On furlough due to the Coronavirus: Can you apply for unemployment insurance relief?
Millions of US workers are being furloughed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It is predicted that this emergency measure is likely to continue as some states have extended orders to close non-essential businesses. So, workers are now wondering what does it really mean to be furloughed?
To answer the question, it is simply ‘a mandatory, temporary, unpaid leave’. Although furloughs are typically meant to be temporary, a lot of people are still finding themselves without a paycheck. Another question workers are curious about is to whether they qualify for unemployment insurance.
Although states handle their own unemployment insurance programs, the Congress ordered that furloughed employees qualify for such benefits if the reason for their loss of work is related to the pandemic.
President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provides additional flexibility for the state unemployment insurance agencies and additional administrative funding to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. And on March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law, expanding the states’ ability to provide unemployment insurance for workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This also includes workers who aren’t orindarily eligible for unemployment benefits.
Until now, it is still unclear as to when the virus lockdown will end. Thus, to many people, it may seem furloughs are more likely layoffs. All that we know right now is that both seems to be indicating a cessation of employment even though employers typically refer to ‘furlough’ as ‘temporary’.
When it comes to what benefits or packages, there’s really no clear definition or scope if an employer is required to provide either of the two. But despite losing paychecks, furloughed workers will typically keep their health benefits.
If you’ve been furloughed or unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor recommends that you contact your state’s program as soon as possible. It usually takes two to three weeks to receive your first benefit check after your claim has been filed. For more information, you can refer to the COVID-19 resources provided by the Department of labor here.
As always, our team at DOK Insurance Agency is here to help where we can. For more information or questions about specific insurance policy as it relates to coronavirus, please email email@example.com or give us a call at (425) 242-5252.
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