The Departments of Labor & Industry and Human Services are reminding Pennsylvanians that state assistance is available when the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides an extra $600 per week to everyone receiving unemployment benefit payments, ends July 25.
Under federal guidelines, the week ending Saturday, July 25 will be the final claim week for the additional $600 payments. Eligible claimants who are waiting on FPUC payments for any claim weeks from April 4 through July 25 will receive those payments.
“Unemployment benefits have been a lifeline to many Pennsylvanians out of work because of COVID-19,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “L&I paid more than $10 billion to Pennsylvanians through the FPUC program during a time of great need. It’s important for those individuals to know that help is available from the commonwealth both now and after the federal program ends.”
DHS’ programs are designed to help Pennsylvanians who have lost income or unemployment meet basic needs until they are able to start work again. Programs include Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). DHS has also received approval to administer benefits created specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Recovery Program.
“Unless further action comes from Congress and the federal government to extend additional unemployment assistance or make an additional stimulus payment, people in Pennsylvania and across the country may soon find themselves in increasingly uncertain circumstances. In the absence of this, the Wolf Administration will do what we can to help people experiencing hard times,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “All of DHS’ programs are designed to help Pennsylvanians who have lost income or employment meet basic needs until they are able to start work again. If your circumstances are changing because FPUC is ending, I encourage you to apply and see if these programs can help you or your family.”
People who have experienced a change in income or job loss, regardless of its relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, can apply for benefits online at any time at compass.state.pa.us. Those who prefer to submit paper documentation can mail it to their local County Assistance Office or place it in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available.
Assistance can also be reached over the phone by contacting the Customer Service Centers where caseworkers are available to speak directly with callers to answer questions. Clients in Philadelphia with questions, information to report about their cases, or who need a paper application mailed to them should call the Philadelphia Customer Service Center at 215-560-7226. Clients in all other counties can call the Statewide Customer Service Center a 1-877-395-8930.
If you were laid off from your job due to COVID-19, have not returned to work yet, and are no longer receiving health insurance coverage through your previous employer, visit insurance.pa.gov to learn more about continuing your health insurance through COBRA and other coverage options.
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