The Lead

Jobless Pennsylvanians will soon start getting round two of enhanced unemployment benefits

By: - September 8, 2020 4:17 pm

Jobless workers demonstrate in Miami Springs in support of continued federal unemployment benefits in the pandemic economy. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Pennsylvanians out of work because of COVID-19 will begin receiving $300 a week in expanded federal unemployment payments as soon as Sept. 14.

Those receiving the payments, approved in an August executive order by President Donald Trump, will first get a $1,500 lump sum payment to cover the first five weeks of the program, which began Aug. 1. 

All individuals who make at least $100 a week from:

  • Regular Unemployment Compensation (UC);
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC);
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA);
  • Pennsylvania Extended Benefits (EB);
  • Shared Work or Short-Time Compensation (STC); and
  • Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA). 

are eligible for the expanded payment. 

You must certify your unemployment is due to the pandemic to qualify for the extra money. You can do so here by logging in with your unemployment PIN number. A small number of people may have already qualified for the payments.

The payments will then continue until either the federal funding runs out, or until December, whichever comes first. Officials and experts have predicted that the program could run out of money by the end of September.

The benefit is half of the $600 boost approved by Congress in its  first pandemic stimulus package. Those payments were approved for the unemployed from March until the end of July. 

With negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over a second package stalled, Trump issued an executive order last month to use $44 billion in untouched disaster relief aid to put more money in unemployed Americans’ pockets.

Forty-eight states have already applied for the funding, and seven states have already begun to distribute the benefits, according to Yahoo News.

About 573,000 people are currently collecting unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania, according to the most recent data. All told, the state has paid out $25 billion in benefits to 2 million claimants since March.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.