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Job Loss Due to COVID-19

COVID-19: Job Loss Due to COVID-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOST YOUR JOB DUE TO COVID-19?

Roughly 33% of Americans have lost or expect to lose their jobs, or be furloughed, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. CAIR has prepared the following general advice for steps that you should consider taking to lessen the financial impact and better secure yourself until this pandemic passes if your employment is negatively impacted by the Coronavirus.

If you are laid off:

If you are aware that a layoff will occur, consider negotiating a severance agreement.

Upon being laid off, be sure to collect your final paycheck, including compensation for any unused paid days of leave if applicable.

Immediately file your application for unemployment with your state to begin collecting unemployment insurance. Your employer paid state and federal unemployment insurance taxes while you were employed so do not wait to apply.

For more information about filing for unemployment insurance in Minnesota, visit:

The federal government expanded unemployment benefits, boosting the maximum benefit by $600 per week and providing laid-off workers their full pay for four months. Eligibility is extended to independent contractors and the self-employed.

 

If you were furloughed:

Furloughed employees cannot and should not do any work on behalf of their employer. That includes making or taking phone calls or answering emails.

If an employer requests that a salaried employee work while furloughed, that employee is entitled to the equivalent of their salary for one day’s worth of work for each day worked.

If an employer requests an hourly employee to conduct work while furloughed, that employee is entitled payment for the time they worked.

Furloughed employees should immediately submit an application for unemployment with their state to begin collecting unemployment insurance. Your employer paid state and federal unemployment insurance taxes while you were employed so do not wait to apply.

For more information about filing for unemployment insurance in Minnesota, visit:

 

Direct federal payments:

In response to the Coronavirus, the federal government is making direct payments, to those who qualify, of:

  • $1,200 to most individuals making up to $75,000, or 
  • $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000, and 
  • Each dependent child age 16 years or under increases the amount by an additional $500. 
  • The amount decreases for individuals with incomes above $75,000, and payments cut off for those above $99,000.

Click here for more information about this program.

 

Temporarily suspend loan, utility, and other payments (if possible):

Some financial institutions are authorizing deferment of monthly payments for mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and other loan payments because of the Coronavirus. Similarly, many utility companies have been ordered by local or state governments to temporarily suspend shutoffs or chosen to do so voluntarily. 

When contacting your loan servicing or utility company make sure to specifically mention how the Coronavirus has impacted you – anecdotal reports indicate that not directly mentioning the virus may not trigger these specific Coronavirus related deferment policies.

 

Information for Renters

Eviction Suspension

Governor Walz issued an executive order suspending evictions on March 23.

summary of the executive order is available here. Answers to frequently asked questions about the executive order are available here.

If you are being threatened with eviction, you can submit a complaint to the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

 

Rent Payment

Rent is still due even though evictions are suspended. Pay your April rent if you can pay it. 

Temporary help paying your rent may be available from your county through short-term emergency assistance programs. More information about short-term emergency assistance is available on the Minnesota Department of Housing's website.

If you can only pay a portion of your April rent, you should contact your landlord to discuss how much you can pay and when you can pay it. If you can secure a ‘partial payment’ agreement, put the agreement in writing. Include key details such as:

  • when payments will be made, 
  • how much the payments will be, 
  • how much will still be owed after each payment, and 
  • the date of the agreement.

Do not wait until it is too late to contact your landlord if you cannot pay your rent.

If you have questions about your situation, please submit an intake form. Our Civil Rights Department will contact you as soon as possible.

 

Information for Homeowners

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that it is suspending all evictions and foreclosures until the end of April. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has also directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to also suspend all evictions and foreclosures for a minimum of 60 days starting from March 18.

Note: Evictions and foreclosure moratorium only applies for properties that have an FHA loan, unless states have imposed their own moratorium and they do not reduce the amount of rent due, nonpayment of which could still have legal consequences (including wage garnishment or payment of attorneys’ fees in a breach of contract action).

 

Health insurance:

Minnesota is one of eleven states and the District of Columbia that have reopened enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

It is unclear whether the Trump administration will establish a special enrollment period for the remaining states. 

If you live in a state that does have an open enrollment, private options remain available but range in quality and price.

Check with your previous employer about any available options.

 

Federal, state and local assistance:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. To get SNAP benefits, you must apply in the state in which you currently live and you must meet certain requirements, including certain resource and income limits. Find out if you qualify for SNAP and how to apply in Minnesota by going to this resource.

Medicaid is a federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid also offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare, including nursing home care and personal care services. Find out if you qualify for coverage and apply by going to the Medicaid website.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides temporary financial assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent children. For information about what assistance Minnesota provides through TANF and to learn more about how to apply, visit the Minnesota Family Investment Program's webpage.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. Find out if you qualify for WIC and how to apply by visiting the Minnesota Department of Health's WIC webpage.

While closed throughout the country, many public schools are providing alternative nutritional assistance to families in need. Check with your local or county department of education or your ISD (“Independent School District”) to see if such a program is available to supplement your child's nutritional requirements.

Food banks continue to spring into action in response to the Coronavirus. To find the food bank closest to you, search on Google.com the phrase “food banks near me.”

 

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT MEANT TO BE LEGAL ADVICE. 
PLEASE CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FOR SPECIFIC ADVICE.

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