Government

Out Of Work Due To COVID-19? You May Qualify For Benefits


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With an untold number of Bucks Countians placed out of work due to COVID-19, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry said some may be eligible for unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits.

Bucks County is among a number of counties under a 14-day mitigation period, which has shuttered schools and child care centers, voluntarily guided “non-essential” businesses to close, and forced the end of dine-in services. The closures have deeply impacted business and modern American life.

Many workers and small businesses have been and will be impacted by the closures and decrease in customers.

“The best option is for employers to offer their employees paid time off. If leave is not available and your job has been impacted by this new virus, you may be eligible for benefits either through unemployment or workers’ compensation. If you work in a job or industry that likely will be affected, prepare now by knowing what you need and how to file so your application can be processed quickly,” Secretary of Labor and Industry Jerry Oleksiak said.

Below are more details on benefits:

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; or
  • You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts.

Applying online is the fastest and easiest way to get started. You can find call center hours and other vital info at www.uc.pa.gov; learn all UC benefit requirements by visiting the self-service guide; or use UC LiveChat.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION (WC) BENEFITS 

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.

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