PITTSBURGH — Thousands of people who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic are getting some extra time and money thanks to a new state program.
The Pennsylvania Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program is crucial for people who have lost their jobs and have exhausted their unemployment benefits.
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The state has already paid out nearly $7.4 billion in total unemployment benefits since mid-March, and it’s not clear when everyone can go back to work.
The program will give an additional 13 weeks of benefits to those who have exhausted their initial unemployment aid.
Who is Eligible:
- You must be unemployed from March 29 to Dec. 26, 2020.
- You have exhausted your regular state or federal benefits withheld for the week ending July 6, 2019, or later.
- You are currently not eligible for state or federal unemployment benefits.
- You are able and available to work and actively seeking work, except for coronavirus-related reasons, including illness, quarantine or stay-at-home orders.
How to Receive PEUC:
If you have an open unemployment 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).
- If your benefit year has expired, then you must submit an application online.
- If 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. The state is also in the process of mailing paper copies of the application to individuals who may need it.
- Biweekly claims and payments work the same way as regular UC benefits.
PEUC Weekly Benefit Amount:
- Your PEUC weekly benefit amount is the same as your regular UC weekly benefit rate.
- Your weekly benefit rate is based on your reported earnings during the base year (the first four of the last five completed quarters). You must also have over 18 credit weeks (weeks during which you earned $116 or more) in your base year to be eligible for UC.
Extra $600 on PEUC:
- You will receive an additional $600 per week from the federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Anyone collecting any type of UC, including PEUC, will receive the extra $600 per week in addition to your weekly benefits as calculated.
- FPUC payments began the week ending April 4, 2020, and will end July 25, 2020. These payments will be backdated for eligible individuals and paid in one lump sum.
- You will receive the extra $600 FPUC payments the week after your PEUC payments.
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