Unemployment Benefits
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The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry announced Sunday the launch of the state's Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

The program is designed to provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits to residents who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation, according to DL&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak.

Oleksiak says the program is included in the new federal unemployment compensation benefits provided by the CARES Act.

According to a release, Pennsylvania has implemented all programs under the new CARES Act, which has resulted in the pay out nearly $7.4 billion in total unemployment benefits since mid-March.

Officials say residents are eligible for PEUC if they:

Are unemployed between March 29 through December 26, 2020 Have exhausted your regular state or federal benefits with week ending July 6, 2019 or later; Are currently not eligible for state or federal unemployment benefits; and Are able and available to work and actively seeking work, except for COVID-19-related reasons including illness, quarantine, or stay at home orders.

You can receive PEUC if:

You have an open UC 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). Your benefit year has expired then you must submit an application online.

You don't have access to computers or the internet, you can have a loved one or friend print the paper application for you to complete and submit via mail. They say they're 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.

According to the release, those who are eligible to receive PEUC will have the same weekly benefit amount as their regular UC weekly benefit rate. The weekly benefit rate is based on reported earnings during the base year, and residents must have over 18 credit weeks in their base year to be eligible for UC.

Those approved for PEUC will receive an additional $600 per week from the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. Officials say anyone collecting any type of UC, including PEUC, will receive the extra $600 per week in addition to weekly benefits.

According to the release, FPUC payments that began April 4 will end July 25. The payments will be backdated for eligible individuals and paid in one lump sum, according to officials. Eligible residents will receive the extra $600 FPUC payments the week after their PEUC payments.