Covid-19 and unemployment benefits

As an Atlantic City Casino worker, I have been out of work for a few weeks now.

I see and hear the urgent advice all around me to file for Unemployment Benefits.
On my last day of work I was told that, although I was to stay home, I would still be receiving a weekly paycheck, still have medical and dental benefits, still have seniority, etc.
Logically, I am still employed…does my actual lack of physical work entitle me to be eligible for unemployment?

I would check with your HR department, or if you don’t trust them call unemployment and ask them directly. My WAG is, no…you are still employed, just on some form of administrative leave. We are doing similar things with employees who can’t telecommute from home for various reasons (either their job doesn’t involve things that can be done remoting in, or they don’t have internet or their departments don’t have available laptops or other devices for them). My understanding is that, eventually, the Federal government is going to be reimbursing companies who do this, especially for those who are on quarantine, but also for those that are considered non-essential and who’s state governments have shut such businesses down at this point. In my state they have told all businesses considered non-essential to send folks home, and I think the government is going to be helping those businesses and employees out, once this first round of injection ($2 trillion dollars) is in the pipeline.

If you are still being paid your full wage, no. If they have reduced your pay, maybe you could be eligible for some benefit.

I deal with unemployment a lot because my job is to help others get off public aid an into jobs.

Oddly enough, there is NO requirement for your employer in any state, to tell you you’ve been terminated.

So many times I hear the same thing, my employer cut hours and just won’t tell me anything. And this is during NORMAL times.

The only way around this is to file unemployment and see, because it forces the employer’s hand.

If you’re still getting a check but it’s less you may be able to collect something, and may states have waived the the one week waiting period. The requirement to actively seek work may also be waived.

Also don’t forget about food stamps, you have to go through your state so the requirements vary considerably. Your state’s official website will guide you through to see if you qualify.

I have an unemployment question too. My wife and daughter are both unemployed right now, but they expect to go back when businesses open back up.

To collect unemployment there’s a requirement that you’re looking for work and applying for jobs. Does that even apply during these “stay home” times?

Depends on the state. My governor has waived that part of the rules and I have heard several others have also. We haven’t waived the one week waiting period yet nor the actual legal changes to account for the extra $600 from the feds.