A piece of good news for people who are unemployed! Congress passed a COVID relief bill which extends emergency unemployment benefits. It was signed a week later, on 12/27/20, and we are still waiting to see how the delay will impact Pennsylvanians.
We do not yet know how long it will take for Pennsylvania to implement the new changes. We expect it will take at least a week, possibly two weeks, as Pennsylvania is waiting for federal regulations to be released.
PUA and PEUC Benefits are Extended
The approximately 11 week extension applies to both forms of current unemployment programs:
1. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and
2. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), available for people receiving regular UC
This extension is expected to run until the week ending March 13, 2021.
It does not appear to apply to any weeks of unemployment before Jan. 2, 2021. It may not start until Jan 9, 2021.
If you are unemployed or partially unemployed, we expect you will receive these extended benefits automatically and you should continue to file your weekly claims in the same manner, once PA implements changes to its online programs.
If your unemployment claim has closed, you will need to reopen your claim and then continue filing. For UC extensions check the website and look for info to “reopen an existing claim”, for PUA look at your dashboard under the “Employment Services” tab.
You do not need to file a new claim to receive this extension.
All Unemployment Claimants are Eligible for Extra $300 Per Week
- Unemployment Compensation (UC)
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
- Extended Benefits (EB)
The extra $300 will be automatically paid if you qualify for one of the above programs. We are waiting on the start date given delay in signing bill, originally it was Dec. 27, 2020 to March 13, 2021.
The extra $300 is not retroactive, so you will not get any extra $300 payments for September through December 26. We do not yet know whether it will be paid for week of December 27 to Jan 2.
You do not need to file a separate application to receive the $300, it should be automatically paid out.
Direct stimulus payments should be available to people receiving unemployment
This bill includes a direct “stimulus” payment from the IRS of $600 per person, we believe individuals receiving unemployment benefits will be eligible for that payment as well. We do not have details yet on timing of those payments but news reports say “in the next few weeks.”
CLS is here to help.
If you have an open matter with us, such as for prior unpaid weeks of PUA or UC, please check with your advocate after Monday January 4 with questions.
You can also follow PA Department of Labor and Industry on Facebook for updates on their implementation of these new programs.