Los Angeles to pay $800 to out-of-work restaurant employees

LOS ANGELES -- The city of Los Angeles plans to make $800 one-time payments to out-of-work restaurant employees who have been economically devastated during the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles County has closed in-person dining for three weeks as one of many steps to try to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The city, in partnership with the nonprofit Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, is making the $800 stipends available to 4,000 workers, under the program called Secure Emergency Relief for Vulnerable Employees.

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Some business owners worry any government assistance won't be timely enough to help pay the bills that are piling up.

The program helps those who have lost their jobs, in addition to restaurant industry workers who may remain employed but have lost at least half their income this year.

The SERVE application period starts Monday morning and remains open all week. Applications will not be done on a first-come first-served basis, so applicants can apply any time next week until midnight next Friday. If there are too many applicants, they will be selected at random.

Information about the SERVE program and how to apply is available online here.

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"SERVE will be a lifeline for 4,000 of our most vulnerable and beloved workers, as all Angelenos work to bring those COVID numbers back down so we can reopen more," Garcetti said.

The program is open to Los Angeles city residents 18 and older who work at restaurants and food stands as well as breweries, wineries and bars that serve food. To be eligible, your income in 2019 had to be below $58,450 and you had to have incurred financial hardship because of the pandemic.
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