Financial & Housing Services
I receive calls every day from residents of Pennsylvania who face challenges on the job, or who lose their job through no fault of their own. I am committed to fighting in the Senate for the preservation and creation of quality jobs, but I also want to offer resources that will assist you through the difficulties you may be facing. If you are unable to resolve your challenges with the information below, please contact my Office of Constituent Services toll-free at 1-866-461-9159.
Finding a job
While I work in the Senate to try to prevent job loss and foster new job growth, I suggest you utilize these resources that may be able to help you in your job search:
- Pennsylvania Careerlink may be the most important stop in your job search, providing both assistance in finding a job and training opportunities.
- Job Fairs - Follow this link to search for job fairs in your area.
- USA Jobs gives you access to job postings within the federal government.
- The Pennsylvania Bureau of State Employment can help you find positions within the government of Pennsylvania. You may also wish to contact the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Aging helps older adults obtain training they need to find a job in a changing economy.
- The Federal Government maintains a website, www.FedsHireVets.gov, which provides assistance to Veterans seeking employment in the Federal Government.
- CareerOneStop provides tools to help job seekers, students, businesses, and career professionals.
Losing your job
Losing your job can be an incredibly trying experience, but you do not have to go through it alone. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's Rapid Response Coordination Services are available to workers to help them through the difficulties of unemployment, finding a new job, and receiving training for new careers. If you believe there may be future lay-offs at your job, or if you need help after losing your job, please contact them a 1-866-858-2753.
If you have become recently unemployed you may qualify for the following assistance:
- Unemployment Compensation provides temporary income support to those who become unemployed through no fault of their own.
- COBRA Premium Assistance Program - As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, you may qualify for a 65% reduction in your premiums.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance/Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance provides support to individuals who have become unemployed as a result of increased imports from, or shifts of production to, foreign countries. If you have been laid off due to foreign competition, you can apply for this either through your union, your employer, or with a group of three affected workers.
- Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers Program helps producers of raw agricultural commodities and fishermen adjust to a changing economic environment associated with import competition.
Helping Make Ends Meet
In these tough economic times many Pennsylvanians are struggling to make ends meet. Whether you are trying to find a job, working for low wages or living on a fixed income, it is clear to me that this recession has greatly impacted people across the Commonwealth. Below are some resources and programs that may help you meet your bottom line.
- COMPASS is a web site that allows individuals to screen for, apply for, and renew a broad range of social programs administered by the Commonwealth.
- The Pennsylvania Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low income people pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants and crisis grants. Note: You can screen your availability for LIHEAP through COMPASS (see above).
- Head Start is a comprehensive preschool program for low-income three, four, and five year olds and offers comprehensive health, nutrition, and other family support services including opportunities to learn parenting skills.
- Food Banks in Pennsylvania
Complaints on the Job
If you are a member of a union, I strongly suggest you contact your union representative for advice on how to proceed with any formal complaint. If you are not a member of a union, or if you need additional assistance, below are resources that may be able to help you resolve specific issues.
- The United States Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division may be able to help you resolve different types of complaints, such as minimum wage or overtime pay violations, record keeping, Family Medical Leave Act concerns, and many others.
- Workers' Compensation provides payment for medical bills incurred and wages lost due to any on the job injury. For help with all Workers' Compensation related issues, follow this link to the website of Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, who administers these claims for the state of Pennsylvania.
- The Employee Benefits Security Administration is able to assist you in resolving employee health benefit or pension related concerns.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is able to help you with on-the-job safety concerns.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission can help you if you feel you have been subject to job related discrimination.
- As Federal Employees, you may contact the United States Office of Personnel Management for help in resolving most job related concerns.
- The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers the Federal Employees' Compensation, Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation, Longshore & Harbor Worker's Compensation, and Coal Mine Worker's Compensation programs.
It is imperative that we protect the pensions of retired Pennsylvanians. If you encounter problems with your pension plan, I would suggest the following resources.
- The Employee Benefits Security Administration is responsible for overseeing most pension related issues. If you encounter difficulty with your pension plan or benefits, I would suggest that you contact them.
- The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation exists to guarantee pensions in the event that a company dissolves or is for other reasons unable to continue an existing pension fund.
I would also suggest you look into some of the resources listed below:
- County Assistance Offices offer a wide range of services to assist individuals facing a variety of challenges.
- PA Department of Insurance administers the laws of Pennsylvania regarding the regulation of the insurance industry in order to protect insurance consumers.
- Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) Adult/Student Career Counseling Provides free services to encourage and assist adults and high school students interested in continuing their education.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook can help you research specific types of job to help you better plan your career.
- O*NET Resource Center, the nation's primary source of occupational information, offers additional help to explore career options.