11 Investigates new issue with Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation system

11 Investigates new issue with Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation system

PITTSBURGH — Channel 11 continues to get reports of issues with the state’s unemployment system.

This time, people are receiving a letter with instructions to take action by a certain date, but the date has passed.

It’s leaving people questioning whether they have any more options.

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Mother of four, Samantha Kidd, says it’s been nearly 50 days since she worked.

"I can't keep not having an income. I know that," Kidd said.

She's among the 1.7 million people in Pennsylvania who have applied for unemployment since March 15. About a month after filing her claim, she got a letter in the mail.

"For them to deny me as I'm waiting for a month to get something, I wasn't expecting that," Kidd said.

The letter stated she didn't qualify for benefits, but she could appeal the decision.

"I was like super, super mad. And then I was like, maybe I will appeal it, but then the letter said the 17. So then when I looked at all the dates and stuff, it didn't make sense,” Kidd said.

The letter was dated April 2 and stated she had until April 17 to appeal the denial decision, but Kidd didn't get the letter until after the deadline of Saturday, April 25.

The letter was postmarked April 21.

"Early April was when we still were cleaning up our backlogs in the mailroom. And so it's fine. She can still appeal. The UC Board of Review is aware of mailings we're not getting sent immediately as they normally do," said Susan Dickinson, Pennsylvania Labor and Industry’s unemployment compensation benefits director.

Dickinson says the mailroom is now caught up, but anyone who got the letter late can still file an appeal.

"All she has to do is explain you know that that she got it late," Dickinson said.

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Dickinson explained the department is aware of the fact that things were being sampled. "From there, they'll proceed with the second part of the hearing," she said.

While Kidd was hoping to have the benefits by now, she hasn't lost all hope and can now take some action.

"It's been rough, but we're so getting by. Luckily, like I said, we were able to stock up on some stuff like diapers and wipes," Kidd said.

Pennsylvania Labor and Industry's officials say they are caught up on mailing out pins.

If you haven’t received one yet and filed a claim more than 20 days ago, you should reach out to them.

Lawmakers calling for immediate changes to Pennsylvania’s unemployment system