Where to turn for benefits if you can't return to work

Where to turn for benefits when you can't work
Posted at 4:09 PM, May 22, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Phase 2 of Texas' re-opening started Friday, but there still are thousands of Texans can't go back to work for numerous reasons.

But you may be covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It's legislation that includes both the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Expansion Act.

Let's begin with the Emergency Paid Sick Leave, which includes six qualifications.

The first three have to do if your ordered by the government or a doctor to quarantine due to COVID-19 or if you're sick with the disease.

In general, covered employers must provide two weeks of paid leave at your regular rate of pay.

Now, the next three qualifications have to do with if you're caring for someone under quarantine or who has COVID-19 or if you're caring for a child whose school or day care center is closed because of COVID-19.

That will provide you with two weeks sick leave at two-thirds of your regular rate of pay.

Now, employees who qualify caring for a child whose school or daycare is closed and have been working for at least 30 days may also be eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of partially-paid leave.

That's the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act.

In general, it applies to full and part time employees of certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.

However, there are exceptions.

Also it's important to note, the paid leave is only for employees unable to work or telework.

This paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is available until Dec. 31.

Written requests are required to be submitted to your supervisor. Keep copies of everything you submit to your employer. And if you think you've been denied wrongly, contact an attorney.

For more information, contact the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid at the Nueces County Courthouse, 901 Leopard St. They provide free legal representation.

Here's how to contact them:

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid

(361) 888-0282

Some other legal resources to check out include:

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