Filing for unemployment in California

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As the number of Santa Clarita Valley residents suddenly becoming unemployed or underemployed due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to rise, the rise in demand for state unemployment assistance is expected to climb, also. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services has provided a number of links that outline how to file for unemployment insurance, disability and paid family leave.

Unemployment Insurance

Under current circumstances, the federal government is allowing states to expand eligibility for benefits, so if your hours have been cut, you’ve been furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19, you’re eligible for unemployment insurance.

Benefits typically range from $40 to $450 per week for up to six months, according to the state’s Employee Development Department.

Those who are expecting to return to their positions are still eligible and do not have to be actively seeking new employment, which was the standard, per the EDD. 

When applying, your income will need to be verified either by your employer or with recent paystubs. Be sure to also document any communications from your employer about the changes in your work situation.

Those looking to apply should do so even if they aren’t sure they’re eligible and do so as soon as possible, as it may take longer than normal to receive benefits due to the sheer number of people applying.

For more information, visit edd.ca.gov/Unemployment.

Disability Insurance

If you are currently sick with COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus and are unable to work, you can apply for disability insurance. 

Disability insurance provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, which includes COVID-19, according to the EDD. 

Benefits typically are approximately 60% to 70% of wages, depending on income and range from $50 to $1,300 per week, per the EDD.

Those looking to apply will need to get a letter certified by a medical professional confirming they have the virus.

For more information, visit edd.ca.gov/Disability.

Paid Family Leave

If you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, you can apply for paid family leave. 

Paid family leave provides up to six weeks of benefits to eligible workers who have full or partial loss of wages due because they need time off to care for a seriously ill family member, according to the EDD. 

Like disability insurance, benefits typically are approximately 60% to 70% of wages, depending on income and range from $50 to $1,300 per week, per the EDD.

Those looking to apply will need to get a letter certified by a medical professional confirming their loved one has the virus.

For more information, visit edd.ca.gov/Disability.

Safety net services

Gov. Gavin Newsom also issued an executive order Wednesday to extend the eligibility period for important safety net services, such as Medi-Cal and food stamps.

“These social safety net programs are so important for families, especially during this crisis,” Newsom said in a prepared statement. “We don’t want Californians who rely on these services to lose them.”

The order waives eligibility redeterminations for 90 days, allowing current recipients to continue services without interruption of these programs:

  • Medi-Cal health coverage.
  • CalFresh food assistance, or food stamps.
  • CalWORKS.
  • Cash Assistance for Immigrants.
  • In-Home Supportive Services.

To view all coronavirus-related stories, visit signalscv.com/category/news/coronavirus.

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