Department of Labor & Industry provides an update on Pandemic Unemployment programs

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Jennifer Berrier, Acting Secretary for the Department of Labor and Industry, provided an update on the recent Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) changes in Pennsylvania.

Nearly 115,000 PEUC program payments have been issued since Sunday, January 24, the day the program reopened. Claimants can file for the 11 additional weeks provided by the extension, which is on top of 13 weeks provided in the original CARES Act. The PEUC program adds a total of 24 weeks to the number of eligible weeks a claimant has through the regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) program.

L&I identified and fixed the issue experienced by PEUC claimants who were not being offered claim weeks since they last filed for benefits on December 26.

PEUC claimants should now be able to file and should email uchelp@pa.gov if they experience additional issues with their claims.

L&I reopened the PUA program on Friday, January 22. Since then, claimants have filed close to 420,000 weeks for the program, which assists workers who are not eligible for regular UC, such as gig workers, freelancers and self-employed workers.

L&I is working quickly to correct these issues and will provide regular updates on social media and on our website at www.dli.pa.gov. PUA claimants should email ucpua@pa.gov if they experience issues with their claims, and provide as much detail as possible about the problem.

Both programs were recently restarted as a part of the federal CARES Act extensions, and many people have seen a gap in the extra compensation due to delays at the federal level of funding distribution.

PUA assists workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 who are not eligible for other unemployment compensation programs. PEUC provides additional weeks of benefits to workers who have exhausted their Unemployment Compensation benefits. Together, these programs provided payments to more than half a million Pennsylvanians.

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