Applying for Unemployment Benefits: Everything You Need to Know

If your income has been negatively affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, you're not alone. Millions of people have temporarily or permanently lost their jobs due to this pandemic, making it difficult or impossible to pay monthly bills. 

Luckily, with the passing of the CARES Act (Coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security), new benefits have been made available, and more people are eligible for unemployment benefits. If you have lost your job or your income, you can apply for unemployment benefits to keep you afloat so you can continue to pay bills and expenses each month.

Here's everything you need to know about applying for unemployment, what the benefits are, and understanding the stimulus checks that will be sent out in the coming weeks.

Who's Eligible for Unemployment?

With the passing of the CARES act, eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits have significantly expanded, meaning just about everyone who has lost income due to the coronavirus is now eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

More specifically, people who may be eligible for unemployment include:

  • Employees that have lost their jobs
  • Employees that have taken a significant cut in wages
  • Gig workers (Uber drivers, food delivery services)
  • Contract workers
  • Freelance workers
  • People that are self-employed

To qualify for coronavirus unemployment benefits, you must meet one of three criteria:

  • You were ordered to quarantine by a medical professional or government agency (non-essential business shutdowns)
  • You lost your job (temporarily or permanently) due to the coronavirus
  • You are caring for a family member who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus

Previously, gig workers, freelancers, and self-employed workers were not eligible for unemployment. Luckily, this bill has dramatically expanded benefits to all types of workers that have been financially affected by this pandemic.

What Are the Unemployment Benefits?

Unemployment benefits vary from state to state, but in Florida, you can earn a maximum of $275 per week. However, the CARES act has added an additional $600 per week for up to four months of unemployment.

This means if you are approved for unemployment benefits, you can earn up to $875 per week for the next four months or until you start receiving your regular income again.

How to Apply for Unemployment

Applying for unemployment is easy, but with the increase in traffic over the last couple of weeks, it may take a bit longer for the website to load. 

All you need to do is fill out and submit your unemployment application here. In order to fill out your application, you will need your:

  • Social security number
  • Driver's license or state ID
  • Your past 18 months of employment (name of employer, reason for separation, earnings, and date of employment)

Once you submit your application, your claim will go to review to determine whether or not you qualify for unemployment benefits. 

Understanding the Stimulus Checks

In addition to the expansion of unemployment benefits, most workers will also receive a one-time stimulus check in the next few weeks for up to $1,200. In order to receive the stimulus check, you must have filed your taxes in either 2018 or 2019. If you were not eligible for the stimulus based on your 2018 salary, but you are eligible based on your 2019 salary, you should file your taxes for 2019 right away (if you haven't already) so you receive your check.

Here are the criteria for receiving the stimulus check:

  • All Americans with an adjusted gross income below $75,000 (or $150,000 for married couples) will receive the full amount of $1,200 (or $2,400 for married couples)
  • An extra $500 will be given per each dependant child
  • People with no income are eligible for the same amount ($1,200 for each adult + $500 for each child)
  • People who have been listed as a dependent on another person's tax return are not eligible
  • People who receive their income from means-tested programs, such as Social Security, are eligible and do not need to have filed their taxes to receive a stimulus check
  • Americans who make between $75,000 and $99,000 (or married couples making between $150,000 and $198,000) are eligible for reduced stimulus checks

These payments are not taxable and may arrive in as little as three weeks. If you have direct deposit set up with the IRS, you will receive your payments quicker. If not, you will receive your stimulus check via the postal service.

Apply for Unemployment Today

If you have been financially affected by the coronavirus, you are likely eligible for some unemployment benefits. Apply today so you can start receiving some financial assistance to keep you afloat through these tough times.

COVID-19 and Your Tenancy

Valued Tenants and Friends,

 

First and foremost, we hope that you and your family are healthy and doing well. These are challenging and unpredictable times for us all.

In light of the current circumstances, we’ve made some recent changes to the way we do business. These changes are for your safety and for ours.

To begin, our office is no longer open for walk-in traffic. Rent payments may be made either online at http://www.premisrealty.com/pay-rent-online, by US Postal Mail, or by using the drop slot at the top of our office door. Cash payments will no longer be accepted. If you choose to drop off or mail a personal check, money order, or cashier’s check, please make sure that the rental property address is on it.

Maintenance requests must be made either by telephone at 727-447-5100 or online at http://www.premisrealty.com/premis-maintenance-request. As of right now all of the vendors who work for us are still making service calls. Please use best practices and adhere to social distancing if a vendor comes to your home to make a necessary repair. This is for your safety and theirs.

Lastly, lease renewals will be done by email and signed electronically. Renewal inspections will be deferred until the situation changes. You may report any concerns that you have when the renewal addendum is emailed to you. If there’s something that you want us to see, please feel free to send pictures back with the renewal. We may still drive by to check the exterior condition, roof, and trees.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate these uncharted waters together. Our best to you and yours.

 

Professional Real Estate Management

COVID-19 and Your Pinellas County Rental Property

Clients and Friends,

 

First and foremost, we hope that you and your family are healthy and doing well. These are challenging and unpredictable times for us all.

We are still operating as normal. We will continue to handle day-to-day maintenance needs as they arise, and we will continue to collect and disburse rent on your behalf. As of right now, we are still maintaining regular office hours.

We are still showing vacant properties as well, however, calls on available properties have decreased significantly. Please understand that if your property is currently vacant or will become vacant in the coming weeks we will do everything within our power to fill that vacancy. How the public reacts to this ongoing and fluid situation is however beyond our control.

Lastly, it is quite probable that we will experience some delinquency in April rent payments by tenants who work in the hospitality industry. Fortunately, they only comprise about 8.5% of the workforce in Pinellas County. Retail employees make up another 13.5%. It is our hope that the current Administration and Congress will work swiftly to help those affected workers, but April 1st is right around the corner.

In the meantime, we’ll do our best to keep you informed as this continues to unfold.

 

Best,

 

Professional Real Estate Management

Is Real Estate a Good Investment? 4 Things You Should Know

Investing is essential for anyone who wants to grow their wealth and have the ability to retire at a reasonable age. The earlier you start investing, the better off you'll be in the future.

But getting started in the world of investing can feel intimidating. Do you just blindly jump in and hope for the best? How do you know what to invest in?

Real estate is one of the most popular ways to invest and grow wealth, but a lot of younger people may feel intimidated by it. They might wonder, "is real estate a good investment compared to stock investments"? The answer is yes, real estate investing is the best way to grow your wealth over time.

Here's what you need to know about why investing in real estate is a great option for people who want to grow their wealth.

1. There Will Be Monthly Cash Flow

When you invest in the stock market, you'll usually just invest and forget, meaning you will leave the money invested without taking it out for several years unless you need to. But wouldn't it be nice to have a monthly return on your investment instead of only a long-term return?

When you invest in real estate and rent properties out, you will get monthly cash flow right into your wallet. Sure, a lot of this will go towards paying the mortgage (if you have one), paying property taxes, or paying for maintenance, but there will usually always be a good amount leftover that'll go right into your pocket.

2. You'll Have More Control Over Your Investment

Investing in real estate is unique because you have a lot more control over your investment. When you invest in the stock market, you really have no control over what happens, you can only decide how much you invest and when to pull your investment.

But with real estate, you control which property you invest in and what upgrades you will make to the property. You can literally add a ton of value to your investment just by fixing up a property and making some new additions. You also have control over who you rent to and how much you will charge for rent. 

Real estate investing means a lot more involvement on your part, which is great for people who do their research and put the time and effort into improving their investment. 

3. Real Estate Is a Tangible Asset

When you invest in real estate, you're investing in something tangible and real. You're not investing in paper or something with no real value other than the value we have given it. Real estate is something that will always be valuable because it serves a necessary function and people will need to live in properties no matter what.

This is super important when you consider long-term investing. You never know what will happen to the value of stocks and bonds, or even to the value of the dollar. But you can always feel confident that the real estate you own will always be valuable.

4. Properties Appreciate in Value Over Time

While it's great to get a short-term return on investments, the reality is that investing is a long-term game. You want to significantly increase your wealth over time so you are financially comfortable as you grow older. 

Real estate is the best way to grow your wealth over time because the value always appreciates. It doesn't matter if there is another crash in the market because the value will bounce right back up as it has since the last crisis over a decade ago. When you look at how real estate value changes over the span of 20 or 30 years, it always trends significantly upwards, which is what you should be looking for as an investor.

Is Real Estate a Good Investment? Yes, It Is!

Now that you know the answer to "is real estate a good investment", how can you get started? While real estate investing is a great option, it's also easy to make big mistakes if you don't know what you're doing. That's why you need to work with a real estate investment company that can help you find high-value properties as well as manage those properties and find quality tenants to fill vacancies.

Here at Professional Real Estate Management and Investment Services, we do all of those things plus much more. We have the knowledge, expertise, and passion to help you make an amazing investment that will bring you wealth now and for years to come. Contact us today to learn more about our investment and property management services!