Q&A for Postpartum Workers During Covid19: the CARES Act, Essential Work and Unemployment:

By admin-micaela. March 30, 2020

Newborn care providers and other 1099 care workers such as postpartum doulas who have lost work due to covid19 are now able to file for unemployment benefits. The temporary change is part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus package titled Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES act.  Caregivers are also eligible for stimulus checks if they earn less than $99,000 per year and can both file for unemployment and receive a stimulus check; it doesn’t have to be one or the other.  

Here is the basic information for doulas, night nannies and other newborn care providers: 

STIMULUS CHECKS – Who Will Get One and How Much Will They Be?

  • As long as you have a Social Security number, filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and meet the income requirements of less than $99k, you will receive a check.  
  • Green card holders will not receive checks. Only immigrants with valid Social Security numbers and people who qualify as resident aliens will receive the checks.
  • The amount is a maximum $1200 per adult and $500 per dependent. The amount is determined by how much you have earned in the past (less earnings = higher check amount).
  • You will receive a check if you made less than $99,000 last year or you and your partner together made less than $198,000.
  • You must have filed taxes in 2018 and/or 2019
  • You do not have to do anything to receive a check. They will be generated automatically.

Read more here about Stimulus Checks here.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS - Can I get them even though I'm a private contractor?

Even though you may be 1099 private contractor, you are eligible for unemployment 24 hours after your final shift/work time has ended.  Here is everything you need to know about how to file for unemployment benefits. Don’t forget that you need to file every week that you’re not working.  According to the new laws specific to covid19 and unemployment, it appears that the unemployment benefit is a flat $600. However the state websites are reporting different numbers so you’ll want to get the exact number from your state’s unemployment office.  

Here is what we know: 

DC RESIDENTS: Use this website to file for unemployment: does.dc.gov 

Maximum weekly amount: $444 per week for 26 weeks 

MARYLAND RESIDENTS: Use this website to file for unemployment: https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uicovidfaqs.shtml

Maximum weekly amount: $430

VIRGINIA RESIDENTS: Use this website to file for unemployment: http://www.vec.virginia.gov/covid19

Maximum weekly amount: $378 per week for 26 weeks

AM I AN ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEE?

Postpartum support professionals, and others in baby and childcare are not mentioned as essential workers in the guidance provided by the Dept. of Homeland Security.  While there is certainly an argument to be made that these are indeed essential services, and services could fall under the category of "therapeutic care," there is no clear guidance either way. If you are still working in a state with a stay at home order, it's a good idea to travel to and from work with doctors' orders or other written notification of services.   

We hope everyone stays safe and cozy at home and we look forward to getting back to work when this is all over! If we can help families or workers in the meantime, just let us know.