State officials have responded to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent business closings by making it easier to access unemployment during this unprecedented public health crisis.

The first major change is the suspension of the waiting week, allowing those who are without work the ability to file for unemployment immediately. The second major change is suspending of the work registration and work search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits. Both of these provisions will remain in effect as long as Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration stands.

Unemployment Compensation

You can apply for unemployment benefits online here. Please note that there are intermittent delays because of the surge in new applicants. Follow the link for a comprehensive list of FAQs about Unemployment Compensation Benefits amid COVID-19

Finally, businesses will not be held responsible for an employee’s unemployment compensation as long as a federal disaster declaration remains in place. This is an important step the commonwealth is taking to assist business owners.

Senator Hughes and the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus remain committed to the needs of the people through the American Working Families Relief Action Plan and are working to ensure our hardworking individuals and families are able to come out of this crisis OK. Get up-to-date information at

Here is guide issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, helping provide clear guidance and direction in response to coronavirus COVID-19.

Keep in mind, Philadelphia is regularly updating its website to provide more information and resources on coronavirus COVID-19

Montgomery County is doing the same

Senator Hughes and his colleagues in the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus are working to ensure state-level resources get to our people, especially the most vulnerable. We will provide more information as it becomes available. Visit for the latest updates. 

In the meantime, here are some reminders about preventing spread of the disease: 

Best practices to plan, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

What are the symptoms of coronavirus? 
Symptoms of the COVID-19 can include: 

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath  

The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying.  
What to do if you think you have coronavirus COVID-19, according to the CDC

  • Stay home except to get medical care 
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home 
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor 
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes 
  • Clean your hands often 
  • Avoid sharing personal household items 
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday 

For more details on what to do prevent coronavirus COVID-19 spread, visit the CDCs full list of recommendations

Coronavirus Information Sheet - click to download.

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