Pa. set to resume COVID-19 unemployment programs

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is set to resume making payments through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs but could see a gap in benefits after a delay in approval by the federal government.

The department announced on Monday that more than 509,000 workers in the commonwealth could see gaps in their payments through unemployment assistance as it awaits approval from the federal Department of Labor.

Both the PUA and PEUC, as well as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program all received extensions this month through the COVID relief package after President Donald Trump signed the $2.3 trillion bill into law Sunday night.

“The CARES Act extensions will ensure Pennsylvania workers who have been affected by the global economic downturn caused by COVID-19 will continue to receive the unemployment support they desperately need for themselves and their families,” said Jennifer Berrier, secretary for the Department of Labor and Industry. “L&I began reviewing the legislation last week when it was first unveiled and will resume making payments for the PUA and PEUC programs as soon as we get approval from the federal Department of Labor (DOL) to move forward.”

Under the new legislation, eligible claimants for the FPUC program will receive $300 per week on top of their weekly benefit amount. The program previously provided $600 per week to eligible claimants, which ended in July.

Payments under all three programs can’t resume until the state Department of Labor and Industry receives guidance and approval from DOL, which the department said could take several weeks.

Ioannis Pashakis
Ioannis Pashakis covers health care, the gig economy, cannabis and technology. Email him at ipashakis@bridgetowermedia.com.

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