Pa. resumes unemployment for freelancers, self-employed and gig workers

  • Darryl C. Murphy/WHYY

(Philadelphia) — Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced Friday that payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program in the new federal CARES Act extension will resume.

The assistance helps workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are not typically eligible for other unemployment compensation programs. This includes gig workers, freelancers, and self-employed workers.

“We know that more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians and their families are relying on these PUA benefits to get through this terrible pandemic and have worked as quickly as possible to complete the implementation and resume payments,” said Berrier.

Those seeking the funds can begin filing for the additional 11 claim weeks on Jan. 22. The deadline for applications is Jan 29. If an applicant misses that deadline, they’ll need to email to request backdating.

The original CARES Act programs, including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), expired at the end of December 2020.

L&I is in the final stages of the PEUC implementation and will be providing an update to those claimants very soon, officials say.

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