COVID 19 UPDATES
Lebanon County received approximately $1.6 million in grant funding through the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program to be administered through the Lebanon Valley Economic Development Corporation beginning March 15, 2021 and ends June 15, 2021 or until all funds have been expended but not to exceed June 15, 2021. Grants will be awarded to eligible applicants for the purpose of reimbursing revenue losses in increments of $5,000 with a maximum grant amount of $50,000.
READ GUIDELINES AND
LEBANON COUNTY CARES ACT GRANT FUNDING for a full list of recipients' go to (www.lebanoncountycare.com )
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Unemployment Questions and Answers
PA CareerLink Operations
The PA CareerLink Lebanon County is currently closed to the public, but we’re providing virtual/remote services to both job seekers and employers. As of now, we’re exploring additional opportunities to expand virtual outreach to job seekers and looking at the possibility of holding virtual job fairs for companies currently hiring. As of today, we’re expecting to open on March 30, but we expect that we could be closed for an additional week or more if necessary. We will post any updates with local media and on our Facebook page.
Possible Funding Opportunities for Dislocated Workers
The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of up to $100 million for Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) to help address the workforce-related impacts of COVID. The South Central Workforce Investment Board, which serves as the PA CareerLink’s fiscal agent, is coordinating with partners at the PA Department of Labor & Industry about how these funds can be accessed as quickly as possible. I imagine we’ll learn more about additional funding opportunities/availability as Congress finalizes and approves their economic stimulus package.
Unemployment Compensation Updates
It’s imperative that impacted employees apply for unemployment benefits immediately – any employers impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for benefits. It is recommended that those affected file for unemployment benefits online at www.uc.pa.gov. rather than over the phone. The time that it will take for them to receive cash in pocket will depend on how soon they are able to file their initial claim – typically, individuals will receive their first payment within two to four weeks of filing their claims. The Office of Unemployment has suspended the waiting week and temporarily waived the requirement for PA CareerLink registration and work search, but the system is extremely overwhelmed right now.
Rehiring Employees and Continuing Benefits (like health insurance)
Employees laid off are eligible to be rehired by their employers if they are willing and able.
Additionally, employers may continue to provide benefits, like health insurance even if their employees are collecting unemployment.
As of now, employees displaced from their jobs due to COVID 19 will not receive full wage reimbursement through unemployment. It is typically 50% but with the expansion of benefits being discussed in Congress, this percentage may change in the coming weeks.
Employer Disaster Relief
Employers can request disaster-related relief from charges under the Unemployment Compensation system. If an individual’s unemployment is directly caused by a major natural disaster declared by the President and the individual would have been eligible for disaster unemployment assistance, the employer can request relief from charges and may receive relief for a maximum of eight weeks immediately following the President’s declaration of emergency. More information can be found at https://www.uc.pa.gov/employers-uc-services-uc-tax/uc-benefit-information/Pages/Relief-from-Charges.aspx.
Shared Work Outreach Program
UC also offers a Shared Work Outreach program that could be beneficial to employers if they haven’t yet closed but may need to drastically reduce their operations. Shared Work plans allow employers to temporarily reduce the work hours of a group of employees and divide the hours equally rather than laying off any employees. You can find additional information here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/employers-uc-services-uc-tax/shared-work/Pages/default.aspx.
Rapid Response Services
Rapid Response may also be beneficial during this time – this is an early intervention service that assists workers and employers during layoffs, closures and natural disasters. They can be contacted at – a member of the team will be in touch within 48 hours.