Federal stimulus program to end July 25, state offers emergency programs


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The federal program that provides an extra $600 a week for everyone receiving unemployment benefits is about to end.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has two emergency programs in place that are aimed to help Pennsylvanians now, as the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program is set to end July 25, which is part of the federal CARES Act.

“Unless further action comes from Congress and the federal government to extend additional unemployment assistance or make additional stimulus payments, people in Pennsylvania and around the country may soon find themselves in increasingly uncertain circumstances,” said Teresa Miller, PA Department of Human Services Secretary.

So to help, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has two short term programs available now to help those affected financially from COVID-19. The low-income home energy assistance program or LIHEAP recovery crisis program is available through August 31 with a maximum benefit of $800.

“These benefits will be paid directly to utility companies or fuel providers, with few exceptions to help qualifying families offset costs for home utilities,” said Miller.

The emergency assistance program provides a one time payment to families based on their size, who have had a significant income loss because of the pandemic. That program however is set to end July 12, unless more funding becomes available.

“Our public assistance network exists to help people during times exactly like what we are currently facing and they can be a lifeline,” said Miller.

In addition, Pennsylvanians who exhausted their regular unemployment benefits and federal PEUC can now qualify for 13 additional weeks of payments through the state’s unemployment compensation extended benefits program.

To date, the PA Department of Labor and Industry says it’s paid out 90 percent of unemployment benefits to those who filed at the start of this pandemic.

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