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Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits and COVID-19 | The Peters Firm, PLLC - Paul S. Peters III, Esq.

Pennsylvania Unemployment and COVID-19

Post update 4/8/2020: PA has the highest rate of unemployment benefit applications of all states with over 1 million applications. https://www.phillyvoice.com/file-unemployment-pennsylvania-paid-sick-leave-philadelphia-jobs-coronavirus-covid-19/

The impact of COVID-19/Coronavirus on the economy and job market has unfortunately led to many Pennsylvanians facing the prospect or necessity of applying for Unemployment Compensation (784,774 applications in Pennsylvania as of March 26th).  For many, they are faced with a process and system they are unfamiliar with; especially given the strain the volume of applications has placed on Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation system. So, what has been the impact to Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits under COVID-19.

This post is to provide simple instructions and information on applying for Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation in the time of COVID-19.

  ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
You may be eligible if COVID-19 causes:
  • Your employer to temporarily or permanently closes due to COVID-19
  • Your employer to reduce your hours due to COVID-19
  • You have been told not to work because your employer feels you may get or spread COVID-19
  • You have been told to quarantine or self-isolate or live/work in a county under “stay at home” orders
  • You are caring for a family member with COVID-19
  • You are a non-teacher school employee whose school is closed
  • You may be eligible even if you are a part-time employee or self-employed and out of work directly related to COVID-19 
 You are NOT eligible if:
  • You remain home out of fear of contracting COVID-19
  • You stay home due to your child’s daycare of school being closed
  • You have the ability to work from home
  • You have paid time off benefits that are not exhausted
 HOW TO APPLY

1. Online (the preferred and fastest method).  To apply click below:

Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Application

2. Phone: 1-888-313-7284

3. Mail: obtain the paper application by clicking

Paper Application

 4. Video Phone/ASL Assistance: 717-704-8474

 INFORMATION REQUIRED TO APPLY
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Home address and mailing address (if different)
  • Telephone number
  • Valid email
  • PIN – Personal Identification Number (optional)- If you have previously filed a UC claim using your previous PIN can prevent you from having to re-enter information
  • Direct deposit bank information (optional) – bank name, address, account and routing number.
  • Employer’s name, address and phone number
  • Employer’s PA UC account number (if known)
  • First and last day worked with the employer
  • Reason for leaving
  • Pension or severance package information (if applicable)

 You may obtain and print a checklist of necessary information before applying by clicking:

Application Checklist

COVID-19 UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION PROCESS CHANGES
 
  • Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with pa.gov.
  •  The Waiting Week is temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Previously, eligible claimants would not receive compensation for the first week of unemployment.  Eligible claimants may now receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.
CALCULATING YOUR UNEMPLOYMENT MONETARY BENEFIT

 To calculate your estimate Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefit amount click:

Benefit Calculation

The Pennsylvania Unemployment Office is not extending the Unemployment Compensation payment benefit period beyond 26 weeks; however, the Federal Government, through the CARES Act is providing an additional 13 weeks.  Pennslyvania will revisit its offering as the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and Employment evolve.

 AFTER THE INITIAL APPLICATION

 If approved, your first benefit payment will arrive within two to four weeks of filing your initial application. Payments are issued via a debit card or direct deposit.

 You must continue to file a bi-weekly claim as directed in your “Claim Confirmation Letter” you will receive in the mail, even if you are still waiting for your benefit eligibility to be determined.

 You will receive an Unemployment Compensation PIN in the mail, which allows you to go online and check the status of your claim and when to expect payment.

ASSISTANCE OR APPLICATION DENIAL

If you require assistance or further explanation of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation application process or are DENIED Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Benefits, please feel free to contact The Peters Firm, PLLC at:

 215-291-2944 or

ppeters@thepetersfirm.com

 

DISCLAIMER:

Please be advised that the above information is intended to serve as a guide for the circumstances and process under which one may apply for unemployment compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of eligibility requirements or a conclusion as to your personal eligibility.  Each eligibility determination by the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Office is fact-specific and made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with Pennsylvania Unemployment Law and applicable COVID-19 directives and temporary regulations.  This post is for education purposes only, it is not intended to be legal advice in accordance with the Pennsylvania Rules of Ethics for Licensed Attorneys.  If you have questions, need assistance, or are denied benefits, you should call a licensed Pennsylvania Attorney to schedule a legal consultation.