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Income and Employment Assistance

income and employment assistance

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: 

Resource Categories:
-Funds and Grants
-Pittsburgh Mutual Aid & Neighborhood Specific Info
-Government Assistance
-Unemployment Compensation
-Workers’ Compensation
(Updated 3/23/20)





Funds and Grants


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


Government Assistance
  • 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
Important info:
  • 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



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 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.



  • Kiva – 0% loans for small businesses affected by COVID-19
  • Governor Tom Wolf today announced the availability of low-interest loans for small businesses and eligible non-profits in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
    • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance. More info here
    • The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • Bridgeway Capital – loans for small businesses & non-profits economically impacted by COVID-19
  • URA is offering resources and assistance for businesses impacted by COVID-19. URA encouraged businesses to contact their URA loan officers to inquire about hardship assistance.
  • Honeycomb Credit is offering discounted community-sourced loans for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Qualifying businesses can borrow $10,000 – $50,000 with an introductory 6-month interest-only period and no prepayment penalty.
  • 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.