The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) was signed into United States law on March 27, 2020. In response, Reed Smith has launched a multidisciplinary CARES Task Force that can answer questions related to issues including but not limited to SBA lending, consumer protection, tax, life sciences and health care, employment, employee benefits, and bankruptcy and restructuring.
The federal CARES Act provides expanded unemployment benefits of $600 per week to eligible claimants. These payments are in addition to regular benefits provided through the unemployment system. The Department of Labor and Industry reports that these payments should arrive by Wednesday of this week for eligible claimants who received their regular payments for the week ending April 4.
Claimants who have not yet received a payment will receive the extra $600 per week in the days following receipt of their first payment. An additional 13 weeks of benefits will be available to claimants who have been affected by the pandemic.
More information on the state’s efforts to implement the provisions of the CARES Act is available on a new website created by the Department of Labor and Industry.
Benefits Available Soon for Contractors, Self-Employed Workers
The CARES Act temporarily makes benefits available to other individuals who are not normally eligible, such as people who are self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers. However, these individuals cannot apply through the current unemployment system; the federal government requires the state to create a new platform to provide these benefits.
The Department of Labor and Industry expects to have the new system up and running within the next two weeks. Claimants will be able to receive backdated payments to January 27 or the first week that they were unable to work due to the coronavirus, whichever is later. More information about the new program is available on the department’s frequently asked questions page.