

If you have contracted COVID-19 and are too sick to work or be available for work, you won’t be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. Still, you may avail Paid Family & Medical Leave or Disability Insurance (DI). The waiting period has been waived or them all.

You can claim UI once you have recovered and can work.

You cannot claim UI benefits if you refuse the remote work option provided by the employer. It is only meant for those who are without pay due to layoffs. If you get paid leave, you will not be eligible for UI benefits.

If a health professional has asked you to self-quarantine due to Coronavirus exposure and your employer has refused paid sick leave, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance. If you are a caregiver for a family member with the condition and are unable to work, you can avail Paid Family Leave (PFL). You won’t receive Paid Leave and UI together, however.

How To File Claim For Unemployment Insurance If Coronavirus Has Caused A Job Loss

To apply for Unemployment Insurance if Coronavirus outbreak has caused you a job loss, you can visit your state’s Labor Department website or call the authorized Claims Center. In some states, the point of contact is the American Jobs Center. Online applications can be submitted at any time, with no waiting time.

You will need to have the following information ready to submit:

  1. Social security number
  2. Name, Birthdate and Contact Information
  3. Names, dates worked for, and mailing addresses of employers you worked for over your base period or 18 months. 
  4. Citizen status /work Authorization
  5. Account or Routing Numbers of your bank or union for Direct Deposit
  6. SF-8 for federal employees
  7. DD-214 form for ex-military people
  8. Name and number of the union for those who find work as part of one

You will then receive an Unemployment Claim Determination Letter that will tell you if your application has been accepted and your weekly benefit amount. After you apply for unemployment benefits, submit a weekly claim for every week you require benefits. Your weekly claim only covers the prior week. If you fail to do so, you will stop receiving benefits.

Job search requirements will be exempted during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, you will have to provide proof of a quarantine request from a healthcare practitioner. Verification of illness and shutdowns may be conducted by contacting your employers.

How COVID-19 Is Threatening Your Job

The COVID 19 outbreak has caused a lot of panics as the disease has been spreading rapidly with nearly 4000 infected cases and over a dozen deaths, statistics spiking through the day. As the disease spreads via droplet infection and is highly contagious, the US has directed firms to shut down and provide remote work wherever applicable and possible. However, several industries have been facing losses and have resorted to laying off workers, just over the last week. 

Sectors like Food and Beverages, Travel and Tourism, Event Management depend on regular footfall for their sustenance and are the first ones forced to lay employees off. Airlines, hotels, etc. are likely to be the worst affected as flights and events like festivals are being canceled. Gig workers, entry-level employees, and casual workers are at the greatest risk. With many companies placing hiring freezes and other moving interviews online, finding a new job will prove tremendously difficult.

Several small businesses based on services and niche commodities are being hit by the trickle-down effect of job losses, as people can no longer afford to buy from them. The stock market has also been on a steady downslide, reflecting the increased threat to jobs in the finance sector.

Jobs involving global supply chains have been among the first to be affected. Truckers, wholesalers and warehouse workers, etc. are receiving diminished to no pay as exports globally are no longer coming, and some ships have been quarantined. Due to the large scale industrial slowdown in China, supply chains based there are seeing downstream effects in the US.

The full impact is yet to be understood. Coming on the back of strong job growth in the preceding months, these hits are affecting morale. It is vital to claim any assistance that you are eligible for at this time, especially if you don’t have savings enough to tide over 3 months of living expenses. Keep up with the guidelines released by your state to claim unemployment insurance if Coronavirus threatens your job security.

 

If you are going through a rough patch, staring unemployment in the face, then Valentine’s day can seem like an annoying occasion. However, there is a silver lining. Some of these Valentine’s day jobs are not as available during the rest of the year. This gives an excellent chance to those looking to make a few extra bucks.

The 14th of February has become heavily commercialized over the years as corporates have seized the chance to get Americans to spend. On a positive note, the increased demand creates jobs in various sectors from the greeting card industry to hospitality. From a humanitarian perspective, you also get the chance to bring some joy into the lives of the young and the old.

Florist

The flower business is the perfect chance to make money during the season of love. Flower sales peak up during Valentine’s week. A good florist can help customers choose flowers as per their symbolic meaning. Flower arrangement is a valuable skill that an artistically inclined person can easily pick up. 

Baby Sitter

Being a baby sitter is a lucrative job this Valentine’s Day. Couples want to go out on romantic dates and don’t mind spending more bucks than usual on childcare. This Valentine’s day job is a golden chance for you to cash in.

Limousine Driver

A good number of Valentine’s day plans involve renting out limousines. Thus, there would be a situation of driver-shortage that you can take advantage of. Safely taking intoxicated couples through their dates and navigating the traffic of the night involves a good level of driving skill- making this a well-paying job.

Chocolatier

This is an excellent opportunity for you to show off sweet-making skills if making chocolates is your passion. Chocolate sales spike up on Valentine’s Day as they are the most popular gifting option. Clients make a beeline for niche chocolatiers rather than big-name brands to add a personal touch.

Musicians 

Valentine’s day brings a plethora of opportunities for those with musical skills. Whether you are a soloist or a member of a struggling band, the sheer number of events looking to hire musicians guarantees gigs. Song Writers can find freelance opportunities as most people can’t write lyrics but want special songs tailored to their partners. 

Greeting Card Writer 

There are several freelance opportunities for content writers during Valentine’s week as the greeting card industry looks to hire. Powerful words can capture someone’s heart, and drive up sales. If you can write well, you will be paid well. All you need is a laptop and a working internet connection.

Park Keeper 

Valentine’s Day sees a surge in the number of proposals. The favored destination for proposing happens to be parks. Here’s where the role of a park keeper comes in. All you need to do is maintain the park and earn a steady buck. 

MatchMaker

This is a pretty lucrative job throughout the year, not just Valentine’s Day. But there is no doubt that more people require help finding partners around Valentine’s season. With a multitude of dating apps and sites, there are more matchmaking jobs than ever. If you are a compassionate person with good people skills, consider looking for these jobs or you can even look to starting your own venture. 

Let’s Spread Love This Season!

Whether you are in between jobs or want to earn some extra money to treat your partner to something special, Valentine’s Day jobs are what you need. If all you can find are part-time positions, be sure to file your unemployment claims on time. Celebrate your relationship with your loved ones as you support each other through these tough phases.

  

 

California has been ravaged by wildfires for a few days now. Firefighters and emergency services have been striving to contain the blazes as new fires keep breaking out. In Sonoma County, where the Kincade fire has made an enormous hit, life is slowly returning to track, as people look at what comes next. The risk of fires worsening is up since fast blowing winds can spread the embers.

Pacific Gas and Electric Utility shut down power in several counties to prevent fires starting from electrical malfunctions. This outage impacts businesses in a big way, particularly for wage workers and contractors who are directly or indirectly dependent on daily workflow. 

The obvious result of the mass evacuations ordered is the loss of work time. For daily wage workers, this has a severe impact on basics like housing, meals, etc. The power cuts are harsher upon those living in poverty. Those who live upon low savings struggle when they lose employment due to the above reasons.

In contrast, as the wine county has time-sensitive harvest operations, abandoning the area is not an option for those whose survival depends on the industry. Fires always end up choking the air with dust, smoke, and debris, which directly affects a day laborer or domestic worker’s health. The damage to the land takes a long time to recover, and while it does, its former employees must make do by other means. 

There are reports about people being forced to remain in the danger zone for fear of unemployment. Particularly, migrant workers and immigrants have preferred to endanger their safety as they tend to be ineligible for unemployment insurance.

On the upside, previous wildfires have shown an increase in local communities’ employment and labor engagement due to fire suppression and support activities. The post-fire reconstruction may support and spur the local labor market up to an extent.

Counties whose economies are reliant on recreation-based activities generally show a decline in wages and employment, while counties depending on government jobs do not show such an effect. Hazard pay and overtime allowance might increase in fire-associated jobs for a while after a wildfire.

Availing Disaster Unemployment Assistance to cope with California Wildfires

There arises a situation of joblessness during the California wildfires, which has various direct and indirect consequences for workers. Jobless claims have gone up during the end of October, with the largest increase seen in California.

The California Employment Development Department has announced that people losing their wages due to the Kincade fire can apply for disaster unemployment assistance (DUA). Usually, UI benefits are paid out after a waiting period of a week post-filing a claim, but the government has waived it as part of an emergency proclamation. Thus, the claimants receive two weeks of unemployment benefits on their first payment.

As the Kincade fire has not yet been declared as a federal disaster, the self-employed people would not be able to claim unemployment assistance. 

The amounts paid out depend on past earnings and may vary from $40-$450. Claims can be filed online, by phone, mail, or fax. Claimants can call the toll-free number 1-800-300-5616 between 8 a.m and 12 noon (Pacific Time).

If you are owed claims currently and are unable to receive the payments at your regular address, you can contact the local post office. Remember that the DUA deadline is Dec 18, 2019.

 

 

If you need to claim unemployment benefits in California, you have the added advantage of availing California Training Benefits (CTB). You can use these programs to educate yourself further and acquire high-demand skills. You can also explore new career avenues all while being able to draw Unemployment Insurance benefits.

The programs opted for must be approved by the California Employment Development Department (EDD). You can even get an exemption from actively looking for work, which otherwise is a pre-requisite to qualifying for unemployment insurance.

Is a CTB Program Useful?

There are a variety of training programs which unemployed workers can attend. These programs make it easier to re-enter the workforce. Some of the programs permitted by the EDD are:

  • Registered Eligible Training Providers from the ETPL list who offer short courses for high-demand vocations
  • Government organized training under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), etc.
  • Apprenticeship programs where you can earn and get educational credits while working
  • Trade Association, Union, or eligible Employer-Sponsored Training
  • Programs to acquire teaching credentials in single subjects

Many of these programs also teach you how to build a better resume, write a good cover letter and develop interview skills. This would help you in your job search. 

California job training programs can help you gain the skills needed to transition into a new career or get better opportunities in your present one. 

How to Avail California Training Benefits While Drawing UI?

The steps to be followed to enroll in job training in California are given below:

  • Notify the EDD of your interest in California Training Benefits when you file your unemployment insurance claim.
  • Once you have chosen your program, ensure that it meets all the eligibility criteria to qualify for CTB especially if it is self-arranged
  • When you start attending the training program or school, you must report your attendance to EDD in that week
  • EDD determines your eligibility for training benefits by having you fill a questionnaire or answer a telephonic interview with a representative 
  • You need to provide information on your attendance, the training school or facility, your career objectives, etc
  • EDD then sends you a Notice of Determination DE 1080 containing the results of whether or not you are found eligible 
  • DE 1080 explains your rights and responsibilities

You can claim UI even if you are found to be not eligible for CTB. However, you would have to meet the usual eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance. These include actively searching for work, available and willing to accept work, etc.

Note that the EDD will not pay any school or training-related expenses such as tuition fees, books, transportation, etc. There are however federal, state or private financial aid programs you can avail.

Eligibility Criteria for Self-Arranged Job Training in California

You should have been unemployed for 4 weeks due to a lack of demand for your skills. Your training has to be related to a skill that is in demand in the current market. The CTB program must have the accreditation of the United States Department of Education or the California Bureau for Private Post-secondary Education.

Only full-time training programs of reasonable duration (less than 2 years) are eligible.

You can even get additional weeks of benefits if you choose to attend a training program after your claim has begun. You have to report such interest within the 16th week of your benefit period. You can avail a maximum of 52 times your weekly benefit amount to complete a longer-term program. There is only one extension possible per CTB approved training program.

California’s Job Training Benefits programs are a useful way to keep yourself engaged and updated while you figure out the next steps in your career. There are programs for older workers as well as for youngsters aged under 18.

 

https://fileunemployment.org