The federal government passed an emergency coronavirus relief package to help support families and workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve summarized some of what’s included in this package below.
For employees in California that have lost wages as a result of COVID-19, you can read more about additional assistance available from the State of California here.
Paid Leave for Those Affected By COVID-19
Workers who have been diagnosed, tested, or treated for coronavirus will receive two weeks of paid sick leave. Those who have been told by a doctor or government official to stay home because of exposure or symptoms are also eligible. Payments will be capped at $511 per day.
Those caring for family members who have been diagnosed, tested, or treated for coronavirus will also receive two weeks of paid sick leave. Payments will be capped at $200 per day.
Those who are caring for children who have had their schools closed will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid family leave, capped at $200 a day. The employer may designate the first ten days of this leave as unpaid.
The benefit provided is generally two-thirds of your work pay, capped at the maximums noted above. Note that this only applies to employees of businesses with fewer than 500 employees or government workers. This leave will be given to part-time workers as well. You must have been employed by your employer for at least 30 days before requesting leave.
At companies with fewer than 50 employees, the federal government can exempt these businesses if it is determined that this paid leave would put the company at risk of going out of business. Certain health care providers and emergency responders are excluded from some of these benefits as well.
How Do You Get This Paid Leave?
The paid sick leave is paid to you directly from your employer. You do not need to apply for these benefits through the government. Within three months, your employer will be fully reimbursed for the sick leave payments through refundable tax credits.
Free Coronavirus Testing For All
The costs of coronavirus testing will be free to the public without having to use deductibles or make copayments. The cost will be covered by insurance and government programs such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Medicaid, and the National Disaster Medical System.
Additional Funding for Food Security Programs
Nearly $1 billion has been allocated to help those with the most need get access to meals during the pandemic. This is meant for those who rely on food banks, free or reduced lunch at school, and those who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Funding for State Unemployment Insurance
Nearly $1 billion has been allocated in emergency grants to states to help them pay unemployment insurance claims. If you have lost your job or had your work hours reduced as a result of the coronavirus, you can learn more about the benefits you can file for in California here.