On this page we will be updating our clients and the public concerning legal developments of interest pertaining to the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak.
April 28, 2022
"Change in Eviction Laws Placed During COVID-19"
As mask mandates come to an end, so do certain regulations put into place by Governor J.B. Pritzker that were aimed at relieving stressors related to housing insecurity during the global pandemic. The Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) deployed $1.1 billion in funding to renters and landlords in an effort to prevent evictions because so many people were without work, ill, or otherwise found it more difficult to make ends meet due to COVID-19. HB 2877 was also signed into law, which most notably allows for eviction records to be sealed so long as tenants meet certain criteria...
January 27, 2022
"Current State on Vaccine Mandates in Illinois"
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present a public health crisis as we start 2022 off with the Omicron variant and sporadic surges in infections. State, Federal, and local governments continue to adjust to the new normal and have worked to limit the spread and severity of the plague with mixed results.
November 8, 2021
"Illinois Unemployment Overpayment Waivers Still Unavailable as Department Continues to Send Repayment Demands"
Since March 12, 2020, Illinois has been in a state of emergency and the Governor has utilized successive 30-day Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations to provide the State additional tools for handling the effects of the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic and associated variants. Though the evictions moratorium was recently ended in early October, some programs continue to be impacted by the Governor's emergency powers, including unemployment benefits...
October 4, 2021
"How to Obtain an Order of Protection in Cook County During COVID-19"
During the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, the Cook County Domestic Violence Courthouse (555 W. Harrison St.) has suspended all in-person court appearances, except for initial filing for Petitions for Emergency Orders of Protection (EOP) and Petitions for Emergency Stalking/No-Contact Orders (commonly referred to as "restraining orders"). People in need of protection must go to the Domestic Violence Courthouse and file the necessary documents to try and obtain an Emergency Order. These documents include complex legal filings such as, a summons for the Respondent, a well-crafted Petition, a proposed Order, potentially an affidavit, and a cover sheet. Anyone considering filing a legal Petition for an Order of Protection or “OP” is strongly advised to speak with a competent, experienced attorney before proceeding with legal action. Of course, victims of abuse and/or stalking who feel that their safety is potentially at risk should immediately call 911 to report the situation...
January 22, 2021
"Extensions of Federal Unemployment Programs"
COVID-19 has brought numerous changes for people in Illinois and across the nation, including an unprecedented number of lay-offs. As a result, Illinois and the United States as a whole have witnessed a dramatic increase in applications for unemployment benefits. Thankfully, under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Congress has enacted various federally mandated programs to assist those individuals who do not qualify for traditional unemployment benefits and to provide extra relief to claimants who currently are collecting unemployment benefits. While the CARES Act expired on December 31, 2020, Congress recently passed legislation, the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020 (“the Extension”), which extended the availability of some of these federal benefits. The following is a summary of programs that will be available through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES):...
Full article by Attorney Naomi Frisch and Emma Sliwinski can be viewed here.
October 19, 2020
"The Rights of Nursing Home Residents and Recovery for the Wronged"
Residents of nursing homes are a recognized class of people under Illinois law. They require protection above and beyond what the common law can provide. Residents are reliant on their facility for a spectrum of daily living needs, including housing, medical care, and treatment. This relationship creates a power imbalance between the cared for and the care providers.
Full article by CTM Legal Group Attorney Cassandra Voissem can be found here.
October 8, 2020
"How to Rebuild Credit After Bankruptcy"
Rebuilding credit after bankruptcy may seem like a long, tough road, but it is not as difficult as you might think. A bankruptcy will not completely destroy your finances. Instead, it can give you a financial fresh start, allowing you to build a better future. Although a bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, there are some general steps you can take to get your score back in shape.
Full article by CTM Legal Group Attorney Salvador Gutierrez can be found here.
September 8, 2020
"Health Care Facility Workers Score Temporary Victory In Attempt to Access Emergency Leave Provisions"
As the Covid-19 virus continues to wreak havoc on the nation, employees, employers, and state and local governments continue to seek guidance on the federal government's emergency leave programs.
Full article by Attorney Matt Carpenter can be found here.
August 27, 2020
"HUD Extends Protections To Homeowners With FHA Backed Loans"
HUD Extends Protections To Homeowners With FHA Backed Loans As homeowners continue to navigate life during the novel coronavirus pandemic, they should be aware that the federal government has extended some protections for them during these difficult times.
Full article by Attorney Conor Grealish can be found here.
August 5, 2020
"Eviction During Covid-19"
One of the most discussed public impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the ability of tenants to pay rent and remain housed, with a large number of tenants experiencing financial hardship due to loss of employment or other sources of income due to the pandemic. In response, government on the federal, state, and local levels have implemented measures relating to evictions. It is important for tenants to understand their rights relating to potential evictions.
Full article by Attorney Neal Kitterlin available here.
July 7, 2020
"Considering Bankruptcy? Here's what you need to know first"
Does COVID-19 have you in a financial bind and right now you're wondering how to pay your debts? Are you considering filing a bankruptcy but don't know if it's the right solution for you or if you qualify? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you've come to the right place for answers. Bankruptcy is a great tool to aid individuals/businesses in getting a better handle of their debt and a great starting point on the path of financial freedom.
Full article by Attorneys Salvador Gutierrez and Whitney Francisco available here.
June 19, 2020:
"Chicago Tenants: You Have Rights Before You Even Step Into Your Apartment (And After You Step Out Too!)"
As Illinois begins to lift its COVID restrictions and Chicago tenants begin to transition to new apartments, it is it is important to remember your rights under the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (“RLTO”). Specifically, that the RLTO provides protections for tenants both before they occupy an apartment as well as after the tenant has vacated that apartment.
Full article by Attorney Conor Grealish is available here.
June 17, 2020:
"PUA, FPUC, PPP, Oh My!"
The CARES Act went into effect on March 27, 2020, and includes many programs to help struggling workers. You may have heard acronyms such as PUA, FPUC, and PPP, and are wondering what they are and if they can help you. If you have been laid off, furloughed, or offered unpaid leave because your company is experiencing a loss of business during the pandemic, these programs can help.
Full article by Attorney Naomi Frisch is available here.
June 1, 2020:
"Shelter-in-Place Order Prompts More Domestic Violence Incidents"
COVID-19 and the various shelter-in-place orders across the country have led to several unforeseeable consequences, including a rise in domestic violence. While being faced with a pandemic, most everyone these days is under enormous amounts of stress whether it be about getting sick, financial issues due to the pandemic, or dealing with the loss of a loved one. These stressors, along with the shelter-in-place order, have led to an uptick in domestic violence incidents in Illinois.
Full article by Attorney Toni Conrad is available here.
May 28, 2020:
"Collection Proceedings During the Time of COVID-19"
Whether you have a money judgment that was entered against you, or you are attempting to enforce a money judgment against someone else, the restrictions put in place in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted some of the procedures typically used to collect such a judgment.
Full article by Attorney Neal Kitterlin is available here.
May 27, 2020:
"Initial steps to divorce pending Covid-19"
Family law in the time of a pandemic brings about additional questions surrounding parenting time, financial obligations, and asset distribution. Additionally, while we are told to stay at home, some people find themselves in an anxious, harmful, or otherwise unstable home life. Attorney Karina Keshokova breaks down the divorce process during this uncertain time.
Full article by Attorney Karina Keshokova is available here.
May 22, 2020:
"Chicago Tenants: Know Your Rights During COVID"
These are truly unprecedented times and tenants in Chicago need to know their rights under law as well as how their rights are affected by the resulting executive orders and disaster proclamations issued by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Attorney Conor Grealish lays out five crucial things that Chicago tenants should know during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Full article by Attorney Conor Grealish is available here.
May 20, 2020:
"Estate Planning and Notarizations During the Coronavirus Pandemic"
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many people to think about estate planning and establishing a plan to take care of their loved ones. A benefit of the additional time people have with their family is that it allows for everyone to discuss a long-term care plan. Many people are taking advantage of their free time now to come up with a comprehensive estate plan. Even if you already have estate planning documents, now would be a good time to review and make changes to them. It is recommended that an estate plan be reviewed every three years.
Full article by Attorney Maryam Hassani is available here.
April 29, 2020:
"Can I be arrested for violating the Stay at Home order?"
With the unprecedented impact the novel Coronavirus has made, many citizens in Illinois are left with questions and concerns about the stay at home order currently in place. Attorney Bradley Fuller of CTM Legal Group is here to break down some of those questions and discuss your rights as a citizen. In this video, Attorney Fuller will discuss just how constitutional the stay at home order is, how the stay at home order may be enforced, and how CTM Legal is here to help you.
March 23, 2020
Effective March 23, 2020, CTM Legal Group is accepting appointments for legal consultations to those adversely affected by Covid-19. Attorneys concentrating in employment, debt problems/bankruptcy, and housing issues are standing by to assist. Click here to seek legal assistance for the following:
• Advice regarding unemployment benefits for those laid off or furloughed.
• Advice regarding wrongful termination of employment.
• Advice regarding taking time off of work, including family medical leave, and the new paid sick leave entitlements passed by Congress earlier this month.
• Coronavirus exposure workplace safety concerns. Particularly in the jobs with high exposure risk such as medical and retail.
• Debt problems and bankruptcy for those unexpectedly experiencing a loss of income.
• Housing issues, including eviction and foreclosure. Many suddenly find themselves unable to pay their rent or mortgage. New laws, governmental directives, and guidance are having sweeping impacts on these areas. Some need to preserve the roof over their head, and others need to move out swiftly to cut down on bills or care for others.
If you have questions concerning these or other legal issues stemming from Covid-19, please click here to set up your thirty minute consultation with an attorney. As a service to the public, we are currently offering these consultations at $35.00.
*If you decide to retain CTM Legal Group for further legal services, you will receive a credit in the amount of your consultation fee paid.*
CTM Legal Group, LLC responds to Covid-19.
We are open and ready to serve our clients – safely.
On March 20, 2020, the Governor of Illinois issued a “stay at home” order requiring non-essential businesses to close their physical operations. The order deems providers of legal services, such as CTM Legal Group, “essential.” It was justified and correct for the Governor of Illinois to recognize that legal service providers are essential. Indeed the Covid-19 outbreak will increase, not decrease, the need for vital legal services. Of course, public health considerations are of paramount importance at this time. Therefore CTM Legal Group will continue serving the community while doing everything feasible to mitigate the risks of Covid-19 to its employees, clients, service providers, suppliers, and the public at large.
In accordance with the guidance of governmental and health authorities, CTM Legal Group has taken steps to minimize in-office staff, with the majority of attorneys and staff now working from home. As a tech-forward firm that was built upon modern cloud-based technologies, our firm was well-positioned to make this adjustment swiftly and securely. Attorneys and staff at CTM Legal Group have also re-tooled several processes that will allow us to serve our clients remotely, so as to avoid unnecessary exposure risk to our clients. Given the breadth of our practice, and the extent to which “in person” meetings are embedded into traditional practice areas, there are some challenges to overcome (for example witnessing of wills, real estate closings, and notarization). These challenges have solutions however, and we are working rapidly to deploy them. Good citizenship requires no less of us. Thus CTM Legal Group has and remains fully open, and we are ready to serve our clients during this crucial time.
If you are a client of CTM Legal Group, you may continue to reach us in the same manner as you did before.
Providing crucial legal services during these times
We are mindful that there will be an increased need for legal matters around termination of employment, workplace safety concerning Coronavirus exposure, debt problems, bankruptcy, and estate planning. These areas are seeing major changes daily as elements at every level of government invoke new laws, rule changes, and directives in response to Covid-19.
Every American business has a role to play in these times. CTM Legal Group was founded to level the playing field for the working class. It is no secret that our legal system is skewed toward wealthy individuals and corporations who can afford to staff in-house counsel and hire attorneys at high hourly rates. At CTM Legal Group we are constantly seeking ways to provide the general public with affordable, practical answers and solutions to their legal problems. In furtherance of our mission, we will today begin offering low-cost (“low bono”) legal consultations for any individual impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. We are offering this at $35.00, well below our cost, as a service to the public. Anyone who needs help may click here to schedule their consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Unemployment Benefits and Covid-19
March 20, 2020
The COVID-19 outbreak is causing many businesses in Illinois to close or layoff staff. Additionally, Employers are requiring many workers to work remotely. Unfortunately, there are many jobs that cannot be done from home. Restaurant workers, other “non-essential” service providers, artists, entertainers, event planners, and more suddenly find themselves out of work, as many employers are unable or unwilling to continue paying their wages. If you find yourself suddenly out of work, and therefore, out of a paycheck, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, unemployment benefits may help make ends meet during this troubling time. Governor Pritzker has announced that individuals unemployed due to COVID-19 can generally qualify for unemployment benefits to the full extent permitted by law. Similarly, the federal government has increased funding for state unemployment programs, with some funds tied to states' willingness to streamline the process.
See our FAQ below, or call CTM Legal Group at 312-818-6700 or use our scheduling website via Calendly for a low-cost consultation.
Illinois Unemployment FAQ
I have never filed for unemployment before. How do I get started?
- Start by visiting the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)'s Website at https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/individuals/UnemploymentInsurance/Pages/default.aspx. You will need to enter a user name and password, and then continue to the online application for benefits.
- You can also call IDES at 1-800-244-5631 to apply. Due to COVID-19, all local offices are currently closed for in-person applications.
How much are unemployment benefits?
- Your weekly benefit payment is calculated based on a percentage of your average weekly wage. IDES will look at the two highest-earning quarters out of the last 5 quarters you were employed to determine your average weekly wage.
- See http://www.ides.illinois.gov/IDES%20Forms%20and%20Publications/CLI110L.pdf for a chart of benefit calculations.
- Maximum benefits for a single individual are $471 per week. If you are married or have children, it can be slightly more, up to $561 with a spouse and $648 with children. Payments are made bi-weekly either to a debit card or via direct deposit.
- Currently, individuals are able to receive up to 26 weeks of benefits, though the Pritzker Administration is working to expand that for workers who are unemployed due to COVID-19.
When will I be considered eligible for unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
- An individual is usually eligible for benefits if they become unemployed through no fault of their own. The IDES COVID-19 emergency rules consider a person to be unemployed through no fault of their own when:
- They are laid off by their employer due to COVID-19
- They are diagnosed with COVID-19 or must care for a loved one who has been diagnosed, or has been quarantined by the government
- They must stay home with a child who is home from school which is closed due to COVID-19.
- There is normally a waiting period of one week from the week in which the individual last worked before benefits can begin, however, this waiting period has been waived for workers who become unemployed due to COVID-19.
- However, an individual will NOT be considered eligible for benefits if they quit their job because of fear of exposure to COVID-19.
What if I am temporarily furloughed because of the impact of COVID-19 on my workplace?
- You would qualify for benefits until you are able to work again, up to the maximum number of weeks allowed (currently 26). You must either (a) remain able and available to return to work as soon as your employer is ready to re-hire you; or (b) actively search for other employment opportunities while receiving benefits.
My employer calls me an “independent contractor.” Do I still qualify for benefits?
- You might. For purposes of unemployment in Illinois, all workers are eligible for benefits as “employees” unless the work meets all three of the following tests:
- The worker is free from control or direction in the performance of the work;
- The work performed by the worker is outside the usual course of business of the paying employer; and
- The work is part of an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business.
- If your employer sets terms and conditions of your work, such as work hours, work location, and materials used, it cannot meet the first test, and you should be eligible for benefits.
What if my employer reduces my hours? Will I be eligible for any benefits?
- If your employer reduces your hours such that you are working part-time hours and earning less than the weekly benefit amount you would otherwise be eligible for, you should be eligible for partial benefits.
- The partial benefits available to any part-time worker is your weekly benefit amount minus any amount you made over 50% of your weekly amount. For example:
- You are eligible for a weekly benefit of $400
- You earn $300 working part-time
- You have therefore earned $100 more than 50% of your benefit amount
- So your benefits for that week will be $400 minus $100 or $300.
- If you qualify for partial benefits, your employer will need to submit a “Low Earnings Report” to the IDES for each week you earn less than your weekly benefit amount.
- If you earn more than your weekly benefit amount in any given week, from all sources of eligible income, you will not be eligible for benefits for that week.
What if I can still work a part time job?
- If your hours are reduced for any reason by any employer to less than your weekly benefit amount, you can qualify for partial benefits as explained above.
- For example, if you are laid off and take a part time job as a delivery driver during the pandemic, you can still collect partial benefits if you make less than your weekly benefit amount.
What if I am a union member working under a Collective Bargaining Agreement?
- Your CBA may have provisions for loss of work related to “force majeure” or similar acts outside the control of the employer. Check with your union.
- Even if you work under a CBA, if you are out of work, you are still eligible for benefits. Keep in mind, if your union eventually negotiates backpay for you, you may have to pay back to IDES any benefits you received for those week(s).
Do I have to search for other jobs while I am unemployed?
- Normally yes, you must actively seek work and report your search to the IDES in order to receive benefits. However, emergency rules put out by IDES pertaining to COVID-19 state that if an individual is laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the individual will be considered to be actively seeking work as long as the individual was prepared to return to his or her job as soon the employer reopens.
- However, if you are at home and not working because of you own illness or to care for others, rather than having been laid off, you may be required to search for work that can be done in the home, if it is available.
What if my benefits are denied?
- You always have the right to appeal, though the time limits are very short. If you are denied, call CTM Legal Group today to discuss whether our low-cost representation would be right for you.
If you find yourself out of work due to COVID-19, you may have options. Unemployment benefits may be one of them. Keep checking our website for updates on Sick leave, Reasonable Accommodations for employees working at home, and more resources for the worker who is now stranded by COVID-19.
If you have concerns about your legal rights, schedule your low-cost consultation today via Calendly or call CTM Legal Group at (312) 818-6700 today.