Harkins, Merski: Extended benefits available for those who have exhausted other UC benefits

ERIE, June 30 – Pennsylvanians who have exhausted their regular unemployment compensation and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits may qualify for an additional 13 weeks of extended benefits, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the additional payments are available
under the state’s Unemployment Compensation Extended Benefits Program, which becomes available when Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate reaches a certain level determined by law.

“The extended benefits program was put in place to help working families who find themselves in severe financial straits through no fault of their own,” Harkins said. “The eligibility requirements are the same as for regular UC benefits, and applicants who qualify may receive half the amount of regular UC for which they were eligible. That means an applicant who was financially eligible for 26 weeks of UC may receive 13 weeks of EB payments.”

Merski said, “Extended benefits can provide critical assistance for Erie families at a time like this. The benefits become payable only after an applicant has exhausted current PEUC benefits, but I urge anyone who may qualify to learn more about the program now. The Department of Labor and Industry will also be mailing information to those who potentially qualify.”

The legislators said that to be eligible, an applicant must:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed.
  • Have exhausted regular state benefits (or the most recent UC benefit year has ended).
  • Have received the maximum amount of PEUC benefits available.

Extended benefit payments will begin with the week ending July 4, and are payable only for weeks of unemployment during an EB period.

More information about the EB program is available

The last time the program was triggered in Pennsylvania was in 2009, in response to the Great Recession.