Perry County woman looking for jobs; waiting on weeks of unpaid unemployment benefits

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MARYSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Thousands of Pennsylvanians are still unemployed and some still aren’t receiving benefits.

Rene Amico has applied for nine weeks in a row for unemployment compensation but hasn’t seen a dime and when she calls for help, all she gets is a busy signal.

Many businesses are still struggling to get workers.

“You’ll drive down any main street, in really any city or out on the Carlisle Pike and you’ll see now hiring signs everywhere,” Elaine Wolf, owner of Wolf Brewing Co, said.

Wolf Brewing Co. had trouble for a while, and is still looking for kitchen help, but has filled most front-of-house positions.

“We consider ourselves really lucky to have a solid team at the moment,” Wolf said.

On the other hand, Amico is applying to jobs, but not having much luck getting calls back.

“They’re saying people don’t want off unemployment. They want to stay on because they’re getting that extra $300,” Amico said. “No, I am bored. I don’t want to be at home.”

She finally did line up a restaurant job starting Sunday in Duncannon, but it’s only two days a week.

Right now, she’s missing out on $5,000-$6,000 since she started applying for unemployment back in May.

“Basically I’m living on my savings and credit cards,” Amico said.

As The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry continues to be flooded with unemployment claims, its new system also continues to frustrate the people trying to use it.

“It tells you up here, all UC claimants who have not filed a claim since March 1, you will now be required to verify your identity through ID.me. And I’m already registered, so I click on it and it makes me do it all over again,” Amico said.

The problem is, Amico can’t even reach L&I to get help over the phone.

“I have tried calling multiple times. One day I called 63 times. Every single time it says sorry the number you have called is busy and then it hangs up,” Amico said.

She says one email took five weeks to get a response.

“At that point, it had been eight weeks that I hadn’t gotten paid and they didn’t even address that in the email that they responded to me,” Amico said. “So I haven’t bothered to try another email because that’s going to take another five, six weeks.”

For now, she’ll try to look for more jobs and hope she gets paid soon.

abc27 did reach out to the Pa. Department of Labor and Industry for answers but did not hear back.

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