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L&I issuing extended PUA benefit payments

HARRISBURG — Payments for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program in the new federal CARES Act extension are resuming.

“Since the federal legislation for the new CARES Act extension was unveiled, L&I’s dedicated team has been working tirelessly to update our processing systems,” said Jennifer Berrier, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry acting secretary. “We know that more than 400,000 Pennsylvanians and their families are relying on these PUA benefits to get through this terrible pandemic and have worked as quickly as possible to complete the implementation and resume payments.”

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance helps workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are not typically eligible for other unemployment compensation programs. This includes gig workers, freelancers and self-employed workers. Workers can begin filing for the additional 11 claim weeks as of Jan. 22. Follow the same process as before to log onto the dashboard and claim the additional weeks, which will be added to the worker’s account. Filing must be done by Jan. 29. Those who miss the deadline will need to email ucpua@pa.gov to request backdating.

Workers will be able to file for the weeks of January 2; 9; 16; and 23.

Those who no longer had claim weeks or did not file for the week ending Dec. 26, 2020, for any reason, must reopen their claim before you can proceed. To do this, log onto the dashboard and click on the link to reopen a claim.Those who tried to open a new claim while the PUA program was inactive will have error codes that staff must fix before the application can proceed.

New, first-time PUA claimants opening a claim in 2021 cannot yet file. State officials are still adding 2020 as a base wage year in the system and will notify first-time claimants when they are able to file for benefits.

Claimants will automatically receive the extra $300 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, they do not need to take any action to get this boost.

Claimants who have questions about their enrollment in PUA should email ucpua@pa.gov.

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