More Pennsylvanians now eligible for unemployment assistance because of pandemic

Unemployed Pennsylvanians who are not eligible for regular unemployment compensation can begin filing claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

Pennsylvanians who meet PUA eligibility requirements can apply online. The new temporary federal program provides 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.

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People who are not working because of COVID-19 and are eligible for PUA benefits include:

  • Self-employed
  • Independent contractors
  • Gig workers
  • Clergy and those working for religious organizations
  • People without sufficient work history to qualify for regular UC

A new website had to be created and kinks are still being worked out.

Some people who are eligible are receiving the following error message when they go to apply online:

“Our records indicate you may be eligible for an unemployment insurance claim by going to or by contacting us. You are not eligible to file an unemployment insurance claim on this system.”

Officials said people who receive the error message should not proceed with the PUA claim or a regular UC claim.

“We ask that you check back in a few days when our system is corrected to try again,” the state’s website said. “When the system is corrected, it will not impact your eligibility. The application will be effective the week you were first unemployed and is not based on the day you submit your PUA application.”

CLICK HERE for more information about PUA.