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COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

This page provides information about economic resources for workers, job seekers, and employers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated as more information and resources become available.

For information on best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what do to if you’re sick, please visit the CDC's website

 

How to Get Your Stimulus Checks

Track simulus payment and add direct deposit information: "Get my Payment
Simplified Tax Return Form (2018 & 2019 Non-Filers):  "Non-Filer Form

As the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) begins delivering stimulus checks to Americans, here are some useful information to ensure a timely payment. As a reminder for all, the IRS will not initiate contact with you by email, text message or social media to request personal or financial information. Please be on the lookout for COVID-19 related scams and email phishing attempts regarding this stimulus payment. If you are uncertain or have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of my four offices.
 
For 2018 and/or 2019 Tax Filers  
The Department of the Treasury and IRS launched a new app called “Get My Payment” for taxpayers who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019. This free app is accessible on any desktop, phone or tablet and does not need to be downloaded from an app store. Through this app, you will be able to enter direct deposit information and track your payment.
 
Direct Deposit Information 
This app allows taxpayers who filed without providing their bank account information on either return to submit direct deposit information. Once you do, your stimulus payment will be deposited directly into your bank account, instead of waiting for a check to arrive in the mail.  To do so, you will need to provide the following information: 
 
Your Adjusted Gross Income from your most recent tax return submitted, either 2019 or 2018 
The refund or amount owed from your latest filed tax return 
Bank account type, account and routing numbers
 
Tracking Payment 
Additionally, the app will also allow you to track the status of your payment. You will need to enter the following information:  
 
Social Security Number
Date of birth 
Mailing address
 
For Non-Tax Filers  
If you did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, you can use this simplified tax return form to submit basic personal information to securely receive your stimulus payment. The form is free and can be found here. You will need the following information:  
 
Full name, current mailing address and an email address
Date of birth and valid Social Security number
Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one
Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one
For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse
 
For Social Security, SSI Beneficiaries and Veterans  
If you receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or survivor benefits, you do not need to take any further action. Additionally, if you are a Veteran, you do not need to take any further action. The stimulus payment will automatically be deposited into your bank account, or as you would normally receive your benefits. However, if you have a dependent under the age of 17, you will need to file a simplified tax return form.
 

 

Resources for workers and job seekers

 

  • Unemployment Insurance: The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry provides Unemployment Insurance benefits to most workers who are out of work through no fault of their own through. To file an initial Unemployment Insurance claim, visit the Office of Unemployment Compensation and follow the instructions to file a new claim. Workers impacted by COVID-19 can also visit the Information for Pennsylvania Employees Impacted by COVID-19 page for the latest updates.

 

  • Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides for up to two weeks of fully-paid emergency sick leave to self-quarantine, seek a diagnosis, or receive treatment for COVID-19. Two weeks of paid emergency sick leave, at two-thirds pay, is available to employees caring for a family member due to COVID-19. Eligible employees are those at companies with fewer than 500 employees, local, state, and federal government employees, and employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement.

 

  • Federal Paid Family Leave: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act also provides for 12 weeks of job-protected leave for employees to take care of a  minor child in the event of the closure of the child’s school or place of childcare. The 12 weeks of job-protected leave include two weeks of unpaid leave, followed by 10 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds the employee’s usual pay. Employees can overlap the first two unpaid weeks with two weeks of emergency paid sick leave. Eligible employees are those at companies with fewer than 500 employees, local, state, and government employees, and employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement.

 

  • Sick Leave: The Pennysylvania Office of Unemplyment Compensation offers answers to Frequently Asked Questions HERE

 

  • If you need to file a Biweekly claim: The best way to file a biweekly claim is online from 6am to 11pm Sunday and 6am to 9pm Monday through Friday. 

 

  • Federal tax payment deadline extension: The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service has extended the filing deadline to July 15, 2020. In addition, they have issued guidance that individuals owing up to $1 million in federal income tax would have an additional 90 days (until July 15, 2020) to make their tax payments without penalty or interest. For forms and more information, visit IRS.gov.

 

  • The PA Department of Labor & Industry created a short YouTube video to get people started in the claim filing process.

 

  • If you’ve filed a claim and there is an issue, after the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation adjudication process has been started. Learn more about what you can do to contest an issue with your claim in this short YouTube video

 

Resources for Employers

A resource packet for small businesses can be found here

  • Low-interest loans for Small Businesses: On March 12, the Small Business Administration announced it will work directly with states to provide targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. Small businesses can receive up to $2 million in assistance. In order to meet increased demand, Congress authorized this funding as part of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.

 

  • Work Share Program: The Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation's Work Share program may be able to help you prevent layoffs by providing partial Unemployment Insurance benefits to supplement workers’ reduced wages as their hours are reduced.

 

  • Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Requirements: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires employers to provide up to two weeks of fully-paid emergency sick leave to employees to self-quarantine, seek a diagnosis, or receive treatment for COVID-19. In order to offset the impact to small- and medium-sized businesses, employers are provided a refundable payroll tax credit to cover 100 percent of the cost of emergency paid sick leave wages. There is also a refundable income tax credit for self-employed individuals. These requirements apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees, state and local governments, and employers with employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement.

 

  • Federal Paid Family Leave Requirements: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act also requires employers to offer 12 weeks of paid family leave for an employee with a minor child in the event of the closure of the child’s school or place of childcare. The first two weeks are unpaid, but the employee can overlap this with the two weeks of emergency paid sick leave. This benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee’s wages up to a maximum of $200 per day. In order to offset the impact to small- and medium-sized businesses, employers are provided a refundable paid family leave payroll tax credit that offsets 100 percent of employer costs for providing mandated paid family leave. The credit also offsets the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave. These requirements apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees, state and local governments, and employers with employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement.

 

  • Federal tax payment deadline extension: The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service has extended the filing deadline to July 15, 2020. In addition, they have issued guidance that individuals owing up to $1 million in federal income tax would have an additional 90 days (until July 15, 2020) to make their tax payments without penalty or interest. For forms and more information, visit IRS.gov.

 


FAQs for Workers and Job Seekers

 

What can I do if my workplace temporarily closes because of coronavirus?

​Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits may be available to those who are on a temporary layoff. These benefits occur for claimants whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure. In these cases, employees expect to be back to work in four weeks or less. Workers can get UI benefits, and do not need to seek work with other employers. They must be able to work, stay in contact with you as their employer, and be available to work when called back. ​

 

Do I have to look for other work if my employer temporarily closes because of the coronavirus?

​If your employer expects the closure to be four weeks or less, you do not actively have to look for another job to receive benefits. To get benefits, you must:

  • be able to work;
  • stay in contact with your employer; and
  • be available to work when your employer calls you back to work. 

 

What if my employer is paying me while they are closed?

​Generally, you will not be eligible for benefits if your employer is paying you to remain away from the site or as stand-by pay. ​

 

Will I be eligible for unemployment benefits if my employer remains open but I don’t want to come to work because of the risk of exposure to the coronavirus?

​In this case, unemployment benefits would generally not be an option, because you must be willing to work and available for work you usually do. You can file a claim, and the Employment Department will gather information from you and your employer to see if benefits would apply. ​

 

What if I am allowed to work from home for my job to reduce risk of getting coronavirus, and I don’t want to work offsite?

​Generally, you will not be eligible for unemployment benefits. You can file an initial claim to determine the possibility of receiving benefits. ​

 

What if I can take vacation or other leave pay while my employer is closed?

​If you are getting vacation or other leave pay while your employer is closed, you generally are not able to also receive unemployment insurance benefits. ​

 

Will I get unemployment benefits if I become seriously ill with COVID-19 coronavirus and I have to quit my job?

​You will generally not be eligible for unemployment benefits if you quit your job. You can file still an initial claim to find out if you can receive benefits. 

 

What if my employer goes out of business as a result of COVID-19 coronavirus?

​Generally, you will be eligible for unemployment benefits. To find out if you are eligible, file an initial claim. They will gather information from you and your employer about your circumstances to determine your eligibility. ​

 

Am I eligible for UC if my hours are being reduced because of COVID-19?

You may be eligible and should file an initial claim online.

 

I am a part-time employee. Am I eligible for UC benefits if I have to self-isolate/quarantine or am unable to work because I tested positive for COVID-19?

Yes, you may be eligible. The fastest and easiest way is to file an initial claim online. After submitting your initial claim, you will receive a confirmation email with important details.

 

​Am I eligible for UC if I am quarantined due to COVID-19?

​If you are currently employed but have been directed by a healthcare provider, medical professional or public official to isolate or quarantine, you may be eligible for UC. Follow the instructions above to file an initial claim.

 

Are any benefits available if I’m out of work due to the coronavirus and I’m self-employed?

​Self-employed individuals generally do not pay Unemployment Insurance taxes and are not eligible for benefits. You can still file an application for a benefit claim. ​

 

Am I eligible for UC if I am employed by a school that has been closed by order of the Governor?

​If you are no longer being paid, including using paid sick leave, you may be eligible for UC.

 

Am I eligible for UC if my employer offers me the ability to telework/telecommute/work from home?

​If your employer offers you telework and you are able to perform that work, you are not eligible for UC. However, if the telework your employer offers results in a reduction of hours, you may be eligible for UC benefits. 

 

What should I do if I contract COVID-19 at work?

​Please see PA Labor and Industry's Workers' Compensation information to learn more. You can also learn more on our Workers' Compensation COVID-19 FAQs.

 

​​Can I access UC if my child's school has been closed and I stay home with them?
​No. UC is only paid to employees whose employer has temporarily or permanently closed their business (including businesses that close due to COVID-19). 

 

Can I file for UC benefits if I was told to stay home because my employer thinks I am a risk of spreading or at risk of contracting COVID-19?

​If you are not receiving pay or using employer-paid sick leave or time off, you may be eligible for UC benefits. You should file an initial claim online.


FAQs for Employers

​​What if I have to lay people off or temporarily close my business because of issues related to COVID-19?

​Those workers may be able to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. UI benefits may be available to those who are on a temporary layoff. These benefits occur for claimants whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure. In these cases, employees expect to be back to work in four weeks or less. Workers can get UI benefits, and do not need to seek work with other employers. They must be able to work, stay in contact with you as their employer, and be available to work when you call them back to the job. ​

 

Can any programs help minimize my layoffs?

​One option to consider is whether you may be able to use Pennsylvania's Shared Work program. It helps employers prevent layoffs by reducing the schedules of workers, instead of laying them off, while benefits help to offset employees' lost wages. ​

 

What if I permanently close my business because of COVID-19 coronavirus?

​The PA Department of Labor & Industry has rapid response services to plan for job transitions needed when a business closure or mass layoff occurs, including cases of natural and other disasters. Please contact the team directly at RA-LI-BWPO-Rapid@pa.gov and a member of the team will be in touch within 48 hours.​

 

I am a member of a limited liability company (LLC) and I have not requested to opt in to Unemployment Insurance. Can I file for benefits?

​Yes, anyone can file for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Currently excluded LLC members may elect coverage. Additional information is available for employers here

 

I am a member of a limited liability company (LLC) that has opted into Unemployment Insurance coverage, can I file for unemployment benefits?

​Yes, anyone can file for unemployment benefits. In this case LLC members could receive benefits if they meet all eligibility requirements.​​

 

I am a 501(c)(3), tribal, or other government entity that is a reimbursing employer. If my employees claim unemployment benefits related to COVID-19, will that affect my charges?

​You will be charged proportionately for any weeks your employees receive unemployment insurance benefits. ​

 

What are the new sick leave requirements for businesses that were established in the Families First Act?

Employers with fewer than 500 employees must offer two weeks (10 days) of paid sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons, including illness or for those seeking a diagnosis. Existing leave policies can count towards these requirements.

 

Summary: You must offer employees 10 days of paid sick leave if you have fewer than 500 employees.

 

How much is the sick leave benefit?

The benefit must replace all of the employee’s wages up to a maximum benefit of $511 per day. If an employee is caring for another individual who is sick, the benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee’s wages up to a maximum benefit of $200 per day.

 

Summary: Sick leave is to be paid at the usual pay rate - capped at $511 per day for those who are sick and $200 for those who are caring for a sick person.

 

Paid sick leave is expensive – how am I going to pay for this?

The paid sick leave credit offsets 100% of employer costs for providing mandated paid sick leave. The credit also offsets, uncapped, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave. It is a refundable payroll tax credit that will either lower payroll tax liability or be sent as refund for every calendar quarter in which you pay wages as part of this requirement.

 

Summary: Your costs are covered 100% by a payroll tax credit.

 

What about the business requirements for family leave?

Employers with fewer than 500 employees must offer 12 weeks of paid family leave for certain employees. This covers all employees with minor children whose school or place of care has closed.

 

Summary: You must offer certain employees up to 12 weeks of paid family leave.

 

How much is the family leave benefit?

This paid leave must amount to at least two-thirds of an employee’s wages. It’s capped at $200 per day.

 

Summary: Family medical leave must cover at least two thirds of wages, up to $200 per day.

 

This is expensive – how am I going to pay for this?

The paid family leave tax credit offsets 100% of employer costs for providing mandated family leave. The credit also offsets, uncapped, the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave. It is a refundable payroll tax credit that will either lower payroll tax liability or be sent as refund for every calendar quarter in which you pay wages as part of this requirement.

 

Summary: Your costs are covered 100% by a payroll tax credit.

 

What businesses are impacted?

Both the requirement and the tax credits are targeted towards employers with fewer than 500 employees. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and health care providers like hospitals and nursing homes can apply with the U.S. Department of Labor for an exemption.

 

Summary: Those with fewer than 500 employees are required. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees can request an exemption.

 

I am self-employed, what about me?

Gig workers and people who are self-employed also get these benefits in the form of a tax credit.

 

Summary: Gig workers and people who are self-employed get a tax credit.

 

I’m a tax-exempt non-profit – will I benefit from these tax credits?

Yes, nonprofit employers will still benefit from the credit because it is a credit against payroll taxes, which both nonprofit and for-profit employers pay.

 

Summary: Non-profits still benefit from the tax credit.

 

Are these requirements the new normal?

Not under this legislation. These benefits are not forever. They would only apply to workers stuck at home due to COVID-19.

 

Summary: This requirement only applies to COVID-19 related cases.

 

Can I receive an SBA loan now?

The federal government has approved Pennsylvania's request for a Small Business Administration disaster declaration and all eligible small businesses in Pennsylvania can now apply for and receive these loans here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans.

 

Summary: Yes, if you are an eligible small businesses in Pennsylvania you can receive an SBA loan.

 

Who qualifies for SBA loans?

Most small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and private nonprofit organizations in states that are approved for the program qualify for these loans, which can be used to help overcome a temporary loss of revenue from COVID-19.

 

Summary: Most small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and private nonprofit organizations.

 

What are the details behinds these loans? What can I use them for? What are the interest rates?

Loan amounts will be based on actual economic injury and a company's financial needs and can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and  2.75% for non-profits. These loans have a long-term repayment of up to 30 years, with terms based on the situation of the borrower.

 

Summary: Loans can be used to address a variety of impacts due to a temporary loss of revenue from COVID-19

 

Where do I apply for SBA loans?

SBA has an online application form at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ for their 3-step loan process.

 

Summary: Visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

 

What information do I need?

To apply, you must submit the online application and provide a copy of IRS Form 4506-T, which gives the IRS the authority to pass your tax information on to the Small Business Administration.

 

Summary: A completed online application and a copy of IRS Form 4506-T.

Issues: