If your hours have been cut due to COVID-19, you may still get full aid relief through the CARES Act.
California workers who see their hours cut as little as 10% due to the coronavirus outbreak are eligible to receive the entire $600-a-week federal subsidy offered in the $2-trillion federal rescue package, state officials and employment experts say.
That means in some cases, workers in California — and across the country — could end up temporarily receiving far more from the government for those lost hours than they would have earned by working them.
“If employers knew about this option for their workers, there’s a lot of free money floating around, and it’s shocking that so few people take it up,” said Till Von Wachter, a UCLA economics professor. “There are substantial financial gains and opportunities for workers in the current environment, and it’s just crazy that nobody’s taking it up.”
While it was widely known that the flat $600-a-week federal unemployment supplement would be temporarily paid to workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic, it was less understood — including by some lawmakers — that the payment would also apply to any worker receiving prorated unemployment benefits because their hours had been reduced through a so-called work-sharing or short-time program.
“As long as you are receiving at least $1 in unemployment insurance, you are eligible for the $600,” Employment Development Department spokesperson Aubrey Henry said.
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