HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak this week announced that people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC) and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) may now qualify for 13 additional weeks of payments through the state’s Unemployment Compensation Extended Benefits program.
Extended Benefits (EB) are additional UC benefits payable to qualified workers whenever the state’s unemployment rate reaches a certain level determined by law. The last time the EB program was triggered in Pennsylvania was 2009.
The current EB period began May 3, 2020, but benefits are not payable until an individual has exhausted PEUC benefits. EB payments will begin with the week ending July 4, 2020 and are payable only for weeks of unemployment during an EB period.
Important information about the EB program follows and will be sent by mail to all individuals who potentially qualify for the additional benefits.
You may be eligible for EB if:
- You are totally or partially unemployed;
- You have exhausted your regular state benefits on your most recent UC claim, or your most recent UC benefit year has ended; and
- You have received the maximum amount of PEUC that you were eligible to receive.
Additional eligibility information is available here.
How to Receive EB
- If you collect the maximum amount of PEUC that you are eligible to receive, an EB Notice of Financial Determination will be mailed to you.
- You must complete your weekly EB online certification in order to claim EB for weeks that you are totally or partially unemployed.
- Each EB online certification corresponds to one specific week, as indicated on the web form. Individuals who opt to use paper claim forms should only use the form that is specifically dated for the week of unemployment you are claiming.
- If you do not receive your Financial Determination within two weeks after you receive your final PEUC payment, call the UC Service Center at 1-888-313-7284.
EB Weekly Benefit Amount
- EB weekly benefit payments are the same as regular UC.
- The total amount of EB that you may receive is 50 percent of the amount of regular UC you were financially eligible to receive on your most recent claim. Example:
- If you were financially eligible for 26 weeks of regular UC, you may receive up to 13 weeks of EB.
- There is an additional wage test for EB eligibility, so not all individuals will financially qualify.
- EB may only be paid for weeks ending during an EB period.
- If you are entitled to Trade Readjustment Allowances, you may receive fewer weeks of EB.
EB is currently fully federally-funded through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law (Pub. L.) 116-127, specifically Division D, the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization and Access Act of 2020 (EUISAA).
Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits Payment Information
Since March 15, nearly $22 billion in benefits has been paid:
- $9.7 billion from regular UC
- $9.8 billion from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program (extra $600 per week)
- $2.3 billion issued so far to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants (self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors)
- $133 million through Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program (extended benefits)
Of the eligible claimants that applied for benefits between March 15 and May 30, and who filed for continued claims, 90.2 percent received payment as of June 30.
Additional unemployment benefits information is available on L&I’s website.
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