FAQ: Financial Support for Workers and Our Families During the COVID-19 Outbreak
There are state and federal financial benefits available to healthcare workers during this health crisis.
Are healthcare workers eligible for California Unemployment Insurance benefits if our hours have been reduced during this pandemic?
Yes. If your employer reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you are encouraged to file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. EDD is not requiring applicants to seek work in order to obtain benefits.
Are healthcare workers eligible for California Unemployment Insurance benefits if our children’s schools are closed and we must miss work to care for them?
You may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits if you have to care for your child due to school closures. Eligibility considerations include whether you have no other care options and whether you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely.
Representatives at the Employment Development Department (EDD) may ask additional questions to make sure you are eligible. If you are approved for this benefit, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
Are healthcare workers eligible for California Paid Family Leave benefits if we miss work in order to care for family members who have contracted COVID-19?
If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, you are encouraged to file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim.
PFL provides up to eight weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers. For the purposes of PFL coverage, a family member is defined as a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner.
How do I learn more about these Employment Development Department (EDD) benefits and how do I file a claim?
Go to www.edd.ca.gov or call the following EDD phone numbers Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon (Pacific time):
- English: 1-800-300-5616
- Spanish: 1-800-326-8937
- Cantonese: 1-800-547-3506
- Mandarin: 1-866-303-0706
- Vietnamese: 1-800-547-2058
- TTY: 1-800-815-9387
Please use our local number “SEIU-2005” when applying for EDD. The phone number for our local is 510-251-1250.
Due to the large increase in claims filed during the epidemic, the EDD strongly encourages workers to file claims online rather than by phone.
Is financial support available at the federal level to workers during the COVID-19 outbreak?
On March 18, the President signed into law the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, which expands worker eligibility for federal Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave. The law only covers companies with up to 500 employees, which excludes most California hospital employers.
Workers eligible for Paid Sick Leave under this law will receive their full pay up to $511 a day for a maximum of two weeks. Workers are eligible for this benefit if they meet one of the following criteria:
- The worker is subject to a quarantine order related to COVID-19
- The worker has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
- The worker is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
Workers eligible for Paid Family Leave under this law will receive up to two-thirds of their pay up to $200 a day for a maximum of 10 weeks. Workers are eligible for this benefit if they meet one of the following criteria:
- The worker is caring for a son or daughter whose school or childcare facility has been closed — or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions
- The worker is caring for an individual who is subject to a COVID-19 quarantine order or for an individual who has been advised to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
File for federal benefits on the State of California EDD website.