Getting your UC claim addressed
As many of you may know, several of Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Service Centers were forced to close in December due to a lack of funding. This has forced the remaining centers to handle the same workload with fewer resources. As a result, many claimants are facing long waits and delays in service. Unemployment compensation service center employees are handling as many calls as possible each day, with millions of attempts made by claimants to reach a service center representative.
I, like many of you, are upset and frustrated by the delays everyone is facing. No one should have to wait days or longer to get answers to their questions about their claim. Last fall, the House voted (including me) to keep these centers open, but the Senate failed to act on the bill. I am working to get this corrected as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here is some information from the PA Department of Labor and Industry to help those dealing with unemployment in getting quicker and more complete results.
If a caller doesn’t receive a busy signal and is put through to the hold queue, they can expect to wait at least three hours to speak to someone.
To mitigate caller frustration and to improve chances of getting through, we advise callers to call in the afternoon on call days – Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. If put in the queue but not serviced that day, the caller will receive a call back from a service representative that evening or the next morning.
While benefits recipients are often instructed to call the toll-free UC service system, not all service is necessary by phone.
Below is information about unemployment compensation and how you can go about handling your claim, but please keep in mind that my staff is able to try and expedite your request if you go through our offices. Please contact us if you’re having difficulty getting answers from an Unemployment Compensation Service Center as they struggle through the overload of people needing assistance.
The uc.pa.gov website has an alert on the home page that leads to the following information to help people self-serve:
SELF-SERVICE STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS
Due to reduced funding, the UC team now has half the staff available to answer calls.
The department is highlighting ways to get information to those in need more efficiently. As a person filing for or seeking answers to questions on benefits, there are a number of things you can do to help get answers faster.
WHAT CAN I DO ONLINE?
*Please note, unless you are filing an initial claim, you will need your Social Security number and UC-assigned PIN - this can be found on your Claim Confirmation letter.
YOU NEED TO CALL THE UC SERVICE CENTER IF YOU:
- Lose your UC PIN or never received one in the mail;
- Filed online or through the PAT system and the system tells you to call in;
- Need to report a new employer while continuing your current claim.
* Please note: If you didn’t receive a debit card or are having any issues related to your debit card please call ReliaCard at 1-888-233-5916.
Please forward this to anyone you think might want to know this. Again, if my offices can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us. I will work with my fellow legislators as quickly as possible to resolve this issue.