Rising unemployment rate means extended benefits for jobless Pennsylvanians

There’s good news for some unemployed Pennsylvanians: the U.S. Department of Labor has given Pennsylvania the “go-ahead” to offer extended benefits. 

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry spokesman Sean Yeakle said the extended benefits are available because Pennsylvania’s total unemployment rate reached 8.1 percent.”The average over the last three months was 8.1 percent.  And that triggers the availability of these high unemployment benefits or HUP EB,” said Yeakle.  “These would be payable to claimants who have exhausted all of their regular state unemployment compensation, their federal emergency unemployment compensation and their regular Pennsylvania extended benefits.”Yeakle said the department will notify people who may be eligible for the benefits. 

John Dodds is Director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project.  He said the situation is unfortunate, but it is fortunate people are getting additional weeks of benefits.”I think it’s a reflection that unemployment’s been rising steadily in Pennsylvania since April and all these tight budgets and reductions in programs end up having an impact on the employment and a lot of people lost their jobs,” said Dodds.  “It’s very discouraging to see things going backwards four years into the recession.The benefits are available to people who have exhausted all of their regular state unemployment compensation, federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and regular Pennsylvania Extended Benefits.  Individuals who believe they may be eligible but have not received a notice from the department by Nov. 26 should call 888-313-7284.

New Jersey and Delaware residents already are eligible for the same benefits.

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