Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jerry Oleksiak on Monday 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, according to a press release.
The current extended benefits period began May 3, but benefits are not payable until an individual has exhausted PEUC benefits. Extended benefit payments will begin with the week ending July 4 and are payable only for weeks of unemployment during an extended benefits period.
Be aware that anyone who already has received their 13 weeks of the $600 Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation would not be entitled to receive it under the extended UC benefits.
Important information about the extended benefits program follows and will be sent by mail to all individuals who potentially qualify for the additional benefits, the release said.
Here are more details, per the release:
You may be eligible for the extended benefits 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 Extended Benefits
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 extended benefits online certification in order to claim extended benefits for weeks that you are totally or partially unemployed.
Each extended benefits 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.
Extended Benefits Weekly Benefit Amount
Extended benefits weekly benefit payments are the same as regular UC.
The total amount of extended benefits 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 extended benefits.
There is an additional wage test for extended benefits eligibility, so not all individuals will financially qualify.
Extended benefits may only be paid for weeks ending during an extended benefits period.
If you are entitled to Trade Readjustment Allowances, you may receive fewer weeks of extended benefits.
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).