The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with the ability of many residents to work, and to access unemployment benefits when needed most. Since the onset of the pandemic, SCCLS has helped hundreds of residents get the unemployment assistance they needed to survive. SCCLS advocates also can help recover wages wrongfully withheld by an employer in violation of federal or state labor laws. When this occurs, it is known as “wage theft.”
Angela was a health care worker when the coronavirus crisis began. Her unit was converted quickly to caring solely for patients suffering from COVID-19. Despite being vulnerable to COVID-19 herself because of a medical condition, Angela continued to work months into the pandemic until her own health issues prevented her from meeting the ongoing demands of her job. After leaving her position for health reasons, she applied for unemployment benefits but was denied. SCCLS was able to help Angela gather evidence of her eligibility and represent her at the hearing. The denial of benefits was reversed and Angela received benefits retroactive to the date she left her job.