Important Information for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Members Experiencing Layoffs

For members in MA, NJ, NY, FL, DC, MD

The current healthcare crisis and resulting stay at home orders are causing an extraordinary drain of resources on many clinics and other healthcare providers, which has precipitated sudden lay-offs of healthcare workers.  The Union will continue to advocate and ensure that these lay-offs are temporary and that the employers begin to recall members as soon as this crisis subsides and operations resume.

Your union fought for extended and additional unemployment benefits for all workers affected by the pandemic. The benefit possibilities outlined below are newly available state and federal benefits that do not include and are in addition to the paid time off that you may have already earned and may be entitled to receive.

Frequently Asked Questions

I work at a hospital, nursing home, clinic or home care agency, and I’m being laid-off or furloughed (temporarily laid-off), what unemployment benefits am I eligible for?

  • You are eligible for the regular 26 weeks of unemployment compensation, plus an additional 13 weeks through December 31, 2020.
  • You are also eligible for “enhanced benefits,” an additional $600 per week, through July 31, 2020. Example: if your regular unemployment benefit would be $300 per week, under the new expansion you will receive an additional $600 of federal pandemic unemployment compensation, for a total of $900 per week.
  • All waiting periods are eliminated during the crisis.

Do I need to use all of my earned sick time before applying for unemployment insurance?

  • No, if you are laid-off, experience a reduction of hours or are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance, you do not need to use your earned sick time before applying for unemployment insurance.

If my hours are reduced, am I eligible for Unemployment Compensation?

  • You might be. Follow the instructions below related to lay-offs to determine your level of benefits from the unemployment compensation system.
  • These rules apply to all states.

How do I apply for Unemployment Insurance?

Florida &

Maryland &

Massachusetts &

New Jersey &

New York &

Washington DC &

Am I also eligible for Job Security Fund Benefits?

  • If you work for an employer that contributes to the Job Security Fund, you will be eligible for additional benefits. Please ask your Union Representative whether the Job Security Fund is negotiated in your contract.
  • If you are eligible, the Job Security Fund will continue your health benefits for at least six months or until you are recalled to your job, whichever is shorter. (You may be eligible for a longer period of benefits depending on the terms of your contract.)
  • If your hours are reduced, and you are covered by the Job Security Fund, your health benefits will be maintained at their current level.
  • The benefits will only include supplemental unemployment benefits through the Job Security Fund if you are not receiving the additional $600 per week from the unemployment compensation system.
  • If you are eligible for Job Security Benefits, your Union Representative and employer will provide information to the Job Security Fund (JSF). Please make sure that you update all your contact information with your employer: Name, address, phone number, cell number and email.
  • The JSF staff will contact you within a week of your lay-off. If you have not heard from the JSF within one week, contact them at: [email protected] or (212) 894-4389. You will need to leave a message and they will contact you within 24 hours.

If I am not eligible for the JSF, is there another service that can help me find another job if I am unemployed?

Yes, the 1199SEIU Employment Center (EC) is available to you. The EC can help you find a new job. Right now, many healthcare employers are experiencing a shortage of workers. Please go to the 1199SEIU Employment Center to upload your information. You do not need to enter your information if you are eligible for Job Security Fund Benefits.

Workforce Shortages

My facility or agency is short-staffed, what can the Union do to help?

  • The Union’s Training and Employment Funds created an online portal for retired and out of work people to apply for work. If you have friends or family who want to work at an 1199SEIU facility, ask them to sign up here: 1199SEIU Employment Center
  • Workers are needed for most positions, including dietary, environmental service (cleaning), home health aides, certified nurse assistants, LPNs, RNs, respiratory therapists and others.
  • Employers can contact the Funds at: [email protected]. The Funds are expediting referrals and working with state and local entities to recruit back-up workers.


I am hearing that I might be getting a check from the federal government, is that true?

  • Individual workers making less than $75,000 will receive a check of $1200. Married workers will receive a check of $2400 if their combined income is less than $150,000. Your Union fought for the CARES Act to make sure workers have income during this crisis.

Someone in my family works as an “independent contractor” or “freelancer” and they have not been eligible for unemployment compensation in the past, are they eligible?

  • Unions fought for workers who are not normally covered by unemployment compensation to get benefits. The CARES Act provides emergency unemployment benefits from your state for up to 39 weeks. Your family and friends can apply through their state for unemployment benefits (see above).