Dept. of Labor expands unemployment benefits during COVID-19 crisis

DOVER — The Delaware Department of Labor announced Tuesday new guidelines for unemployment to help workers impacted by the coronavirus.

Workers will be eligible to receive benefits if an employer needs to curtail or shut down operations temporarily because of the coronavirus outbreak or the resulting declaration of a state of emergency.

Individuals who have been instructed by a doctor to self-quarantine will be eligible, as will parents or guardians forced to quit or take unpaid leave from their jobs to care for children due to the emergency closure of schools and workers who have been forced to quit or take unpaid leave to care for a loved one who has contracted coronavirus.

An individual who becomes sick from the virus and is unable to work may be eligible for benefits. Part-time workers may also be eligible.

Additionally, the definition of weekly work search requirements will now cover a wide variety of activities that meet the requirement and unemployment insurance deadlines may be modified for mandatory appointments.

Department of Labor offices are closed to the public during the state of emergency, but individuals can still file for benefits or seek assistance. Claims can be submitted at and questions can be answered at or 761-8446.

A list of other agency services and contact information is available at

Delawareans with questions about coronavirus or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s special call center at 1-866-408-1899 (711 for people who are hearing impaired) from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. They can also email

For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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