UNITE HERE Local 2850 Coronavirus Resource Guide

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The novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 is impacting our country, our state, and all of us in unprecedented ways. For many of our employers, business is down, and that means layoffs or reduced hours for workers. Already many have lost jobs or are living in fear of losing their jobs in the near future. If you have recently found yourself laid off, or struggling through a reduction in hours or wages, this booklet will prove to be a valuable asset for you. We are committed to working with and assisting you through this challenging time.

We understand how an unexpected job loss can be devastating and the impact it has on your family and community. The staff of UNITE HERE Local 2850 is trained to assist you.

We encourage you to do your part to prevent the spread of the disease by practicing the principles of social isolation to the best of your ability. If you are a member and want to speak to UNITE HERE Local 2850 staff, we encourage you to call us at 510-893-3181 rather than come into the office.

The situation with regard to available assistance is changing. This guide offers resources for you that are current as of the time of writing. The agencies listed can offer help with financial problems, food, shelter, utilities, health care, legal services and job search assistance. In the coming days, new assistance may become available from federal, state or local government. We will do everything we can to update this guide.

If you cannot find the specific information you need in this guide, you can call 2-1-1 call center – Source for Basic Health and Human Services Information and Referral.

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In an effort to make our community a better place to live, work, raise a family and retire, it is the goal of UNITE HERE Local 2850 to be responsive to the needs of the membership.

The inclusion of agencies and programs in this guide does not constitute endorsement nor does omission suggest disapproval.


Government resources:

Federal Relief Bill |Unemployment insurance | Disability insurance | Paid family leave | Worker’s compensation | Calfresh | Healthcare

Other emergency resources:

Paid sick leave | PG&E | EBMUD | Student debt | Internet & phone bills | Car payments, mortgage, credit card | Food | Mutual aid/ relief funds | Tenant protections | Who’s hiring? | Resources for undocumented people | Fight back!

 


Government Resources

Federal Relief Bill

This is an overview of the parts of the new federal stimulus package, the CARES Act, that we think will most impact UNITE HERE members. For more, see an FAQ here and an opinionated, but thorough explanation here

One time cash payment 

A $1200 payment, plus $500 per dependent child under 16, will be sent to all eligible taxpayers (those with a work-eligible Social Security Number and who are not claimed as a dependent). The amount is reduced if you made over $75,000 in 2019 or if you jointly filed with a spouse and made a combined $150,000. The government will use the last available tax filing (either 2018 or 2019) to determine income, to find direct deposit information if provided, or to find an address to send the check to. If you have not paid taxes in either 2018 or 2019, you will not get the check. If paid by direct deposit, it should take three to six weeks, if mailed it may take longer. The check will not be taxed as income. 

Unemployment benefit changes

Enhanced Unemployment Benefits – Laid-off workers are eligible to receive unemployment benefits for up to four months, in an amount equal to the regular state unemployment benefit plus an additional $600 per week through July 31st. The $600 will not count as income for the purpose of Medicaid or CHIP eligibility, but it will be taxed. 

Extended Unemployment Benefits- The bill provides for an extra 13 weeks of unemployment benefits, through Dec. 31, 2020 to help those who remain unemployed after exhausting their state unemployment benefits. In California, the normal limit is 26 weeks, so it is extended to 39 weeks. After July 31st, the benefits will go back down to the previous maximum of $450 unless Congress passes another law to increase them.  Benefits are also available to gig workers and self-employed workers that were previously ineligible. 

Unemployment Insurance

How to apply

Apply online:

https://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/UI_Online_File_a_Claim.htm

Apply over the phone:
English 1-800-300- 5616
Spanish 1-800-326- 8937
Cantonese 1-800-547- 3506
Mandarin 1-866-303- 0706
Vietnamese 1-800-547- 2058
TTY 1-800-815- 9387

Apply by mail:
Print “unemployment insurance application” from
https://www.edd.ca.gov/unemployment/Forms_and_Publications.htm#FillInForms and mail to
EDD P.O. Box 12906 Oakland, CA 94604-2909

Who is eligible?

If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.

If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

Partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own.

What are the benefits?

$40-450 monthly, calculator online at
https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI-Calculator.htm

If you earn $30,000 a year ($1250 a biweekly check), your estimated weekly benefit is $289
If you earn $40,000 a year ($1667 a check), your estimated weekly benefit is $385
If you earn $50,000 a year ($2063 a check), your estimated weekly benefit is $450
If you are still working, 75% of earnings will be subtracted from benefit

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

What documents are required?

Your information: Social Security Number, Name (including prior names),mailing address, and telephone number, Driver’s license or ID card number, Alien registration number and expiration date, if a non-citizen

Last employer information: The last employer is the business or company you last physically worked for or are still working for part-time, Name of company as it appears on your paycheck stub or W-2 form, Complete mailing address, Company’s phone number and supervisor’s name, The reason for working reduced hours or no longer working with the employer

Employment history for last 18 months: Name of ALL employers as they appear on your paycheck stub or W-2 form, Period of employment (start date and end date), Wages earned and how you were paid (hourly, weekly, monthly)

Union information:
UNITE HERE Local 2850
1025 3rd St
Oakland, CA 94607
510-893-3181

Questions on application:

Does your union or non-union trade association find work for you? No

Does your union or non-union trade association control your hiring? No

Are you registered with your union or non-union trade association as out of work? No

Here is a spreadsheet that shows you the information you need to gather before filling out the form. 

Do undocumented workers qualify?

No, have to be eligible to work to collect unemployment.

Disability insurance

How to apply

Apply online: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Disability/How_to_File_a_DI_Claim_in_SDI_Online.htm

Mail in application: call 1-800-480-3287 to receive form by mail (takes 2-4 weeks) or get one from employer or doctor

Mail to:
State of California
Employment Development Department
P.O. Box 989777
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9777

Cannot apply over the phone. Cannot print form.

Who is eligible?

If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19, confirmed by a medical professional, or unable to work due to non-work related illness, injury, or pregnancy.

What are the benefits?

Short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy.

60-70% of wages

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period

What documents are required?

Everyone:

Doctor must submit Physician/Practitioner Certification for your disability. Talk to your doctor about submitting this form.

First and last name
Social Security number
California Driver License number
Most current employer’s business name, phone number, and mailing address (as stated on your W-2 or paystub)
Last date you worked your regular duties and hours or date you began working at less than full duty or modified duty.

Provide the information below ONLY if it applies to you:

Any wages you received or expect to receive from your employer (sick leave, paid-time-off (PTO), vacation pay, annual leave, and wages earned after you stopped working).
Any workers’ compensation claim information, if applicable.

Are undocumented workers eligible?

Undocumented workers who have a non-work related disability, and who have paid into the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) system may be entitled to receive at least as much as they put into the system.

Information at https://legalaidatwork.org/factsheet/undocumented-workers-employment-rights/

How to apply

Apply online:
https://edd.ca.gov/Disability/How_to_File_a_PFL_Claim_in_SDI_Online.htm

Apply by mail:
https://www.edd.ca.gov/disability/How_to_File_a_PFL_Claim_by_Mail.htm

Automated phone information system:
English: 1-877-238-4373
Spanish: 1-877-379-3819
Cantonese: 1-866-692-5595
Vietnamese: 1-866-692-5596
Armenian: 1-866-627-1567
Punjabi: 1-866-627-1568
Tagalog: 1-866-627-1569

Who is eligible?

If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 or another illness (certified by a medical professional). Only applies if you’re still employed.

What are the benefits?

Up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member.

60-70% of wages

What documents are required?

Everyone:
First and last name.
Social Security number.
California Driver License number.
Most current employer’s business name, phone number, and mailing address (as stated on your W-2 or paystub).

Provide the following information only if it applies to you:
Any wages you received or expect to receive from your employer (sick leave, paid time off, vacation pay, annual leave, and wages earned after you stopped working).
Any workers’ compensation claim information.

Worker’s compensation

How to apply

Get form from employer or find “worker’s compensation claim form” at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms.html (In English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese)

Complete only the “employee” section of the form and send it to your employer right away. Be sure to sign and date the claim form and keep a copy for your records. Return the claim form to your employer in person or by mail.

Information at https://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/FileAClaim.htm

Who is eligible?

Unable to do your usual job because you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work

What are the benefits?

Benefits include temporary disability (TD) payments, which begin when your doctor says you can’t do your usual work for more than three days or you are hospitalized overnight. You may be entitled to TD for up to 104 weeks.

What documents are required?

Worker’s compensation claim form

Are undocumented workers eligible?

Yes

Calfresh

How to apply

Apply online or by phone.

Apply online:
www.getcalfresh.org

By phone:
CalFresh by phone: 1-877-847-3663.
Alameda County direct number: 510-636-4912

Available in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Russian.
For speech and/or hearing assistance call 711 Relay.

In person:
https://calfresh.dss.ca.gov/food/officelocator/

Printable applications:
https://www.cdss.ca.gov/food-nutrition/calfresh

Website: www.getcalfresh.org
Available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Free Food Helpline:
1(800) 870-3663
If you need food right away

Who is eligible?

Eligibility is determined on a case by case basis. If you are single and live alone you are eligible if your gross income is $2,082 or lower and your net income is $1,042 or lower. Stating on your application your reason for applying, i.e. hours were cut/layoffs due to Covid-19 will affect whether or not you will receive benefits and how quickly.

CalFresh is for people with low-income who meet federal income eligibility rules and want to add to their budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table.

What are the benefits?

The maximum monthly benefit for a single person is $194, for two people is $355, for three people is $509, for four people is $646, for five people is $728, and for six people is $924.
More information here: http://calfresh.guide/how-much-in-calfresh-benefits-a-household-gets-each-month/

What documents are required?

Required:

A copy of your ID.
Proof of any income.
Proof of immigration status (for non-citizens).
Proof of student status (for college students).

Not Required but recommended (can increase the amount given):

Proof of housing expenses.
Proof of child support paid.
Proof of child/dependent care paid.
If you are 60+ or disabled, proof of medical expenses.

*if you cannot get proof of the recommended items, they accept a sworn statement during interview.

Do undocumented workers qualify?

No, but children/ family members who are citizens or legal immigrants can qualify

Health insurance: Covered California & Medi-Cal 

How to apply

Apply online:

https://www.coveredca.com/apply/apply-online/
In many languages, link at bottom of page

Apply over the phone: Call 1(800)300-1506

Or

Have a qualified enroller call you within 20 minutes:

https://coveredca.helpondemand.com/lp/a8c3085e-e597-4ac8-ba23-42f245fdfa11
Many language options in drop down menu

Who is eligible?

Covered California:

Need qualifying life event (such as losing coverage) to enroll outside of enrollment period.
How much you pay will depend on your income.

Medi-Cal:

Generally need to have very low income
Eligibility explanation at http://www.calqualitycare.org/learn/disabled/pay/medical/

What is the benefit?

Covered California:

Government-run health marketplace for private health insurance

Medi-Cal:

Health insurance through the government

What documents are required?

Social Security numbers for applicants who have them.

Immigration documents for non-citizens, such as an “A” number, USCIS number or arrival/departure document number.

Employer and income information for everyone in your family. Examples include pay stubs or proof of unemployment benefits and your employer’s address.

Federal tax information of the person who files taxes as the head of household and any dependents claimed on that person’s taxes.

Are undocumented workers eligible?

Covered California:

No

Medi-Cal:

Yes, for emergency and pregnancy care only or for all care if 19 or younger
Information here: https://www.coveredca.com/individuals-and-families/getting-covered/immigrants/

Other emergency resources

The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 requires all California employers to provide eligible employees at least three days of paid sick leave. San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville also have local ordinances requiring as much as six or nine days of sick leave per year.

(Consult your union rep or shop steward for how much sick leave your contract provides, likely more than required by law)

PG&E

PG&E will be offering its “most flexible pay plans” to those impacted.
It is unclear whether or not bills will be forgiven.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/12/coronavirus-amid-pandemic-pge-suspends-service-disconnections-for-unpaid-bills/

EBMUD

No disconnections to water service during the emergency: https://www.ebmud.com/water/about-your-water/water-quality/coronavirus/

Student Debt

https://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/repaying-student-loans-amid-covid-19-outbreak/

Internet / phone bills

Free Internet

Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19

AT&T Covid-19 Commitment: https://about.att.com/pages/COVID-19.html

2 months free Wifi from Comcast: https://www.internetessentials.com/

Car payment/ Mortgage/ Credit card / other debt

Ask about payment deferral for the duration of the outbreak, some lenders may provide it
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/what-to-do-if-you-are-facing-financial-hardship-because-of-coronavirus.html

Mortgage relief- Governor Newsom negotiated mortgage forebearance for 90 days for most lenders, 30 days for Bank of America. More information here. 

Food

Food bank locator

Map of free meals for kids around the Bay

Mutual aid/ Relief funds

Undocufund (for undocumented people in the North Bay only)

OUR Fund (for undocumented people who live or work in Oakland)

Tipped and service worker fund

service workers mutual aid fund

East Bay mutual aid fund

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

For emergency assistance if you are worried about losing your house/ apartment, call Bay Area Community Services (BACS) at 510-238-5091 or Catholic Charities East Bay (CCEB) at 510-768-3100. More info at Keep Oakland Housed.

Oakland Food Service Workers COVID-19 fund 

Another Round, Another Rally Fund for hospitality workers

Tenant protections

Tenants Together resource sheet

Map of eviction moratoriums in the US

List of eviction moratoriums in California

Tenants together local resource directory

Oakland Tenants Union resource list

Causa Justa resource list (available in Spanish)

Who’s still hiring?

UFCW, the union that represents grocery store workers, has come together with UNITE HERE to find work for UNITE HERE members who have been laid off. Apply here.

Safeway

Raley’s

Good Eggs

UPS

Trader Joe’s

Resources for undocumented people

CIYJA guide

OUR Fund (for undocumented people who live or work in Oakland)

Undocufund (for undocumented people in the North Bay only)

Fight back! 

Call Congress- Protect workers’ healthcare

 Letter calling for an eviction moratorium in Oakland

Letter calling for an eviction moratorium in California

Federal eviction moratorium + bailout for working people letter

Start a tenant union— this is a complex and difficult process, but here are some resources to help you get started. Talk to a tenant organization like Tenants Together, ACCE Oakland or Contra Costa, TANC (Tenant and Neighborhood Council, (510) 671-5747), or the Sonoma County Tenants Union (707-479-5475). 

 TANC guide on organizing during the pandemic

Tenants Together Tenant Union resources including How to Form a Tenant Union handbooks