McClinton, Gauthier host online meeting about unemployment benefit opportunities during COVID-19

Pa. Department of Labor and Industry answers questions, provides update

With a record number of Pennsylvanians filing jobless claims, state Rep. Joanna McClinton and Philadelphia City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier hosted an online meeting Thursday to inform the public about unemployment assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. 

"This pandemic has cost many of our neighbors their jobs, leaving them struggling to provide for their family," said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. "Councilmember Gauthier and I share the same commitment to ensure our communities know there is help out there and where to find it. We will continue working together to connect them with critical information to help get them through these unprecedented times."

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak fielded questions from participants about applying for unemployment compensation and provided various updates, including:

  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website is fully operational and available for self-employed individuals, independent contractors, gig workers and those who otherwise don't qualify for traditional unemployment compensation to begin filing their weekly certification.
  • More staff has been hired to help handle the influx of unemployment claims.
  • There is a job portal available with current employment opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Before the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, even on a good day, people all across West Philly were having a hard time getting by, and the needs we were seeing before are now severely compounded," said Gauthier, D-Phila. "Because of that, it's more important than ever that people have the tools they need to advocate for themselves and get support. With our Unemployment Town Hall, Representative McClinton and I hope to empower our constituents with useful information to help them and their families in the weeks and months to come."

The Coalition Against Hunger also attended the conversation to discuss the food assistance options available to help prevent people from going hungry during this crisis, which includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  

More information about unemployment compensation in Pennsylvania can be found at the Department of Labor and Industry website

For those who missed the conversation can watch it here