COVID – 19 Unemployment Benefits

Emergency Order Expands Benefit Eligibility

This information is adapted from a longer article about the COVID-19 response that will appear in the upcoming issue of the Clarion.  This information is being released early in order to get the information to those who need it as soon as possible.

 Emergency Order 5   This order, issued this week, expands available unemployment benefits in a number of significant ways.  You may be eligible for benefits even if you never were before or your situation is not what would have qualified before.

Benefits start immediately; the waiting period has been eliminated.
Self-employed individuals and service providers who are not normally covered may receive benefits if they meet the conditions below.
Employed individuals may receive benefits even if they have not been fired or laid off if they meet the conditions below.
These are the conditions that the Department of Unemployment Security is looking for:
o You have a diagnosis of COVID-19
o You are quarantined (including self-quarantine) at the instruction of a health care provider, employer, or government official to prevent the spread of COVID-19
o You are caring for a family member or dependent who has COVID-19 or is under a quarantine related to COVID-19
o You are caring for a family member or dependent who iosunable to care for themselves due to the COVID-19 related closing of their school, child care facility, or other care program.


This means that you are eligible for benefits if you have to stay home to take care of a child because school is out, or if you need to care for an elder whose day services program has closed.


Self-employed people and others who are not normally eligible for unemployment benefits may qualify for benefits so go online and apply even if you are not sure if you qualify.  The sooner you apply, the sooner you will receive a benefit if you are eligible.



Here is the web site to apply for benefits.  On the left-hand side of the page, go down to the maroon button labeled File a Claim for Benefits:  


Here is a link to instructions for completing your application:


As of this writing, the web site is overburdened, so keep trying.  If you need assistance by telephone, the number is 271-7700.


If you are an employer, the good news for you is that none of these claims will be charged against you; they will be a claim on the system as a whole.


You can find the text of all the Emergency Orders as they are issued here.  New orders are still being issued, so check back for updates.


Please contact me if you have questions about these or other COVID-19 response measures.


Rep. Lucy Weber


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