South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Pennsylvania extends unemployment compensation benefits for 13 more weeks

 


Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak has announced that people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC) and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) may now qualify for 13 additional weeks of payments through the state’s Unemployment Compensation Extended Benefits program.

Extended Benefits (EB) are additional UC benefits payable to qualified workers whenever the state’s unemployment rate reaches a certain level determined by law. The last time the EB program was triggered in Pennsylvania was 2009.

The current EB period began May 3, 2020, but benefits are not payable until an individual has exhausted PEUC benefits. EB payments will begin with the week ending July 4, 2020 and are payable only for weeks of unemployment during an EB period.

Important information about the EB program follows and will be sent by mail to all individuals who potentially qualify for the additional benefits.

A person may be eligible for EB if:

They are totally or partially unemployed;

Have exhausted their regular state benefits on their most recent UC claim, or their most recent UC benefit year has ended; and,

They have received the maximum amount of PEUC that they were eligible to receive.

Additional eligibility information is available at https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/Pages/State-Extended-Benefits-(EB).aspx

​Those who have collected the maximum amount of PEUC they are eligible to receive will have an EB Notice of Financial Determination will be mailed to them.

You must complete your weekly EB online certification in order to claim EB for weeks you are totally or partially unemployed.

Each EB online certification corresponds to one specific week, as indicated on the web form. Individuals who opt to use paper claim forms should only use the form that is specifically dated for the week of unemployment they are claiming.

Those who do not receive their Financial Determination within two weeks after receiving their final PEUC payment should call the UC Service Center at 1-888-313-7284.

EB weekly benefit payment amounts are the same as regular UC.

The total amount of EB you may have received is 50 percent of the amount of regular UC you were financially eligible to receive on your most recent claim. Example:

If you were financially eligible for 26 weeks of regular UC, you may receive up to 13 weeks of EB.

There is an additional wage test for EB eligibility, so not all individuals will financially qualify.

EB may only be paid for weeks ending during an EB period.

If you are entitled to Trade Readjustment Allowances, you may receive fewer weeks of EB.

EB is currently fully federally-funded through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law (Pub. L.) 116-127, specifically Division D, the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020 (EUISAA).

Since March 15, more than $21.5 billion in benefits has been paid:

$9.6 billion from regular UC

$9.6 billion from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program (extra $600 per week)

$2.2 billion issued so far to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants (self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors)

$129 million through Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program (extended benefits)

Of the eligible claimants that applied for benefits between March 15 and May 30, and who filed for continued claims, 90.2 percent received payment as of June 29.

 

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