During the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, many people may experience layoffs, reduction in income, and employment insecurity. These resources are here to help you throughout this time of uncertainty to ensure your family can maintain some level of financial stability through various types of income assistance and employment services. As resources become available, we will update this post.
If you are experiencing a disruption in regular income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, you may be eligible to apply for assistance through the following programs:
-Funds and Grants
-Pittsburgh Mutual Aid & Neighborhood Specific Info
JOB SEARCH/EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
- Hebrew Free Loan is doing Coronavirus Bridge Loans to assist people who have lost income because of the pandemic. Visit http://hflapgh.org/ for more details. On how to apply.
- DVI Funding is doing Coronavirus Bridge loans asap. See site for more info and application.
Funds and Grants
- ROC United – various financial resources for restaurant workers
- Modest Needs is offering donations to hourly workers who won’t get paid during the COVID-19 outbreak. (https://www.modestneeds.org)
- Pittsburgh Virtual Tip Jar – a new independent project hosted on Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Ethics and Policy website — is aiming to alleviate some of that financial stress on SERVICE INDUSTRY WORKERS that rely on tips. Get on the list and/or give someone a tip here
- Modest Needs is offering donations to HOURLY WORKERS who won’t get paid during the COVID-19 outbreak. (https://www.modestneeds.org)
- Emergency Funds for people who work as BARTENDERS here.
- Greater PGH Restaurant Workers emergency fund
- ONE FAIR WAGE – Emergency Coronavirus Fund for TIPPED EMPLOYEES & WAGE WORKERS
- GPAC Emergency Fund for Artists
- Gig Workers Collective – National & State resources here
- Pittsburgh Stage Employee Bailout Fund
Pittsburgh Mutual Aid & Neighborhood Specific Info
A great resource if anyone needs help or can give help with housing, food, healthcare, child/pet care, transport, storage, emotional support, and more. SPREADSHEET
- Lawrenceville “Buddy System” sign up here
- Sharpsburg – Resident Needs Assessment Form
- COVID Mutual Aid for Friendship/Bloomfield
- Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation – buddy program, food/supply delivery, emergency fund, etc.
- Mutual Aid Fund for LGBTQIA+ BIPOC (no location restriction. Donate or apply for funds.)
- Mutual Aid Fund for [Pittsburgh] LGBTQIA+ (from SisTersPGH) – donate and/or get info about applying for funds
- Aspinwall Community Needs Survey here
- Pittsburgh Mutual Aid: aims to deliver at least $5k a week to those in Pittsburgh who are in need because they have lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis. For now, we hope to give amounts that are $250 or less.
- TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) here **Please note that the County Assistance Offices are currently closed to the public. Apply online.
- Unemployment – File an initial claim here.
- UPDATE 03/07/20: Please note that the UC waiting week has been suspended.
- The fast way to apply is online: https://www.paclaims.pa.gov/UCEN/
- Please be patient — due to high demand, our UC system may experience intermittent slowness. Our UC team is working hard to process your claims.
- For more information, visit http://uc.pa.gov/
In addition, some of those whose jobs have been affected by the crisis are eligible for federal unemployment compensation benefits.
Unemployment Compensation (UC) Benefits
You may be eligible if:
- Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of COVID-19
- Because of COVID-19, your employer reduced yours work hours
- Your employer told you not to come to work because they feel you might get or spread COVID-19
- You are quarantined or self-isolated, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts
- Online – it’s the fastest and easiest way to get started (https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing%20Instructions.aspx)
- If you are eligible for UC, you will receive two approval letters and a four-digit PIN
- Your PIN will arrive in the U.S. mail – keep it in a safe, easy to remember place
- If approved, your first benefit payment should arrive within four weeks of filing for UC
- Continue filing your bi-weekly claim (every two weeks) – even while waiting for approval
- 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
If you have COVID-19 and believe a person or situation at your workplace exposed you, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
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
- 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
JOB SEARCH / EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
If you need help applying for jobs, want career counseling during this time, or are looking for ways to improve your skills while you have down time, there are still some career services available. Unfortunately CareerLink offices and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations are closed. The following places are working remotely to provide employment services.
- JFCS Career Development Center remains open as a virtual resource for clients in need of job search assistance and/or help addressing barriers related to unemployment or underemployment. Call 412-422-5627 or e-mail [email protected] to get in touch with a JFCS staff member who can guide you through the available job search options during this crisis.
- Local company hiring for assembly of respiratory devices for COVID-19 response
- United Way hiring 2-1-1 resource navigators (PT)
JFCS Career Counselors are available for anyone needing assistance finding a job or applying for unemployment compensation. Call 412-422-7200.
If you are an immigrant in need of income assistance and would like help connecting to any of these services, please contact the ISAC hotline at 412-742-4200 or submit a referral online.