2021-06-12 Unemployment claims

Harrisburg, Pa. --Pennsylvania's new unemployment compensation program as seen nearly 225,000 people submit claims since it opened Tuesday. 

Nearly $115 million in payments have been issued by Labor and Industry for these claims.

More than 204,000 individuals have successfully filed weekly certifications using the new online system at benefits.uc.pa.gov. An additional 17,000 individuals have opened new claims using the new system, bringing the total number of individuals who have successfully filed on benefits.uc.pa.gov to more than 221,000.

Filing Weekly Benefits by Phone

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Teleclaims system (PAT) came online, allowing individuals to file weekly claims by phone. More than 25,000 individuals used this system to file weekly certifications so far.

Individuals who wish to file for benefits through the UC or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs can do so by calling 888-255-4728, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Unlike filing online, which requires a Keystone ID, individuals who file using PAT use their PIN (personal identification number) and Social Security number to identify themselves when claiming UC benefits. During the call, individuals will be asked to respond to a series of questions by dialing their phone.

System Statuses

Several changes were made in the system overnight, including one to resolve an issue that some individuals were experiencing when they tried to create or log into a recently created Keystone ID when entering the UC system. L&I has heard from individuals who previously encountered this issue that they are now able to successfully log in and file their claims. Individuals have the option of using a temporary workaround that allows them to first create the Keystone ID, then separately log into the new UC system, by following the process shown in this video.

Changes made overnight also resolved an issue that caused some PEUC claimants to see "inactive," disqualified" or "monetary ineligible" statuses. L&I has heard from many individuals who experienced these issues that the statuses have disappeared, and individuals can successfully file; however, a few individuals have reported seeing these statuses since the change was made. L&I is actively investigating these cases to see why the individual is seeing these statuses.

As a reminder, the new system displays eligibility or other claim issues – this is a feature, not an error

Individuals with issue codes can reference this sheet to learn more about the issue and any possible action they can take to resolve them.

Individuals can view updates about the new UC system on the UC System Check Enhancement Tracker.

One new issue was added to the tracker today: A question asking to verify the completion of work search requirements is now appearing to a limited number of individuals. L&I is investigating the cause of this and is prioritizing implementing a fix.

The waiting room has not come online since 9 a.m. Thursday, when it appeared briefly for individuals filing initial claims only and had a wait time of four minutes. Individuals took an average of 21 minutes to file an initial claim. Weekly certifications took 4 minutes on average.

24/7 Filing and Other Upgrades

Individuals are reminded that the new UC system offers the ability to file a UC claim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Claim weeks run Sunday to Saturday, so the last time to file during the claim is 11:59 PM Saturday. Individuals are also being provided with up to 8 weeks to file for the current claim week, though individuals should note that their payments will not be issued until they file.

Resources

Individuals with questions or concerns are encouraged to check out the quick tips and frequently asked questions pages at uc.pa.gov.

L&I has also provided a library of resources to assist users with familiarizing themselves with the new system, including user guides for claimants and employers and topic-specific instructional videos. L&I is also offering a series of workshops, with upcoming workshops on:

Recordings of each workshop will be uploaded to this page on www.uc.pa.gov.

Programs on the new system are Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. Historic information for individuals who have filed on the Extended Benefits program will also be on the new system.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is not affected by the change to the new system.


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