Pennsylvania Workers Impacted by Coronavirus May Be Entitled to Unemployment and/or Workers Compensation Benefits

March 16, 2020 - 2:37 PM
Pennsylvania state officials announced Monday that workers who are impacted by the coronavirus may be eligible for unemployment and/or workers' compensation benefits. In an announcement from Jerry Oleksiak, Secretary of Labor & Industry, Pennsylvania residents may be eligible for such benefits if their employer temporarily closes or goes out of business due to the spread of COVID-19.

Oleksiak sates, "as Pennsylvania and the nation implement mitigation efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important to relieve some of the financial pressures our workers are facing so they can focus on remaining healthy and safe." He added that “the best option is for employers to offer their employees paid time off. If leave is not available and your job has been impacted by this new virus, you may be eligible for benefits either through unemployment or workers' compensation. If you work in a job or industry that likely will be affected, prepare now by knowing what you need and how to file so your application can be processed quickly."

How do you know if you qualify for such benefits? You may be eligible for unemployment compensation if:
your employer temporarily closes or goes out of business because of 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; or
you have been told to quarantine or self-isolate, or live/work in a county under government-recommended mitigation efforts.

The state’s website ( provides additional information on unemployment benefit requirements, information on their educational call center and LiveChat platforms, and a self-service guide. 

For those who believe they were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace, workers compensation benefits may be available. In such cases, those seeking benefits will have to provide medical evidence that they were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace. Additional information on the potential workers compensation benefits can be found online here.

We are working with clients to field inquiries and provide advice and guidance in a wide range of areas and industries during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please be sure to check back regularly for updated information. If you have an immediate need, please contact your attorney directly, or email us at, and one of our dedicated attorneys will get back to you shortly.