Pennsylvania Human Services Agency Remains Lifeline to Pennsylvanians as Federal Unemployment Comes to an End

Federal unemployment benefits ended for 558,000 Pennsylvanians on Saturday, Sept. 4.

It was the final week for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs. Those eligible filed for the final week of benefits through these federal, pandemic-specific programs this week. The additional $300 per week provided by the federal government for those in the state’s regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) is also coming to an end.

Many families, through no fault of their own, have seen their incomes decreased or lost entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn. Fortunately, for people across the commonwealth, support programs are available to provide help.

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) will not stop providing access to essential needs for those who need them.

There is no shame in asking for help when we need it. Anyone who might be struggling is encouraged to reach out and take advantage of these available services. DHS is here to help people pay their bills, stabilize their housing situation, and stay healthy as we emerge from this unprecedented crisis.

Available DHS services include:


  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
    ERAP provides assistance to renters, landlords, and utility providers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic insecurity.
  • Homeless Assistance Program (HAP)
    HAP helps to assure that homelessness can be avoided, and people who are experiencing homelessness can find refuge and care.
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    LIHEAP helps families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant paid directly to the heating provider or fuel vendor.  Households in immediate danger of being without heat can also qualify for crisis grants. The LIHEAP season will open on October 18, 2021.


  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    SNAP helps Pennsylvanians by providing money each month that can only be spent on groceries, helping households have resources to purchase enough food for their household.
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman,
    Infants and Children (WIC)

    WIC helps pregnant women, mothers and caregivers of infants and young children learn about good nutrition to keep themselves and their families healthy. It provides nutrition services, breastfeeding support, health care and social service referrals, and healthy foods to eligible participants.
  • School Nutrition Programs  |  Find Meals for Kids near you!
    Free school meals (breakfast/lunch) are available for children from families receiving SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, and children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level. Reduced-price school meals are available for children from families whose incomes are between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level.


  • Medical Assistance (Medicaid)
    Medicaid provides health coverage to nearly 3 million eligible Pennsylvanians including children, pregnant women, parents, seniors and individuals with disabilities.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    Pennsylvania’s program to provide health coverage to uninsured children and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance.