Pa. offering assistance to residents if federal unemployment programs expire

Written by on December 8, 2020

Pa. offering assistance to residents if federal unemployment programs expire

By Gabi Falk, WLVR Lehigh University Intern

December 8, 2020

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Two federal pandemic unemployment compensation programs are set to expire at the end of the month. State officials are trying to get the word out that there are still other options for help in Pennsylvania. 

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State Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller wants residents to know help is available — from several assistance programs for healthcare, food, clothing and transportation. 

“These programs exist so that in our most difficult moments we are not alone in meeting these essential needs.”

Miller says she hopes Pennsylvanians will take advantage of programs – including SNAP for food assistance, medicaid and temporary financial support for needy families. 

But, she says enrollment in those programs has been slower than expected.

“These programs can be a bridge that provides security while you prepare for your next step. It’s okay to use it for a few months so that you know your health and your essential needs will be covered during that period.”

The department is working to understand why families may not enroll in assistance programs. So far, they’ve found that some don’t want the help, or believe they may find new employment soon. 

This story is part of a collaboration between WLVR News and Lehigh University’s Department of Journalism & CommunicationView all student stories.

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