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PA Gig Workers Can Finish Applying For Federal Assistance

Matt Rourke
A person wearing a protective face mask as a precaution against the coronavirus walks past stuttered businesses in Philadelphia, Thursday, May 7, 2020.

Pennsylvania gig workers can finally finish applying for a new federally-mandated assistance program, announced the Department of Labor and Industry Monday.

More than 174,000 state residents have started the process since the commonwealth launched the first step on April 18, and will now be able to file weekly claims to receive between $195 and $572 dollars a week. Part-time employees, gig workers and others who work on short contracts are often in a more precarious financial situation to begin with are barred from accessing traditional assistance.

Those applications will be retroactive to January 27, 2020, or the first week that work was lost. Applicants should also automatically receive an additional $600 per week in special federal assistance through July 25.

“Your very first payment — whether it’s the backdated lump sum payment or a regular weekly payment — will arrive within one week or less after you file your first certification,” according to state officials. For each subsequent week without work, applicants must file a new claim every sunday.

The program, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, is the result of a federal aid package aiming to ease the economic pain caused by the coronavirus lockdown orders. Pennsylvania’s traditional unemployment system has been hit with more than 1.7 million new initial claims since the pandemic began.

A guide to filling out the PUA paperwork is here.


Credit WHYY

Free Uber rides for people seeking domestic violence services

On Thursday, Uber announced it is donating 1,000 free rides to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Through the collaboration, Uber and PCADV say they’ll be able to coordinate transportation between a domestic violence victim’s home and a safe location — with workers in the program able to send victims a code for a free ride.

The idea, program coordinators said in a statement, is that the rides will provide “additional support” to people seeking domestic violence services during a time when violent incidents in homes are on the rise.

“We’re grateful for Uber’s commitment to assisting survivors of intimate partner violence, especially during this extraordinary time,” PCADV head Susan Higginbotham said in a press release. “Intimate partner violence is a public health crisis, and now with the COVID-19 pandemic, helping survivors access services and safe housing is even more critical.”

Read more from our partners, WHYY.