Expanded Unemployment Benefits Available to Nannies and Other Household Employees

Apr 2, 2020 | COVID-19, Domestic Workers' Rights, Labor Laws

expanded unemployment benefits

The recently passed CARES Act expanded unemployment insurance coverage to eligible individuals for a number of reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Legally paid nannies and other household employees could apply for extended benefits if they qualify.

In a major expansion of unemployment insurance benefits, the CARES Act has extended unemployment insurance coverage to eligible individuals for weeks of full unemployment, partial unemployment, or the inability to work, between January 27, 2020 and December 30, 2020.

Nannies and other household employees who are eligible and being paid legally can apply for benefits.

Unemployment benefits are available to household employees who:

  • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms and seeking a diagnosis;
  • Have a family member with COVID-19; or
  • As a result of COVID-19:
    • have a child who is unable to attend school;
    • are unable to reach work because of a quarantine imposed;
    • are unable to attend work because they have been advised by a health care worker to self-quarantine;
    • were scheduled to begin work but no longer have a job or are unable to reach work;
    • have become the head of household or breadwinner;
    • are forced to quit their job; or
    • have their place of employment closed.

The CARES Act provides for weekly benefits of $600 for four months (funded by the federal government), in addition to the weekly benefit amounts authorized under state law.

For example, a nanny in New York who makes $1,000/week ($52k/annually or $13k/quarter) could receive $1,100/week in unemployment benefits ($500 from New York State + $600 from the federal government). Check with your state’s labor agency for estimated benefit calculations specific to your employment situation.

Up to 13 weeks of emergency unemployment benefits are also available for eligible individuals who have exhausted benefits and remain unemployed.

This law extends benefits to individuals who are not typically eligible for unemployment assistance including those with limited work histories.

Also, check out our Complete Guide to Unemployment Benefits under the CARES Act.

GTM can help

Only household employees who have been paid legally can take advantage of unemployment benefits. If you, as an employer, haven’t been contributing unemployment taxes, your employee may be denied benefits. To get caught up on your employer taxes, give us a call at (800) 929-9213 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert or to get started. We’ll bring you up-to-date on your tax obligations so your employee can be eligible for unemployment benefits.

For GTM clients

Remitting your unemployment taxes is part of your service with GTM Payroll Services. If you have any questions about your employee applying for unemployment benefits, contact our client support team at (800) 929-9213. We’ll be happy to assist in any way we can.

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