I am receiving traditional unemployment compensation but need to stay home to take care of my child while they return to school remotely. Can I refuse to return to work or refuse job offers?
No. Under traditional unemployment compensation you must accept job offers for suitable work. Traditional unemployment is meant to cover the worker, not the worker’s family. However, you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits and can open an application for PUA.
My child is attending school remotely and I need to remain home to care for them. Could I be eligible for PUA if I leave my job or refuse to return to work?
Yes. If you are the primary caregiver of your child and your employer does not give you the option for paid leave or telework (work from home), you can receive PUA.
What if I can telework or receive offers to telework but my child needs so much help with remote school, I am unable to work. Could I be eligible for PUA?
Yes. If you are the primary caregiver of your child, are unable/unavailable to work because you need to assist your child with remote schooling, and are not receiving paid leave or telework pay, you can receive PUA benefits for every week that online schooling is in session.
My child is attending school through a “hybrid model” (some days in school, some days remotely) and I need to remain home to care for them. Could I be eligible for PUA if I leave my job or refuse to return to work?
Yes. If you are primary caregiver of your child and are not receiving paid leave or telework pay you can receive PUA benefits.
My child is attending school through a “hybrid model” and I need to remain home to care for them on the days they attending school remotely. I am still working a reduced schedule on the days my child is in school. Could I receive PUA benefits?
Yes. You can receive PUA benefits, but you must report all wages earned each week. Your PUA benefit payment will be reduced based on the amount of wages you earn each week.
My child’s school is allowing students to choose to attend in-person or remotely. I do not feel comfortable sending my child to in-person classes and will choose to have my child attend school remotely. I am the primary caregiver and will not be able to work with my child attending school remotely. Could I be eligible for PUA benefits?
Maybe. If you meet one or more of the PUA eligibility criteria, such as being advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, then you may be eligible for PUA benefits. If you do not meet any of the listed criteria and choose to keep your child at home, you would not be eligible for PUA benefits.
Who qualifies as a “primary caregiver?”
A primary caregiver is the person who is most responsible for caring for the child or children in the home. That can be a mother, father, or other family member within the household. If you typically work full time and another member of your household has the primary responsibility of caring for children in your household, then you are not the primary caregiver.