Being laid off from work is devastating. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus. If your unemployment is due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be entitled to additional unemployment benefits. However, you need to apply now for those benefits. The wait time could be lengthy, and many people are having trouble applying online for unemployment benefits.
What is the Difference Between Being Laid Off and Being Furloughed?
For unemployment benefits, there is no difference in being laid off or furloughed, as long as you are not receiving any money from your employer.
A furlough is an unpaid leave of absence. Being laid off means your job has been terminated, but the firing was not because you did anything wrong. If you lost your job and you are not receiving any money from your employer, you may qualify for unemployment benefits, including enhanced unemployment benefits.
How Does the CARES Act Help Me If I Am Unemployed Because of the Coronavirus?
The CARES Act has helped millions of people who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Act extended unemployment benefits to individuals who were not generally able to receive benefits, including freelancers, gig workers, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.
The Act also added $600 per week to the amount of unemployment compensation paid by the state. Individuals who lost their job because of COVID-19 circumstances can receive up to 39 weeks of unemployment compensation under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
How Do I File Unemployment in Chandler, AZ?
Claims for unemployment benefits may be filed online with the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES). However, if you are filing under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, you must use a special procedure. You can access the PUA guide here.
Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
Even if your employment was terminated because of coronavirus-related reasons, you must still meet the other qualifications for unemployment benefits. If you were fired for cause, you probably would not be eligible for unemployment, or you may have a penalty period. If you are unsure whether you are eligible for unemployment, contact the DES office. You may be able to challenge a denial of benefits, if you were wrongfully terminated.
How Can I Pay My Bills If I Am Laid Off or Unemployed?
Many people are struggling to find a way to pay their bills. Decreases in income and unemployment mean that people do not have as much disposable income as before the pandemic. Disposable income is the money left over after paying living expenses that you can use to pay debts. However, many people who are unemployed don’t have the money to pay living expenses, much less debts.
The Arizona Department of Housing has information for tenants and homeowners who are struggling to stay in their homes. Arizona residents can access information about food assistance programs, housing programs, and other aid on the 2-1-1 Arizona website.
Should I Contact a Chandler Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Yes, if you are struggling to pay your bills, you should definitely contact a Chandler bankruptcy lawyer. The consultation is free, so it does not cost you anything to learn how a bankruptcy case can get rid of debts.
In some cases, people can file Chapter 7 even though they may not have met the income requirements before the pandemic. Being unemployed for several months reduces income, which helps qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. For most people, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is an affordable, quick way to get out of debt.
Contact Our Chandler Bankruptcy Lawyers for More Information
The legal team of Allegiant Law Group is assisting individuals during this difficult time in finding a debt relief option that works for them. We are here if you have questions or concerns about debt problems.
Call 602-562-1000 now to schedule your free consultation with a Chandler bankruptcy lawyer.