What state benefits are available to those in need?

The $600 UI benefit has expired, here are some programs that can help

The $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit expired July 25 and thousands of vulnerable Pennsylvanians will likely be without a critical source of income. Call your federal legislators and let them know they need to support the HEROES Act and much needed aid for those hit hardest by the pandemic. Visit seventy.org to get contact information for your federal legislators.

The reality is we are still in the middle of a pandemic that does not appear to be close to over. People need more help from the federal government and my colleagues in the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus and I will continue to advocate for recovery that prioritizes the people of Pennsylvania.

The most important thing to know now is what resources are available if the federal unemployment benefits are allowed to expire this weekend. Here are some programs and resources to help counteract loss of health care, food insecurity, difficulty paying for housing and more:

  • Medicaid
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services 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 Crisis Program.

Pennsylvanians 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 www.compass.state.pa.us. Those in Philadelphia with questions, information to report about their case, 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 at 1-877-395-8930.

People who were laid off from their jobs as a result of COVID-19 can visit www.insurance.pa.gov to learn more about continuing your health insurance through COBRA and other coverage options.

Additional resources include:

  • Mental health resources
  • Financial help
  • Mortgage and rent information;
  • Food assistance, and more

PA CareerLink® offices are also providing virtual services to help connect businesses with job seekers and assist with résumés, career development activities and more.    

Some of PA CareerLink’s® virtual services include:  

  • Adult education classes
  • All employer services
  • Career counseling
  • Eligibility determination for Workforce Innovation programs and service
  • Job search assistance
  • On-the-Job Training programs
  • Résumé assistance
  • Virtual workshops
  • Youth Programming and work readiness services

For more information, visit www.pacareerlink.pa.gov.

REMINDER: Pennsylvania is in the Green Phase, but we still need you to wear your masks when you go into businesses and may interact with large groups of people. It is critical we take the necessary steps to continue to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.