Keep ’em coming

    As if the unemployed aren’t busy looking for jobs or trying to figure out how to buy food, Pennsylvania is now asking them to file for unemployment benefits they may or may not even get.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is advising tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians whose federal unemployment benefits just expired or might expire soon to continue filing for the weekly payments.

    That’s because Congress is considering restoring a 73-week federal benefit that expired Nov. 30. Department officials said today that, if the federal aid is restored, it’ll be easier to process claims from people who continue filing and to send them the missed payments.

    Nearly 100,000 letters are being mailed by the department this week. Pennsylvania continues to offer 26 weeks of state unemployment aid at an average weekly amount of about $310.

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    If Congress swiftly restores the additional 73 weeks, state officials plan to send a retroactive lump sum to each eligible person who missed weekly payments after Nov. 30.

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