Many Connecticut residents face and fear layoffs as states impose the closure of restaurants, theaters, gyms and schools to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Connecticut Department of Labor confirms it is seeing an increase in unemployment-related activity linked to the coronavirus.
If you’re one of those people – or you’re worried about being made redundant, or you’re a small business feeling the pressure of the virus – some basic advice from government officials, legal experts, and budget officials is below.
This page will be updated with advice from the Connecticut Department of Labor as it becomes available.
For the latest COVID-19 issues, click here. For the latest news on curfews and mandatory directives, click here. For the latest information on the spread of the coronavirus in Connecticut and around the country, click here.
BEFORE YOU BE DISMISSED
To save money. If you think you might get laid off, start saving as much money as possible now, says Grant Sabatier, author of “Financial Freedom” and creator of the Millennial Money brand. “Having even a small amount of emergency savings will help you overcome some of the uncertainty.”
Check your manuals or contracts to see if there is a severance pay policy. Christopher Davis, managing partner of the law firm of Christopher Q. Davis, says many employers may have a severance plan in place that may include financial assistance when employees are made redundant, but “some employers may ignore this fact ”. Check your contract for be aware of your rights.
If you’re sick and think layoffs are imminent, consider applying for disability coverage while you’re still working. If you are ill, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are symptomatic and cannot come to work, or if you are suffering severe mental health consequences from the coronavirus, employees should apply for disability coverage while you are on the job. ‘They’re still employed,’ Davis says. There are certain schemes in which, if you are made redundant, you will no longer get the same work compensation that you would have had during your employment.
Reduce your expenses. If your income is threatened, you should reduce your expenses as much as possible. Sabatier suggests looking for cheaper accommodation if your lease is nearing completion, or moving in with friends or family (coronavirus free). He says the average American spends more than 70 percent of their income on shelter, transportation and food. “Cut down on all three as much as you can to reduce the amount of money you need for each money. One of the good things about the coronavirus is that, because so many people stay at home, it is more difficult to spend money. “
Start looking for work that you can do online. With social distancing in place, job stability will be found in work that doesn’t need to be done in person. You could do it get a job quickly by proofreading or writing blog posts to close some of your income gap, says Sabatier. New Yorkers on the community pages have also suggested creative ways to make money online, such as teaching English to students in international countries or taking private lessons online for SAT / ACT exams for children stuck at home.
IF YOU ARE LICENSED
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about continuing health care. Many employers will allow health care to continue for a month or more after the end of work, especially for people with families. Often times, in the event of a layoff, an employer will pay severance pay and include, at a minimum, severance pay of 1 to 3 months and a lump sum payable for COBRA coverage for the same period, Davis says. “COBRA coverage is especially important now because now is not a good time to be without health insurance or to have rising health care costs, including unforeseen monthly premiums to pay. So even if an employer does not offer severance pay, employees should ask for it and particularly insist that the grants cover at least 1 to 3 months of COBRA. “
Confirm in writing to your employer that they will not contest unemployment. Davis says employees must confirm that their employer believes their unemployment claim is eligible and will not contest it.
Apply for unemployment IMMEDIATELY. Click here to submit a new unemployment claim. If you have a weekly or ongoing complaint, you can click here.
The state has implemented a frequently asked questions document to get information about the coronavirus for workers and employees. There is also a document with detailed instructions on how to file a claim for benefits.
** Please note: the start date of your claim is always Sunday of the week when you submit the claim for benefits. Generally, claims are not backdated to your last day on the job. **
Think you can’t afford rent? Do not panic. First check your lease to see what the eviction terms are for you, Davis says. If you think you may not be able to pay your rent, contact one of the city’s free legal services before doing anything (including telling your landlord you can’t pay) to review the lease and determine the corrective measures to be taken. avoid eviction. He adds that landlords also recognize that now is not a good time to evict tenants, and that he wouldn’t be surprised if the state or city had regulatory relief for troubled tenants in the city. horizon.
Seek to access your Roth IRA. If you’ve been fired before and don’t have any money but have a Roth IRA, you can withdraw your contributions you’ve done in previous years tax-free, says Sabatier. If you have 401k, you may be able to take out a loan. Look for products with low interest rates and avoid payday loans. For more specific advice on loans and accessing government assistance programs, Click here.
You think you are about to default on your payment? Contact creditors immediately and consider sending temporary hardship letters. For more specific advice on how to do this, Click here.
Take the opportunity to develop new skills. If you’re going to be out of work and stuck at home, think about ways to diversify your skills to protect yourself in the long run. “Skills are a currency of the future, especially the ones you can use to make money online and don’t have to depend so much on a job in person or a boss who can fire you,” said Sabatier. Look for free or low-cost online courses, or learn skills like video editing, basic accounting, or coding through YouTube. More ideas here.
While some businesses are forced to close their doors amid coronavirus fears, others are thriving. Amazon announced on Monday that it was looking to hire 100,000 new workers to meet the demand for deliveries.
FOR COMPANIES IN STRUGGLE
Deposit extensions: The Department of Revenue Services has extended the filing and payment deadlines associated with certain state income tax returns. Details are on The DRS website.
Work-sharing program: Employers who put workers on leave can use the Department of Labor’s work-sharing program, which allows companies to reduce working hours and supplement those wages with unemployment insurance. The program allows employers to reduce the hours of full-time employees by up to 60 percent, while their workers receive short-time benefits to replace part of their lost wages. All employers with two or more full-time or permanent part-time employees can participate in the program, which is not designed for seasonal terminations. To be eligible, the reduction in the company’s work cannot be less than 10% nor more than 60%. DOL has more information on these and other changes
Try to mitigate the impact on employees. Doing what you can to limit the effects of mass layoffs will be in the best financial interest of your business, says Davis. Former employees could have a negative impact on the business in the future, even just on reputation. “Every employer has a moral imperative to be human – it means softening the blow of any transition in the event of a pandemic.”