Published April 12, 2020
Self-Employed, Independent Contractors: Apply NOW for Unemployment Benefits
The application for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits for self-employed workers, independent contractors and others not typically eligible for benefits is NOW AVAILABLE on the Pennsylvania unemployment compensation system website. Here's the link.
The Department of Labor and Industry encourages the following who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 to apply for benefits: self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, people without sufficient work history to qualify for regular UC, and people who have exhausted regular UC or extended benefits.
For questions about program eligibility and information about the documents you will need to provide when applying, click here.
The special Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits were authorized by the federal CARES Act and required a separate application process to be created online. The site is now up and running. Based on the volume of questions my office has received about this program, I’m certain the site will be busy as people learn of its availability. If you have difficulty accessing the site, be sure to try again later.
If you experience a problem or have a question, please send it by email to UCHelp@PA.Gov. This is the fastest way to receive a response, though it unfortunately may still take a few days due to the volume of people currently filing unemployment claims.