If you are struggling financially because of a coronavirus layoff, you are not alone. Many residents of Surprise are dealing with the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, our Surprise bankruptcy lawyers try to answer some of your questions about the coronavirus layoffs. If you need help dealing with a debt problem, we encourage you to contact our office for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
What is the Difference Between Being Laid Off and Being Furloughed?
When your employer lays you off, your employment is terminated. The company is terminating its employment relationship with you. However, a furlough is different. If your employer furloughs you, you are still an employee of the company. You are on an unpaid leave of absence. When the furlough ends, you return to your job with the same pay and benefits as before the furlough.
How Does the CARES Act Help Me If I Am Unemployed Because of the Coronavirus?
The CARES Act expanded and increased unemployment benefits for millions of workers across the country, including workers in Surprise, AZ. The Act made unemployment available to workers who may not have previously qualified for unemployment benefits, such as part-time workers, freelancers, gig workers, and self-employed workers.
The Act also added 13 more weeks to the unemployment term and added $600 more to the weekly unemployment rates that states paid to their workers.
Because deadlines can be extended and benefits could change, it is a good idea to check The CARES Act website for the most current information about unemployment assistance.
How Do I File Unemployment in Surprise, AZ?
You can file for unemployment compensation online through the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES). The website has information about unemployment compensation for Arizona workers, including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment benefit.
Applying for unemployment benefits as soon as possible when you are laid off or furloughed can help you receive your benefits as quickly as possible. With millions of people filing for benefits, the process is slower than expected.
Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?
Even though The Cares Act is providing additional unemployment compensation assistance, states determine who is eligible to receive unemployment benefits. If your termination from your employment was for cause or you did not work for the specified time to qualify for unemployment, the DES might deny your unemployment compensation application.
If DES denies your unemployment application, find out why you were denied and appeal the denial. You may also want to speak with an attorney about your legal rights and options.
How Can I Pay My Bills If I Am Laid Off or Unemployed?
Figuring out how to pay bills during the pandemic is challenging. Federal student loans are in an automatic forbearance through September 2020. If your student loans were not deferred, contact the company to inquire about a forbearance or deferment.
You should also contact creditors and service providers to inquire about special programs to help with your bills during layoffs and furloughs. Many companies are working with customers to help them deal with the financial hardship caused by COVID-19.
The Arizona Department of Housing has information on its website about rental eviction prevention assistance and mortgage assistance during the pandemic. Several programs might help relieve the financial burden caused by the shutdowns.
Should I Contact a Surprise Bankruptcy Lawyer?
Filing bankruptcy may be an efficient way to get rid of debts and obtain a fresh start. Many people who did not qualify for Chapter 7 relief because they earned too much might now have a short window in which they meet the income requirements for Chapter 7. If so, they could get rid of their debts in as little as six months.
Call Our Surprise Bankruptcy Attorneys for a Free Case Review
If you are struggling with debts you cannot pay, let us help. We are working during the coronavirus pandemic to help individuals and couples obtain the debt relief they need.