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United Way of Lancaster County


Pa. resumes unemployment assistance to gig workers, freelancers

(Source: Pa. Office of Unemployment Compensation)

(Source: Pa. Office of Unemployment Compensation)
(Source: Pa. Office of Unemployment Compensation)

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance payments are resuming in Pennsylvania as of today, the state Department of Labor & Industry announced.

PUA helps individuals such as self-employed and gig workers who lost their jobs in the pandemic and are generally not eligible for other unemployment programs. It and other CARES Act programs expired in December, but were reauthorized that month as part of the $900 billion stimulus package passed by Congress.

To resume the payments, L&I had to update its processing systems, acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier said.

“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," Berrier said in a statement.

Eligible claimants who filed previously can begin filing for 11 additional claim weeks today. They must file by next Friday, Jan. 29, or they will need to email to request backdating. They will automatically receive an extra $300 a week in benefits as provided in the December legislation.

First-time claimants can not yet file. They will be notified when they can, L&I said.

Meanwhile, L&I is updating its systems to resume disbursement of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, another CARES Act program that expired at the end of 2020 but was reauthorized. It assists individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment.

More information on that program's rollout will be available shortly, L&I said.

For full details on PUA, PEUC and other unemployment assistance, visit the Pa. Office of Unemployment Compensation website.