Advocates create program to help caregivers who lost their jobs in Los Angeles

With many workers losing their jobs amid the coronavirus crisis, Filipino community leaders in Los Angeles are most worried about caregivers.

“Some of our members, careworkers, don’t have work right now because they work in board and care facilities, and are not being let back into the care facilities so those inside are not able to come out. This leaves some people without any source of income right now,” said Aqui Soriano Versoza of the Pilipino Workers Center.

“Workers, low-income immigrants, people of color will bear the brunt of a lot of the economic crisis. So we need to do our part in not only making sure that the virus does not spread we also need to come together and advocate to make sure that the needs of workers are also really met like with paid sick leave and other types of emergency help.”

They encouraged those who lost their jobs to file for unemployment benefits, but for some undocumented caregivers — these advocates said they can apply for workers’ compensation.

“They are doing a major fundraising push to raise $4 million, that will then be distributed to different domestic workers across the nation in need which will be the form of money directly distributed to workers who will go through an easy application process.”

“Kung ikaw na kunan ang coronavirus, habbang nag trabajo ka, or during your regular course of work, eligible ka sa workers comp kahit wala Kang papel. Workers comp will give you meron din tatangap ng sweldo and sagot din ang treatment mo,” said Lolit Andrada Lledo.

“If you were infected with coronavirus through work, or during the regular course of work, you’re eligible for workers comp, even if you are undocumented. It will give you a salary as well as pay for treatments.”

These advocates also prepared much-needed supplies for the community.

“We also have emergency care boxes for distribution, we know it’s hard for people to find rice, and there are folks struggling because of less hours or not being able to work right now, so we are going to be distributing and delivering but keeping social distance these care boxes.”

Workers that may need to avail of the care fund or an emergency care box, are able to apply for them at the Pilipino Workers Center website and on their social media channels.

While their physical office is closed for the next few weeks, these community advocates said they’ll be doing outreach through phone calls, social media, and even online forums, like this one.

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