What California Residents Can Do if They Experience Financial Hardship Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

There are several options for employees and employers who have affected by the virus' impact on the economy

NBC Bay Area

The California Employment Development Department is reminding residents and employers of their options if they have fallen under financial hardship due to the novel coronavirus.

Bars and breweries have shut down as a result of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recommendation in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Restaurants are operating at half capacity or strictly takeout service and major corporations have announced they will be closed for days to do their due diligence.

The department listed benefits for people in different predicaments who have been financially impacted by the pandemic, such as parents who have to miss work to care for their children amid canceled classes and employers who may have to resort to closures or layoffs.

Here is what the department said is available for California residents:


If a medical professional determines you are sick or must be quarantined because you’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus and as a result, you cannot work, then you can file a Disability Insurance claim.

It provides short-term benefit payments that amount to about 60 to 70% of wages, depending on an individual’s income. The payments range from $50 to $1,300 weekly to eligible workers who have fully or partially lost wages due to a non-work related illness.

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Those who can’t work because they are caring for a sick or quarantined family member who medical professionals determined have COVID-19 can file a Paid Family Leave claim. With it, eligible recipients can take up to six weeks of benefit payments that range from $50 to $1,300 weekly.

Parents all over San Diego County have felt the impact of COVID-19 as it shut down dozens of schools on Monday. With the majority of campuses reopening in April, many parents may have to miss work for weeks caring for their child. Those who fall under that eligibility can file an Unemployment Insurance claim.

The eligibility considers those who have no other care option or the opportunity to work remotely. The benefit offers partial wage replacement. Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $40 to $450 weekly.

It also applies to those whose work hours were reduced or whose employer shut down operation due to the virus. Anyone who falls under that category must remain able and readily available to work during their unemployment for each week the benefit is received.

Self-employed residents who have been hit by a financial toll can also file for insurance programs.

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Businesses that are experiencing a lull in sales as a result of COVID-19 can apply for the UI Work Sharing Program, which allows employers to find an alternative to layoffs by reducing work hours. Employees of establishments that are approved for the program will receive a percentage of their weekly benefit based on their hours and wages that were reduced.

If employers must resort to layoffs or even plan a closure due to the virus, the Rapid Response program can help. Teams will meet with the impacted businesses to help avert possible layoffs and provide on-site services to help workers who face unemployment.

There is also tax assistance available to employers who are experiencing a hardship as a result of the novel coronavirus. Establishments can request up to a 60-day extension to file their state payroll reports or deposit the taxes without penalty.

Written requests are required and must be received within 60 days of the original delinquent date.

Each benefit has its own set of requirements. Click here for more details.

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