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Help is now available for a special class of unemployed, thanks to the federal CARES Act.

Local self-employed residents or independent contractors can now get some unemployed benefits, Rep. Rob Kauffman, R-89, pointed out in a newsletter to constituents.

So can gig workers and many others who would not normally qualify for unemployment benefits.

Congressional Response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis

The application for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits for self-employed workers, independent contractors and others not typically eligible for benefits is available on the Pennsylvania unemployment compensation system website.  Here’s the link.

The following individuals might qualify:

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  • Self-employed
  • Independent contractors
  • Gig workers
  • People without sufficient work history to qualify for regular UC
  • 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 federal CARES Act authorized the special Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. Getting ready to implement the new benefit has been complicated, in part because a special online application had to be created. The site is now up and running, Kauffman said.

The new benefit has created a lot of interest, as well as questions, Kauffman said.

Resources Available to Help Those Impacted by Coronavirus Crisis

Based on the volume of questions about the program, Kauffman said the site will be busy as people learn of its availability.

If you have difficulty accessing the site, be sure to try again later.

Anyone experiencing a problem or with questions should email [email protected].

“This is the fastest way to receive a response,” Kauffman said.

He warned it may still take a few days for a response due to the volume of people currently filing unemployment claims.

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