Workers in California are wondering what assistance is available to them if they are unable to work as a result of the coronavirus. We highly recommend that all workers visit the California Department of Labor’s resource page for coronavirus for details on California benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19.
We have summarized some of the guidance provided by the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) below. We sincerely hope that you, your families, and your workplaces stay healthy and safe.
Paid Family Leave During COVID-19
If you are unable to work because you are caring for a quarantined or sick family member that is certified by a medical professional to have COVID-19, you may be eligible for CA paid family leave. This will provide you with up to six weeks of benefit payments. The benefits are 60 to 70 percent of your wages (depending on income), from $50 to $1,300 a week, for up to six weeks. You can file a paid family leave claim here.
Unemployment Insurance for COVID-19
If through no fault of your own, you’ve had your work hours reduced or you lost your job for reasons related to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance. This is a partial wage replacement benefit that can range from $40 to $450 per week (depending on past earnings) for up to 26 weeks. You can file an unemployment insurance claim here.
Sick or Quarantined? Disability, Workers’ Comp, and Paid Sick Leave
If you are unable to work for more than a week because you yourself have been certified by a medical professional to be sick from COVID-19 or are under medical quarantine, you may be eligible for disability insurance. This benefit is approximately 60 to 70 percent of your wages (depending on income), from $50 to $1,300 a week, for up to 52 weeks. You can file a disability insurance claim here.
You may also be eligible for workers’ compensation if you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work. Benefits are temporary disability (TD) payments, which generally pays two-thirds of the gross wages you lose while you are recovering from a work-related illness or injury, up to a maximum weekly amount set by law.
TD payments start when your doctor says you can’t do your usual work for more than three days, or you are hospitalized overnight, and continues for up to 104 weeks. It ends when your doctor releases you for work, you return to work, or your doctor says your illness has improved as much as it is going to. You can file a workers’ compensation claim here.
If you have it available, you may also use paid sick leave if you are sick or quarantined, or if you are caring for a family member that is sick or quarantined. If you do not have any more paid sick leave available, you may be able to take vacation or paid time off, depending on your employer’s policy.
Caring for Kids at Home
If your employer has 25 or more employees working at the same location in California, you can take up to 40 hours of work off to care for your child. Whether this leave is paid or unpaid depends on your employer’s paid leave, vacation, or other paid time off policies.
You may also be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave through a federal coronavirus relief package.
Stay Informed on Your CA Worker Rights
Again, we highly recommend that you visit https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/ for the latest information, directly from the CA state government, on the CA benefits and rights available to you during the coronavirus pandemic. Your friends at PARRIS wish you good health, safety, and access to assistance as we navigate this difficult time together.