As the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus flows through our nation’s population, many Americans may find themselves working shorter shifts, working from home, on paid or unpaid medical leave, furloughed or even laid off. While additional remedies from federal, state and local governments may be forthcoming to help households sustain financial stability, there are programs also available now.
We’ve compiled a sample of currently available government programs designed to help insure or supplement income for Americans.
If you’re unable to work because you have or were exposed to COVID-19, once you are certified by a medical professional, you may be able to file a disability insurance (DI) claim. DI can provide up to 80% of your gross income and usually lasts three to six months. Eligible workers must have lost all or part of their wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury or pregnancy.1
Social Security disability benefits may be available to workers who have been employed for a qualifying period of time at one or more jobs covered by Social Security. To be eligible to receive monthly benefits, workers must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability, which includes being unable to work for a year or more.2
Employees who work for a company that shut down operations due to the coronavirus may be able to file an unemployment insurance claim. Employees who lost their job as a result of coronavirus layoffs are expected to receive at least $600 per week,3 but with a projected 2.25 million people claiming unemployment insurance in mid-March, some question whether everyone eligible will receive it.4
The global impact of the virus, and its effect on the economy, remains to be seen. Now may be a better time than ever to check in with your financial professional to see if your current retirement income strategy remains on course.
1 Derek Silva. Policy Genius. March 17, 2020. “Does disability insurance cover coronavirus (COVID-19)?” https://www.policygenius.com/disability-insurance/disability-insurance-and-coronavirus/. Accessed March 24, 2020.
2 Social Security Administration. 2020. “Benefits Planner: Disability: How You Qualify.” https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/qualify.html. Accessed March 9, 2020.
3 Dylan Matthews.Vox. March 24, 2020. “The coronavirus unemployment insurance plan, explained.” https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/24/21188470/coronavirus-unemployment-benefits-senate-stimulus. Accessed March 24, 2020.
4 Annalyn Kurtz. CNN Business. March 20, 2020. “Goldman Sachs predicts 2.25 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims this week, the highest on record.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/19/economy/unemployment-benefits-goldman-sachs/index.html. Accessed March 31, 2020.