Pa. unemployment update: How gig workers can file for benefits and get the extra $300
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Gig workers, freelancers, and self-employed people in Pennsylvania can now file for benefits again.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance has returned, and the automatic weekly $300 boost along with it. Commonly known as PUA, the CARES Act program had expired at the end of December.
Eligible recipients in Pa. can file for 11 weeks worth of unemployment compensation, which can be applied for retroactively back to the beginning of January.
Applications are open from Jan. 22 to 29. People who filed for PUA last year can expect to start receiving payments by as early as Tuesday, Jan. 26, according to Pa. Department of Labor and Industry spokesperson Sarah DeSantis. It’ll take a little longer for new filers.
The extra $300 payment, automatically added to your account once you’re approved, should arrive about a week later. (The pandemic boost used to be $600, but it’s been halved this time around.)
“We know … 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,” acting L&I Secretary Jennifer Berrier said in a release.
More than 358k Pennsylvanians are currently collecting unemployment, according to the state’s unemployment dashboard. That’s more than one out of every 35 Pa. residents, and includes about 47k people in Philadelphia. Since March, the commonwealth has distributed more than $33 billion in unemployment compensation. About $14 billion of that was the extra weekly boost.
When you’re approved for PUA, you’ll automatically get the extra boost, known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, or FPUC.
If you’re wondering if you’re eligible, how to apply and when you’ll get the money, here’s what you should know.
Anyone not eligible for traditional unemployment can collect PUA benefits.
That applies to:
- Gig workers
- Self-employed workers
Anyone who qualifies for unemployment benefits, either traditional or PUA payments, automatically qualifies and receives the extra $300 FPUC payments.
The weekly benefit is different from the $300/week Lost Wages Assistance program implemented late last summer, where filers had to take extra steps to receive the funds.
If you didn’t file for PUA last year, you should still complete the application, but you won’t start receiving benefits just yet. The state said it will notify residents when first-time 2021 PUA filers can begin collecting benefits.
“We are still adding 2020 as a base wage year in the system,” said spokesperson DeSantis.
If you were already filing biweekly for PUA before the program ended, you can begin filing using that same dashboard anytime between Friday, Jan. 22 to Jan. 29. Missing the Jan. 29 deadline means you’ll have to email [email protected] to request backdating.
PUA-eligible people who didn’t file for the week ending Dec. 26 have to reopen a claim to receive benefits. Select “File for Weekly Benefits” in your dashboard, and “File Your Weekly Certification to Continue Your Claim.” Follow the prompt to reactivate your claim from there.
One note from L&I: If you tried to file for PUA after it expired and got an error message, department staff have to resolve your account. “Please be patient,” the department said in a release.
Tuesday, Jan, 26, is the earliest possible date Pennsylvanians who apply and qualify for the benefits will receive them, according to the state.
Payments will be in one lump sum, and will be retroactive, covering eligible weeks including:
- Jan. 2
- Jan. 9
- Jan. 16
- Jan. 23
Once you’re approved, you don’t have to do anything to receive the weekly $300 payment. You will automatically receive it about a week after you receive your first PUA payment, L&I spokesperson Sarah DeSantis said.
What to Know
- Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians will lose federal unemployment benefits after this week, including an extra $300 per week, an extra 13 weeks of benefits and benefits for the self-employed.
- Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said Monday that there are sources of help for people who need it once those benefits run out, including federal rental assistance through counties, Medicaid, food stamps and temporary cash-assistance for low-income families.
- Pennsylvania's regular 26-week unemployment compensation benefits will continue, without the extra $300 federal benefit on top.
Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians will lose federal pandemic unemployment benefits after this week, including an extra $300 per week, an extra 13 weeks of benefits and benefits for the self-employed.
Gov. Tom Wolf's administration said Monday that there are sources of help for people who need it once their unemployment benefits run out, including federal rental assistance through counties, Medicaid, food stamps and temporary cash-assistance for low-income families.
Federal jobless assistance was first approved last year when the pandemic hit and jobless claims skyrocketed in Pennsylvania to record highs amid COVID 19-related shutdowns.
In the first week of August, roughly 640,000 people were receiving the extra $300, according to figures from the state Department of Labor and Industry.
About 388,000 of them were in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for freelancers or the self-employed and almost 175,000 were receiving an extra 13 weeks of assistance through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
About 78,000 people were receiving benefits through the state’s regular 26-week unemployment compensation program, which will continue running, but without the extra $300 federal benefit on top.
The American Rescue Plan Act, signed by President Joe Biden in March, extended those federal benefits and set them to expire after this week.
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Copyright AP - Associated PressSours: https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/broke-in-philly/federal-aid-unemplyment-pennsylvania/2942695/
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HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania lawmakers are moving forward with legislation that would end the state's participation in three federal unemployment programs, including one that provides $300 a week of extra benefits.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Jim Cox, will end Pennsylvania's participation in federal unemployment programs "that are putting the brakes on our economic recovery," the Republican from the 129th District wrote in a legislative memo.
House Bill 508 has passed through the House Labor and Industry Committee. A full floor vote has not yet been scheduled.
Find out what's happening in Across Pennsylvania with free, real-time updates from Patch.
Cox said the legislation needs to pass because the federal unemployment programs are paying people "to sit at home."
Under Cox's proposal, the state will end participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provides the extra $300 a week. That extra benefit would end within a week of the bill's passage, he proposes.
Find out what's happening in Across Pennsylvania with free, real-time updates from Patch.
The state will also end participation in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides unemployment benefits for people who are not eligible for traditional state unemployment compensation. Three-week notice would be given to end that program upon the bill's passage.
Additionally, Pennsylvania will give five weeks notice to end participation in the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which extends unemployment benefits.
"Between borrowed federal stimulus payments with no strings attached and enhanced unemployment benefits that pay people not to work, federal policy has been encouraging unemployment claimants to stay home. It may have made some sense to send that message for a few months at the beginning of the pandemic, but a lot has changed since last spring. As more and more Pennsylvanians are vaccinated or have developed natural immunity to COVID-19, there are far fewer restrictions on economic activity, and it is high time to get Pennsylvanians back to work," Cox's memo reads. "The message now should be: Go find a job!"
Last month, the state announced it would resume work search requirements for people receiving unemployment compensation starting July 18. The requirements were waived by Gov. Tom Wolf last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
RELATED: PA To Restart Work Search Requirement For Unemployment Benefits
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Department of Labor
Important information about the
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) weekly benefit
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
What is the FPUC?
This is a federally funded emergency increase in unemployment benefits which provides an additional $300 per week to individuals who receive a weekly benefit of at least $1 in the following unemployment benefits:
•Regular unemployment benefits
•Emergency unemployment benefits (PEUC)
•Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
•Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)
•Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
Will I receive this additional $300 every week?
This additional payment will be an additional benefit payment each week that you receive any of the benefits listed above, starting with week ending January 2, 2021 through week ending September 4, 2021. The previous FPUC of $600 was in effect for weeks ending April 4, 2020 through week ending July 25, 2020.
As an employer, will I be charged for the additional $300 per week?
No. These additional $300 payments are 100% federally funded and will not be charged back to employers.
Do I need to apply separately for the additional $300 per week?
No. Individuals do not need to separately apply for FPUC.
Can the state take deductions from my additional $300 per week?
Yes. Child support obligations must be deducted from FPUC payments in the same way they are deducted from regular benefits. Also, up to 50% of the FPUC may be offset to capture overpayments owed to CTDOL or the federal government.
Are FPUC payments considered income which should be reported on my tax returns?
Similar to regular unemployment benefits, FPUC payments are taxable.
Will FPUC payments be considered income for purposes of CHIP and Medicaid?
FPUC benefits are not considering when determining eligibility for CHIP or Medicaid.
Will I receive this additional $300 for any week ending January 2, 2021 through week ending September 4, 2021, if any of these weeks are paid after September 4, 2021?
Yes, the additional $300 benefit payment will be included with each payment for every week that you receive a benefit, beginning with the week ending January 2, 2021, through week ending September 4, 2021, regardless of the date on which you receive that payment.
Update pa 300 extra unemployment
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Did I make the right decision then. Is it worth what we did for them. - I think it's mom.What Happens When Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits End (PUA, PEUC and $300 FPUC)
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