If you need to connect with resources in your community, but don’t know where to look, Pennsylvania 211 is a great place to start. From help with a utilities bill, to housing assistance, after-school programs for kids, and more, you can dial 211 or text your zip code to #898-211 to talk with a resource specialist for free.
County Assistance Offices
Available benefits and services include:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Cash Assistance
- Health Care Coverage (Medical Assistance)
- Home Heating Assistance (LIHEAP)
- Family Planning Services
- Help with Child Care
- School Meals - Long-Term Living Services
Philadelphia County is now accepting emergency rental assistance applications from residents affected by COVID-19. If you have been affected by COVID-19, apply ASAP at phlrentassist.org!
Tenants are eligible if they meet all three of these criteria:
- Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI)
- Qualify for unemployment benefits; or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced some other financial hardship due to COVID-19 and
- Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Tenants can meet this criteria if they have any past-due rent, past due utilities, received an eviction notice, or are paying over one third of their household income on rent.
Assistance is available for both rent and utilities:
Rent assistance can be provided for up to 18 months total, including back rent and forward rent. However, no more than 3 months of forward rent can be provided at one time. Tenants who receive 3 months of forward rent and have not exceeded the 18 months of total assistance, may reapply for another 3 months of forward rent.
Assistance may only be provided for months of rent after April 2020.
The total amount of rent assistance cannot exceed $2,000 per month, and that amount may include late fees or other charges passed on by the landlord.
Utility payments can be provided for up to 18 months total. Utility payments must have been accrued on or after March 13, 2020. Utility payments can only be for the current month and past due utility payments (assistance is not available for future months' utility bills). Utility assistance can provide up to $2,000 for PGW (gas), $2,000 for Philadelphia Water Department, and $2,000 for PECO (electric). Utility payments will go directly to the utility providers. If landlords pass on utility costs to their tenants, assistance for those costs may be included in the rent section.
If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact the City of Philadelphia’s hotline at 215-320-7880.
If you are unemployed or your hours have been reduced, apply for unemployment compensation IMMEDIATELY at uc.pa.gov.
You may be eligible for 39 weeks of payments.
Independent contractors and those who are self-employed are eligible for benefits.
Check https://pua.benefits.uc.pa.gov/vosnet/registration/ind/uiclaim.aspx for an application link specific to independent contractors and self-employed workers.
PIN & Determinations Information
- You will receive a Claim Confirmation Letter via U.S. Postal Service usually within 7-10 business days that will include your Personal Identification Number (PIN). You will be able to file for recent and missed weeks once your PIN arrives.
- You will receive your Notice of Financial Determination Letter via U.S. Postal Service usually within 10-15 business, but it could be longer.
- Reopened claims must be manually processed.
- If the biweekly filing system tells you on your filing date that your weeks are inactive, try filing your biweekly claims one time each day until you are able to successfully file. Do NOT reopen your claim multiple times.
- If you opened a claim within the last twelve months, your PIN and Notice of Financial Determination were issued when you opened your original claim.
If you need to reset your PIN, email email@example.com and include your full name and the last four digits of your social security number.
Check Claim Status Online
You can check your payment status at: https://www.paclaims.pa.gov/ucen/LoginClaimStatus.asp.
Payment Funds Schedule
If you file your biweekly claim on:
Sunday = funds available by Tuesday
Monday - funds available by Wednesday
Tuesday = funds available by Thursday
Wednesday = funds available on Friday
Thursday = funds available on the following Monday
Friday = funds available on the following Tuesday
Saturday = funds available on the following Tuesday
Note: Payments may be delayed if there is an eligibility issue that must be resolved before payment can be made.
The following changes to unemployment have been made to help Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- The waiting week is suspended. Previously, claimants were not eligible for benefits during their first week of unemployment (the “waiting week”). This has been suspended; eligible claimants may receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.
- Work search and work registration requirements are temporarily waived. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with PACareerLink.gov.
- People who exhaust their regular Unemployment Compensation and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation can now qualify for 13 additional weeks of payments through the state’s Unemployment Compensation Extended Benefits program.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expands benefits to gig-economy workers, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals who are otherwise ineligible for unemployment.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides an additional 13 weeks of UC benefits to individuals who exhaust their regular 26 weeks of benefits, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.
- Everyone receiving unemployment compensation benefits under any program will receive a $300 per week subsidy. This subsidy is in addition to regular benefits and applies to weeks beginning January 2, 2021.
Grants – Nonprofits, Individuals, Small Businesses
Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance
Additional Resources- Savi - https://crisishelp.bysavi.com
Credit CardsIf you have seen a reduction in pay due to COVID-19 and are struggling to make your credit card or loan payments, contact your lender right away. Regulatory agencies have encouraged financial institutions to work with customers impacted by the coronavirus. For guidance, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or contact a credit counselor near you.
Who can get food from a food bank or pantry?
Persons who are out of work without pay are eligible to receive food from a food bank or food pantry in Pennsylvania, including:
- Service workers who are unable to get shifts
- Hourly wage employees of non-essential businesses that have closed
You will be asked to provide verbal confirmation of your need as well as your household size and weekly income level as of the day you go to receive food.
Early Learning Resource Centers
Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs) are the hub of child care information in your area. ELRCs provide you and your family with information on quality child care and personalized child care referrals to child care providers based on your specific needs or preferences. ELRCs also administer the Child Care Works subsidized child care program (helping low income families pay their child care fees).
Tutor.com - https://www.tutor.com/apply
VIPkid - https://www.vipkid.com/teach
SurveyJunkie - https://www.surveyjunkie.com, Click "JOIN NOW"
Swagbucks - https://www.swagbucks.com/g/paid-surveys
Fiverr - https://www.fiverr.com/start-selling
Rev - https://www.rev.com/freelancers
Humanatic - https://www.humanatic.com/pages/registration_begin.cfm
Essential businesses hiring in the Philadelphia area
Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF)
Additional Emergency Financial Resources (available to service members/veterans):
Grocery Delivery Services
Minimum order - $10
Delivery Fee – starts at $4 for non-members
Membership (optional) – free delivery on all orders over $35 for $99/year or $10/month
Minimum order - $35
Delivery Fee - $7 for orders below $35
Membership (required) - $99/year or $14/month
Amazon Fresh – Whole Foods only
Minimum order - $35 for free delivery in most locations
Delivery Fee - $10 for orders below $35
Minimum order - $30
Delivery Fee - starts at $6
Membership (optional) – unlimited free deliveries for $79/6 months or $129/year
Minimum order - $59
Delivery fee – free shipping at $70 for non-subscribers
Membership (optional) – weekly subscription starting at $60/week
Minimum order - $49
Delivery Fee - included with membership
Membership (required) - $59/year or $9.95/month
Minimum order - $60
Delivery Fee - starts at $7
Membership (optional) - PodPass for discounted deliveries is $35/6 months or $199/year
Minimum order - $49 for free shipping
Delivery Fee - $7 delivery fee on orders below $49
Membership (optional) - $49/year for free shipping on all orders
Minimum order - varies by location (may charge a small cart fee of $1.99)
Delivery Fee - up to $9.99
Membership (optional) – free delivery on orders over $12 for $9.99/month
Minimum order - none
Delivery Fee - flat $1.95 charge
Membership (optional) – free delivery on every order for $5.95/month
Mental health and substance use disorder help is available.
Learn more about COVID-19 testing and find a testing center.