At Allegiant Law, our Buckeye bankruptcy lawyers understand that our clients and friends may be facing financial hardships and extreme stress as they deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to help by answering some common questions workers may have about coronavirus layoffs and furloughs.
We also want to provide some resources that might be helpful for individuals searching for assistance and programs that can help provide basic needs, including housing and food.
What is the Difference Between Being Laid Off and Being Furloughed?
The difference between a furlough and being laid off is essential. Employees who are at home on furlough are not being paid. They are on an unpaid leave of absence. However, when the company announces the end of the furlough, the employees return to their previous position and salary.
Employees who have been laid off lost their job. Their employers terminated their employment with the company. Employees who are laid off can apply for unemployment benefits. They may also qualify for other benefits related to a coronavirus layoff.
How Does the CARES Act Help Me If I Am Unemployed Because of the Coronavirus?
The CARES Act expanded unemployment on the state level. The federal government added $600 per week to the amount of money the states pay for unemployment compensation. Additionally, self-employed individuals, freelancers, part-time employees, and independent contractors may now qualify for unemployment benefits. The CARES Act also increased the term of unemployment benefits by 13 weeks.
How Do I File Unemployment in Buckeye, AZ?
Employees may file for unemployment benefits through the Department of Economic Security (DES). It can help to have all information relevant to your employment at hand, such as your last paystub, employer’s name and address, the reason for termination of employment, and date of termination.
Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
In most cases, an employee who has been laid off is eligible for unemployment benefits. However, if you were fired, you may not be eligible for benefits, or you may have a penalty assessed against you that decreases the number of weeks you receive unemployment benefits.
If your application for unemployment benefits is denied, ask for a written explanation of the reason for the denial. Carefully review the statement and other documentation provided to you with the denial. Make sure that you note any deadlines for appeals or other information for filing an appeal.
File your appeal or contact a lawyer as quickly as possible. If you miss the deadline for an appeal, you may not be able to pursue your claim in the future. It is wise to seek advice from an experienced attorney about your legal rights.
How Can I Pay My Bills If I Am Laid Off or Unemployed?
If you are unemployed, paying bills is a top concern. Your living expenses and basic needs come first. Many people do not have enough money to make it for very much longer.
You may want to contact your creditors, including student loan companies, to ask about deferments and forbearances. Many creditors are working with their clients who need assistance because of a COVID-19 related shutdown, layoff, or illness.
Check the 2-1-1 Arizona website for resources and information about a variety of programs designed to help individuals and families during the outbreak.
Should I Contact a Buckeye Bankruptcy Lawyer?
If you cannot pay your debts and you believe that you may be unable to find work for some time, you may want to discuss your options for getting out of debt now. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case could help you get out of debt quickly.
Individuals and couples who may not have met the income qualifications for Chapter 7 before COVID-19 may do so now, if they have been out of work or experienced a decrease in income.
Contact Our Buckeye Bankruptcy Lawyers for More Information
The legal team of Allegiant Law Group is working for you during this difficult time. We are here if you have questions or concerns about debt problems.