The country continues to battle the coronavirus. As the country reopens, many people are still without jobs. Millions of people have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some are struggling to pay for necessities while letting debt payments pile up. There is some relief. Unemployment benefits can help some. However, in some cases, individuals may need to explore other options for getting out of debt caused by COVID-19.
What is the Difference Between Being Laid Off and Being Furloughed?
If you have been laid off, your job is terminated. A layoff is the same as being fired, except your termination was not for cause. Therefore, you should qualify for unemployment benefits.
However, if you were furloughed, your job is waiting for you. Being furloughed is an unpaid leave of absence. If you are not being paid, you should still qualify for unemployment benefits while you are out of work.
Can I Receive Additional Assistance If My Unemployment is Related to COVID-19?
The CARES Act extended unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks past the standard state benefit. That means in Arizona that you could receive up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits if your unemployment was because of COVID-19. Your benefit is also increased by $600 per week because of the CARES Act.
How Do I File Unemployment in Mesa, AZ?
Claims for unemployment benefits may be filed online with the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES). Make sure that if your unemployment was because of the coronavirus that you utilize the online system for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits instead of the regular unemployment insurance application.
Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
Even though the federal and state governments have enacted programs to assist employees affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns, employees must still meet the basic qualifications for unemployment benefits. Therefore, if your termination was for cause, you may not qualify for unemployment benefits.
Also, if you are unable to work, you may not receive unemployment insurance. You must also follow all requirements, such as job searches and reporting requirements to remain eligible for unemployment benefits, including coronavirus unemployment benefits.
How Can I Pay My Bills If I Am Laid Off or Unemployed?
Prioritize your bills. For example, living expenses and secured debts are more important than medical bills, credit card bills, and other unsecured debts.
The Arizona Department of Housing provides information for tenants and homeowners on its website. Many mortgage companies are working with borrowers to delay foreclosure during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also find information about resources and assistance available for Arizona residents on the website for 2-1-1 Arizona.
Should I Contact a Mesa Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Even with unemployment benefits and aid from various government programs, you may find it impossible to pay your debts. If so, contact our Mesa bankruptcy attorney for a free consultation. We analyze your financial situation and advise you of your bankruptcy options. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case may be the best way for you to get out of debt and back on your feet after a coronavirus layoff.
If you have been unemployed for a few months, you might also qualify to file under Chapter 7, even though you may have made too much money to file Chapter 7 before the pandemic. However, if you go back to work, your window to file under Chapter 7 may be short. Call our office to discuss whether a Chapter 7 case might be possible.
Contact Our Mesa 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.