Apr. 15, 2020 / Weekly Roundup

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#Listrak\DateStamplong# The latest news from the State Capitol
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State Launches New COVID-19 Job Hiring Portal

Have you lost employment due to COVID-19? The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, in cooperation with PA CareerLink, has launched an online job portal for those seeking employment during these difficult times.

Life-sustaining business throughout the Commonwealth have posted available positions on the job portal to provide opportunities to those affected by coronavirus response measures.

Applications for these jobs can be found here.  

This page is updated daily, so continue to check back often if you don’t find a position that fits you right away.

Life-sustaining businesses seeking to list open positions on the job portal can do so with the Employer Intake Form, listed at the top of the web page. Eligible businesses must meet the criteria of a life-sustaining business and must have more than 10 available positions.
 
 
 
Department of Aging Offers Resources for Older Pennsylvanians

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging has launched an online COVID-19 resource guide to help older adults easily find useful information related to their health, safety and well-being.

This resource guide provides older adults, their families and caregivers with information on a variety of subjects, including meals, prescriptions, protective services, scams, and how to stay active and connected.

In addition to the COVID-19 resource guide, the department has offered guidance for aging services to help meet the needs of older Pennsylvanians while maintaining safety. This guidance, along with all of the programs that the Department of Aging provides, can be found here. 
 
 
 
Unemployment Compensation Update

This week, my office received the below information regarding unemployment compensation (UC) from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.  

PIN and Determinations
If you filed a new Initial Claim application, 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 or PIN.

Due to current volumes, you may not receive your PIN in time to file biweekly, but you will be able to file for recent and missed weeks once your PIN arrives.
You will also receive your Notice of Financial Determination Letter via U.S. Postal Service usually within 10-15 business days, but it currently could be longer.

Reopened Claims
If you just reopened your existing claim, this will be the only time you should do so unless you go back to work and are subsequently unemployed.

A staff member must manually process the reopen that you just submitted, and the department is working through the thousands of reopens we receive, daily.
It may be possible that your biweekly claims are not ready for you to file on your filing date. Please be patient and do not further delay your claim by using this application to reopen your claim, again.

If the biweekly filing system tells you on your filing date that your weeks are inactive, simply try filing your biweekly claims one time each day until you are able to successfully file. Biweekly filing is not available on Saturdays.

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, please email uchelp@pa.gov, once to avoid delays. Please include your full name and the last four digits of your social security number.
 
 
 
Free Online Exercise Classes Available to Area Seniors

Several local active adult centers are offering free online exercise courses to seniors affected by the COVID-19 mitigation efforts. These courses are available remotely and include aerobics, yoga, weight training and other exercise activities. For more information, visit the local Area Agency on Aging’s website. 
 
 
 
National Guard Supports Communities, DMVA Pledges to Support Veterans

This week, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, announced that more than 850 Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) members have been working to support Commonwealth communities to combating COVID-19. Carrelli also reassured military veterans that their benefits will not be interrupted.

The PNG was called early-on during COVID-19 to help transport 30 Pennsylvania residents who were onboard the Grand Princess cruise ship back to their homes in the Commonwealth.

As COVID-19 began making its way throughout Pennsylvania communities, the PNG has consistently answered the call to protect and safeguard the public health. Recent activities include setting up a drive-thru testing site in Montgomery County; helping a food bank pack emergency food in Pittsburgh; unloading much-needed medical supplies in Harrisburg; and helping to set up a federal medical facility at Glen Mills School in Delaware County.

Additionally, the DMVA Office of Veterans Affairs is steadily working to ensure Pennsylvania’s nearly 800,000 veterans continue to receive the benefits they have earned through their service to our country.

These benefits include care for 1,300 residents in six veterans’ homes; location of military records, financial assistance during times of crisis; and the administration of pension programs for service-connected disabilities.
    
 
 
Alzheimer’s Association Offers Helpline for Dementia Caregivers

Pennsylvanians impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias face additional hardships during this uncertain time.

Fortunately, the Alzheimer’s Association operates a 24/7 Helpline available to assist the nearly 400,000 Pennsylvanians living with dementia, caregivers and their families. Through this free service, individuals can speak with specialists and master’s-level clinicians for confidential support and information.

There are three ways to contact the Helpline:
  1.    Call: Clinicians are available around the clock at 1-800-272-3900 (for TTY, dial: 1-866-403-3073).
  2.    Chat: Visit the Alzheimer’s Association’s website and click the green, “Live Chat” button to connect with a member of its Helpline staff. Live chat is typically available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday.
  3.    Go online: Individuals may use this form to contact the Alzheimer’s Association and receive a response within 24 hours.

 
 
 
Businesses to Benefit from Waiver for Sales Tax Prepayments

As part of ongoing efforts to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue recently announced businesses that collect Pennsylvania sales tax will not have to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments over the next three months.

That means businesses that normally have a monthly prepayment requirement will not be charged penalties for missing the prepayment deadline during this three-month period.

Under normal circumstances, certain business taxpayers are required to make monthly sales tax prepayments to the Commonwealth if their actual tax liability is more than $25,000 during the third quarter of the preceding year.

The Department of Revenue is waiving the prepayment requirement in April, May and June of 2020 to help business owners with cash flow during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information is available here.  
 
 
Spay/Neuter Requirement Temporarily Waived for Pet Adoption

Under Pennsylvania’s Dog Law, shelters and rescues are normally required to have dogs and cats spayed or neutered prior to adoption. However, the Department of Agriculture (PDA) has temporarily waived this requirement due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

This suspension will allow conservation of personal protective equipment (PPE) and limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for veterinarians.

In lieu of this requirement, shelters must keep a list of pets adopted out during the COVID-19 pandemic, provide a copy to the PDA, and follow up with adoptive pet owners to ensure the procedure takes place.

Adoptive pet owners will have up to 120 days from the time of adoption to have the procedure completed and come into compliance. This timeframe will be re-evaluated as necessary.
 
 
 
Mental Health/Substance Abuse Hotline Now Available

During this stressful time, many Pennsylvanians who have previously been able to cope with mental health or substance abuse issues are finding themselves overwhelmed.

Fortunately, help is available around the clock, thanks to a new hotline created by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). If you or a loved one are struggling at this time, please call 1-855-284-2494. Experts are available to provide help 24/7 to all who need it.
 
 
District Office Reminder

In the interest of protecting public health, my offices in Harrisburg, Dallas and Tunkhannock are temporarily closed to walk-in service. However, we remain ready to assist via phone and email during regular office hours Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

REMINDER: For unemployment inquiries, please utilize the links and resources above.

For Harrisburg inquiries, please call 717-787-1117 or email bzablots@pahousegop.com.
For Dallas inquiries, please call 570-675-6000 or email ahoussoc@pahousegop.com; or csweeney@pahousegop.com.

For Tunkhannock inquiries, please call 570-836-4777 or email csweeney@pahousegop.com; lcadden@pahousegop.com; or jwilliams@pahousegop.com.
 
Our District

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Office Locations
105 Lieutenant Michael Cleary Drive, Dallas, PA 18612 | (570) 675-6000, (800) 278-3930
133 West Tioga Street, Suite 4, Tunkhannock, PA 18657 | Phone: (570) 836-4777
41-B East Wing, Main Capitol, PO Box 202117, Harrisburg PA 17120-2117 | Phone: (717) 787-1117
Email: kboback@pahousegop.com
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