State to provide additional 13 weeks of jobless benefits

From staff reports

The state Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) on Sunday announced the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program to provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits to people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC).

PEUC is included in the new federal unemployment compensation benefits provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Pennsylvania has implemented all programs under the new CARES Act and paid out nearly $7.4 billion in total unemployment benefits since mid-March, according to an L&I news release.

Information about the extended benefits program has been emailed or mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to all individuals who potentially qualify for PEUC, the release said.

Individuals, the release said, are eligible for PEUC provided:

– They are unemployed between March 29 through Dec. 26.

– They have exhausted regular state or federal benefits with the week ending July 6 or later.

– They are currently not eligible for state or federal unemployment benefits.

– They are able and available to work and actively seeking work, except for COVID-19-related reasons including illness, quarantine or “stay at home” orders.

According to the release, if someone has an open UC claim but exhausted all benefits, the 13 additional weeks will automatically be added to the existing claim. People can log in this week to file biweekly claims for prior weeks, back through the week ending April 4 (if applicable).

If the benefit year has expired, the release said, then individuals must submit an application online.

The PEUC weekly benefit amount is the same as the regular UC weekly benefit rate, the release said.

Individuals will receive an additional $600 per week from the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, the release said. Anyone collecting any type of UC, including PEUC, will receive the extra $600 per week in addition to the weekly benefits as calculated.