On March 27, 2020, President Trump enacted the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security Act, which is also known as the CARES Act. The CARES Act is intended to offset the financial impact of COVID-19 on the US economy.
Notably, the CARES Act expands eligibility to workers typically excluded from unemployment benefits (e.g. independent contractors, self-employed, gig economy workers), and offers eligible workers weekly funds in addition to payments received from Delaware.
Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits
The CARES Act provides $600/week to eligible workers in addition to funds provided by Delaware. The program is available through July 31, 2020.
The CARES Act provides unemployment benefits to individuals who are unemployed, partially employed or otherwise unable to work due to COVID-19.
Eligible workers include those who -
- have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms and seeking medial care
- providing care for a family member who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus
- unable to work due to the Governor Carney's Stay-at-Home Order for Delawareans
- have primary care giving responsibility for a child who is unable to attend school
- who meet any additional criteria outlined by the Secretary of Labor for unemployment assistance.
Expanded Application of Unemployment Benefits
Independent contractors, the self-employed and gig workers are typically excluded from receiving unemployment benefits. The CARE Act extends benefits to these workers.
Individuals who are able to telework with pay or are receiving paid sick leave or other employer compensation are not eligible for unemployment benefits through the CARES Act.
The CARES Act also incentivizes employers to retain their workforce during the pandemic through the offer of forgiveable loans. Many employers are considering retracting furloughs in order to take advantage of such loans.
COVID-19 is rapidly changing the landscape of employment law and human resources. We are monitoring this situation and are available to counsel you.