Workers can apply for unemployment insurance through the Employment Development Department, which has waived the usual one-week waiting period.

Workers who are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the coronavirus should be able to receive benefits right away.

To receive benefits, you must meet certain minimum requirements.

If your claim is approved, you can receive between $40 and $450 each week, dependong on your earnings.

According to the E.D.D. website, if you are temporarily out of work and plan to return to the same employer, you do not need to meet the usual requirement of looking for work while you are collecting unemployment insurance.

If you are not attached to a particular employer with a job to return to, you are required to look for work while collecting benefits.

You can do that from home, for example, by searching for jobs online.

You can apply for unemployment insurance online, or by mailing or faxing the application to the Employment Development Department.

You may also apply by phone, but expect long wait times.

If it takes you more than five business days to connect by phone, ask the E.D.D. to backdate your claim to the Sunday before you started calling; just keep documentation of your attempts, i.e. screenshots of your call log.

Beginning April 2 through Dec. 31, under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, eligible employees can receive 10 paid sick days and up to 12 weeks of extended leave when a parent cannot work because of the closure of a child’s school or child care because of COVID-19.

Workers in California may also be eligible for paid sick days that can be used during school closures under state law, which provides a minimum of three days with full pay.


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