Those whose source of income has been affected by the coronavirus can apply for different types of insurance through California’s Employment Development Department. 

The the temporary shut down of businesses and schools has left some without work for the next few weeks or forced people to take time off to care of their children at home.  

For people faced with these decisions there are options available from EDD. Workers whose employer has reduced hours or shut down operation can file an unemployment insurance claim which provides partial wage replacement benefit payments. Those eligible can receive between $40-450 per week, according to the EDD’s website. 

One of the requirements to be eligible for unemployment benefits is being employed at some point over the last 12-18 months. 

“The EDD encourages individuals to review the information and guidance we’ve provided on our EDD website at edd.ca.gov and file a claim under the program that best matches their circumstances,” EDD public information officer Barry White said via email. “The EDD will review the facts and determine the individual’s eligibility for the appropriate program.”

Those who will be taking time off to care for a child who is not ill may be eligible for unemployment benefits. EDD will determine on a case-by-case basis whether individuals are eligible by calling the person filing the claim and the employer to determine eligibility, according to the EDD’s website. 

People out of work due to illness or caring for someone who is ill or medically quarantined can file a disability insurance or paid family leave claim, according to White. Benefits for both claims are approximately 60-70 percent of wages and range from $50-1,300 a week. Medical documentation would have to be presented when filing either of these claims to obtain eligibility. 

“All of these are insurance programs that either workers or their employers must contribute to in order for a worker to qualify for benefit payments,” White said. “These programs are designed to replace some of the wages someone loses when they can’t work or have had their hours reduced through no fault of their own.”

White said information about insurance claims related to COVID-19 can be found on the EDD’s website’s frequently asked questions page at https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs.htm which will be updated as things change. 

“Things are evolving very quickly,” White said.  

He encouraged people who plan on filing a claim to do so online for the fastest processing, but that it will take at least a few weeks to process and pay benefits to those found eligible. 

“As you can imagine, the EDD is currently experiencing a large increase in claims filed in our programs and have staff working overtime to keep up with the demand,” White said. “We are working to redirect other staff, and hire additional staff, as much as possible to assist with the claim filing process.”

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