Who Is Eligible for Unemployment During Coronavirus Shutdown?

States like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, as well as the federal government, have issued new guidelines for unemployment eligibility

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Unemployment is becoming a new fact of life for workers facing layoffs or shortened work hours during the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses like restaurants, casinos and shopping malls are limiting or shutting down operations. The shutdown of large sectors of the economy has led to an increase in unemployment claims.

In New Jersey, a spike in unemployment application filings caused the online system to crash Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy said. The system has since been restored.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, workers facing job loss may be eligible for unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits in the following pandemic-related scenarios:

  • Your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business due to COVID-19
  • Your employer reduces your hours because of COVID-19
  • You have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread COVID-19
  • You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate or you live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts

Unemployment claims in Pennsylvania should be submitted online for faster processing. If you have questions, you can email Pennsylvania Dept. of Labor here.

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New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce, which handles claims in the Garden State, can be found HERE.

Delaware’s State Department of Labor is also taking unemployment claims online or by phone. 

There are no onsite services available to file for unemployment for at least two weeks. Applications by-phone are possible, but the lines were either tied up or off the hook when a reporter called all three states Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is weighing an emergency measure passed by the U.S. House or Representatives late last week that would require businesses with 500 or fewer employees to provide two weeks of paid sick time due to the coronavirus.

There are some loopholes. It does not include those who are employed by large businesses and provides exemptions for companies with 50 or fewer workers.

The coronavirus lockdown across the region has led to unemployment concerns for many workers. NBC10's Matt DeLucia takes a closer look at the economic impact.
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