May 18, 2020
More than 1.87 million Pennsylvania residents have filed for unemployment benefits since the start of the coronavirus crisis in March, leaving a large part of the state's workforce in limbo.
On Sunday, the Department of Labor & Industry launched a new program that will extend unemployment compensation for an additional 13 weeks for those who exhaust their benefits.
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will rely on funds included in the federal CARES Act. To date, the state has implemented all programs in the federal relief bill and has paid out nearly $7.4 billion in total unemployment benefits.
Below are the eligibility requirements and other important information to know about the PEUC program.
You are eligible for PEUC if you:
• Are unemployed between March 29 through Dec. 26, 2020;
• Have exhausted your regular state or federal benefits after July 6, 2019, or later; Are currently not eligible for state or federal unemployment benefits; and
• Are able and available to work and are actively seeking work, except for COVID-19-related reasons including illness, quarantine, or "stay at home" orders.
• If you have an open unemployment compensation claim but exhausted all of your benefits, the 13 additional weeks will automatically be added to your existing claim. Log in this week to file biweekly claims for prior weeks, back through the week ending April 4 (if applicable).
• If your benefit year has expired then you must submit an application online.
• If you don't have access to computers or the internet, have someone print the paper application for you to complete and submit via mail. We are also in the process of mailing paper copies of the application to individuals who might need it.
• Biweekly claims and payments work the same way as for regular UC benefits.
Your PEUC weekly benefit amount is the same as your regular UC weekly benefit rate. Weekly benefit rates are based on your reported earnings during the base year (the first four of the last five completed quarters). You must also have over 18 credit weeks (weeks during which you earned $116 or more) in your base year to be eligible for UC.
You will receive an additional $600 per week from the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. Anyone collecting any type of UC, including PEUC, will receive the extra $600 per week in addition to his or her weekly benefits as calculated.
FPUC payments began the week ending April 4, 2020 and will end July 25, 2020. These payments will be backdated for eligible individuals and paid in one lump sum.
You will receive the extra $600 FPUC payments the week after your PEUC payments.
Since March 15, Pennsylvania has made 15.7 million payments to unemployment claimants totaling almost $7.9 billion in payments. This includes $4.7 billion in regular unemployment compensation payments, $2.85 billion from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program (extra $600 per week) and $290 million from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program since May 7.