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I know a lot of folks are out of work, given the closure of non-essential businesses across the state. Here’s what I’ve learned from the Department of Labor & Industry about changes in unemployment compensation eligibility during this public health crisis: 

  • The Governor has temporarily suspended the waiting-week requirement in Section 401(e) of the UC Law.   With this suspension, a claimant can immediately file for benefits, and the first week of unemployment will be a compensable week. The suspension of this section will also be in effect for the length of the emergency declaration. 

  • The provisions of the emergency declaration allow the Governor to immediately suspend the work registration and work search requirements in Unemployment Compensation Law and adopted Regulations and the Governor has temporarily suspended these requirements for the length of the emergency declaration. 

  • The PA UC Law allows for employers to be relieved of charges for compensation once there has been a federal disaster declaration under the Stafford Act and the individuals would have been eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Therefore, an employer may be relieved from charges for compensation paid to an individual with respect to any week of unemployment occurring due to COVID-19. 

I’ve gotten questions in my district office about what constitutes a non essential business. Here’s a basic explainer on the Governor’s policy.

PA's Business Closure Update

With the #COVID19 situation changing so rapidly, we cannot predict what will happen with our primary. However, you now have the option to vote by mail. This will guarantee that your vote will be counted even if you can't get to a polling place. 

Vote by mail

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 5:30 p.m., I will hold a live Telephone Town Hall Meeting to discuss the Coronavirus. I'll will be joined by Arvind Venkat, MD, FACEP, President, Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians. 

To listen live on your phone, computer or tablet: 

To sign up from your phone, text SENCOSTA to 833-898-5483. 

Telephone Townhall

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If you haven’t visited my Facebook page, join the conversation by ‘liking’ the page and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Plenty of information is available on these pages about community events and issues affecting our friends and neighbors.  If you have questions or concerns, send me a direct message or post your thoughts.

Offices to Serve You

  Forest Hills
1501 Ardmore Blvd. | Suite 403
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: (412) 241-6690
Fax: (412) 731-2332
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
2306 Brownsville Rd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15210
Phone: (412) 884-8308
Fax: (412) 886-2080
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
314 E. Eighth Ave.
Homestead, PA 15120
Phone: (412) 462-4204
Fax: (412) 462-4543
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Harrisburg Office
Senate Box 203043
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 787-7683
Fax: (717) 783-5976
8:30 am – 5:00 pm