I am unemployed, have reduced hours, or have lost contracts. What unemployment benefits are available to me?
Americans who have lost income, contracts, or their jobs will be eligible to receive significantly expanded unemployment compensation benefits as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. Between now and July 31, an additional $600 will be added to every unemployment compensation check. Congress has also temporarily created new unemployment benefits, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, to cover individuals who are not traditionally covered, including the self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, and workers with irregular work history. The list of allowable criteria for claiming unemployment benefits has been expanded to include many reasons related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Other ways the unemployment compensation expansion and improvements can help you:
- Extends the maximum amount of time workers can receive unemployment benefits by 13 weeks.
- Allows furloughed workers to stay on as employees so that they can quickly resume work once this crisis ends.
- Provides funding for the work share program to avert layoffs.
- Encourages states to waive waiting periods so workers can be enrolled as quickly as possible.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry is currently working to implement the changes made by the CARES Act and make expanded benefits available.
You can find information for filing for unemployment here: https://dced.pa.gov/employees-workers-impacted/
You can find answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and unemployment compensation here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/Pages/UC-COVID19-FAQs.aspx
You can find information about the new benefits created by the CARES Act available in Pennsylvania here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/COVID-19/CARES-Act/Pages/default.aspx
You can learn more about work share here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/faq/Employer/Pages/Shared-Work-Program-FAQs.aspx
Last Updated: April 17, 2020