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Important Updates related to COVID-19

If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you may be eligible for Unemployment or Workers' Compensation benefits. The Department of Labor & Industry will continue to provide important employment benefit updates as the situation evolves.

Employers and workers can use our Keeping Yourself Protected at Work for guidance and resources on safety precautions and recommendations. 

Federal CARES Act Update

Learn more about the Lost Wages Assistance Program and how to apply.


UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (UC) BENEFITS

You may be eligible if:

  • Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business
    because of COVID-19
  • Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19
  • You have been told not to work because your employer feels you
    might get or spread COVID-19
  • You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in
    a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts

 Apply:

  • Online – it's the fastest and easiest way to get started

Reopening an Existing Claim:

If you've returned to work AFTER having a previous UC claim, but you work hours or job is temporarily or permanently impacted, you will simply reopen your existing claim if it was within the last 12 months. 

Things to remember when Reopening a Existing Claim:

  • Reopen your claim your first full day of unemployment or reduced work hours.
  • Only reopen your claim one time, this is manually processed by staff so there may be a delay for filing your biweekly.
  • Use the same UC-issued PIN.
  • Payments will be made on the same direct deposit or UC-issued debit card as you requested previously.
  • List the most recent day you became partially or totally employed when asked "What was your last day of work for this employer?"
  • You will not receive a new financial determination or any new mailings, all determinations that you received apply.

 Important info:

  • If you are eligible for UC, you will receive two letters and a four-digit PIN
  • Your PIN will arrive in the U.S. mail – keep it in a safe, easy to remember place
  • If approved, your first benefit payment should arrive within four weeks of filing for UC
  • Continue filing your bi-weekly claim (every two weeks) – even while waiting for approval
  • We are experiencing very large call volumes.  Please email us at uchelp@pa.gov.
  • For specific questions about your claim,  provide your full name (as it appears on your claim, including any suffix used) and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Note: Duplicative emails and/or requests may cause delays.

​The following rules have been temporarily suspended due to Governor Tom Wolf's emergency declaration to make it easier to file for UC benefits:

  • Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with PACareerLink.pa.gov.
  • The Waiting Week is temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Previously, eligible claimants would not receive compensation for the first week of unemployment.  Eligible claimants may now receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.

  • Please note: federal programs that offer benefits like training, education, skill building and fund benefits, including the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act still require claimants to register with PACareerLink.pa.gov to be eligible for the federal benefits. Not registering will not impact an individual’s unemployment benefits; however, it may prevent them from being eligible for other federal benefit opportunities. 

  • Important information for CLAIMANTS in BANKRUPCTY –  Due to COVID-19, regular mail collection to the Department of Labor & Industry may be delayed or interrupted for the next few weeks due to many commonwealth employees working from home. As a result, if you have sent the department a bankruptcy notice, it may not be reviewed in time to avoid sending you billing notices or automatically offsetting your benefits.  To provide us with you bankruptcy notice in a timely fashion, please send information about your bankruptcy to the following resource account at RA-OUCB-BPC@pa.gov. If you are able, please attach a copy of any bankruptcy paperwork to the email to expedite processing. If you are unable to attach the bankruptcy notice, please include your name, bankruptcy number, and the last four digits of your Social Security number on the email. We will make every effort to stop inappropriate collection efforts once we receive your email.  If an amount is mistakenly taken by offset, a refund will be made as soon as possible.


WORKERS' COMPENSATION (WC) BENEFITS

Two filing options:

  • If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in your workplace, you may be eligible for Workers' Compensation (WC) by either:
    • Notifying your employer to file a typical "disease-as-injury" WC claim, which requires you to provide medical evidence that you were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace
    • Notifying your employer to file an "occupational disease" WC claim, which requires you to show that COVID-19 is occurring more in your occupation/industry than in the general population

Claims:

  • All WC claims (including COVID-19) are thoroughly reviewed, and decisions are made based on the facts and merits of each claim and the law

You can also access this information as a printable PDF

For the most accurate and timely COVID-19 information in Pennsylvania, visit the PA Department of Health website, health.pa.govFacebookOpens In A New Window page and TwitterOpens In A New Window account.