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Pennsylvanians can now apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The state and federal governments are working to soften the blow for the self-employed.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The coronavirus outbreak is hitting the business world hard. The state and federal governments are working to soften the blow for the self-employed.

The first big question is, who is eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and what is it?

Simply put, it's for the self-employed or people without a sufficient work history. It's 39 weeks of money for people who aren't eligible for regular unemployment compensation.  

You also have a chance of qualifying if you get COVID-19 or if you are caring for a member of your household with the disease.

There's more; you might be able to get money if you can't get to work because of COVID-19 or are part of a stay-at-home order.

When you do decide to apply, make sure you can prove how much money you made. Have tax returns, pay stubs, invoices, and billing statements ready. If you can't work, be prepared to prove the reason. 

If you jump through all the hoops and manage to qualify, how much do you get? It's based on your previous income, but it cannot be more than the state's weekly maximum benefit rate for regular unemployment compensation. The minimum will be $195 a week. The maximum time you can collect is 39 weeks. 

There is a long list of regulations for who can collect, who can't, and who is covered by regular unemployment compensation. 

The state has it all spelled out for you on its Office of Unemployment Compensation web site. Click here to check it out.

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