Pennsylvania workers affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for unemployment and workers' compensation benefits
March 17, 2020
Workers in Pennsylvania who are impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation benefits, according to Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor & Industry (L&I) Jerry Oleksiak.
Unemployment compensation claims should be submitted online for faster processing.
“As Pennsylvania and the nation implement mitigation efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important to relieve some of the financial pressures our workers are facing so they can focus on remaining healthy and safe,” said Secretary Oleksiak. “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.”
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 http://www.uc.pa.gov; learn all UC benefit requirements by visiting the self-service guide; or use UC LiveChat.
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.
• 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.
• If your COVID-19 claim is denied, you may file a petition with the WC Office of Adjudication.
• Learn more about Workers’ Compensation and the Injured Worker.
For the most accurate and up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s dedicated coronavirus webpage that is updated daily.