The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted almost everyone in some way. Workers in some sectors have been impacted greater by the shutdowns caused by the spread of the coronavirus. Federal and state governments are implementing various programs to assist workers and families until businesses and the economy can rebound. You can find information about Arizona’s efforts to help workers and residents here.
What is the Difference Between Being Laid Off and Being Furloughed?
When an employee is furloughed, the individual remains employed. The furlough is an unpaid leave of absence. When the furlough ends, the employee should be allowed to return to work.
However, a layoff is similar to being fired. The person’s employment relationship with the company is terminated. However, being laid off should not negatively impact a person’s ability to collect unemployment benefits.
How Does the CARES Act Help Me If I Am Unemployed Because of the Coronavirus?
The CARES Act passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic provides financial assistance for workers, employers, and businesses. For workers who have been impacted by the coronavirus, the CARES Act expands who can file for unemployment compensation. The Act extends unemployment benefits to part-time employees, gig workers, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.
The legislation also extends unemployment benefits by 13 weeks and adds a $600 weekly payment to the amount the person may be entitled to receive from their state.
The response to COVID-19 can change quickly. It is a good idea to check the information online every few days because situations and things change rapidly as the government tries to stay ahead of the response.
How Do I File Unemployment in Peoria, AZ?
Arizona workers can file for unemployment benefits through the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES). The DES provides instructions on its website, including instructions for using the online portal to apply for unemployment benefits online.
Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
Even though the federal government is contributing to workers’ compensation programs on the state level for workers impacted by COVID-19, the individual states determine an applicant’s eligibility for unemployment benefits.
If the state denies your application for unemployment benefits, make sure that you obtain a written explanation of the reason for the denial. Carefully review the steps to appeal the denial and make sure that you follow the instructions and meet all deadlines. If you have questions or concerns, contact DES or an attorney.
How Can I Pay My Bills If I Am Laid Off or Unemployed?
Federal student loans are in an automatic forbearance through September 2020. If your student loans were not included in the automatic forbearance, call your lender to inquire about a deferment or forbearance. You may also want to contact your creditors, service providers, and mortgage company about special programs for providing relief during the pandemic. Many creditors are working with consumers to help relieve the financial burden caused by the shutdowns.
The Arizona Department of Housing has information on its website about eviction assistance and prevention. It also has information for homeowners who need assistance. DES also has a list of resources and programs that can help individuals who are experiencing financial hardships.
Should I Contact a Peoria Bankruptcy Lawyer?
If your unemployment claims are denied or you are struggling to pay bills and debts, you may want to consider a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Many people who may not have qualified for Chapter 7 before the pandemic may qualify now. You could get rid of debts you cannot pay in as little as six months. Our Peoria bankruptcy lawyers can review your options with you.
Contact Our Peoria Bankruptcy Attorneys If You Have Questions
The legal team of Allegiant Law Group is here to help. We are working during this time. If you have questions about foreclosures, repossessions, debt collections, or bankruptcy, call 602-562-1000 now to schedule your free consultation with a Peoria bankruptcy lawyer.