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As more than 1 million Pennsylvanians file unemployment, PA Dept. of Labor and Industry says claimants will see CARES Act benefits "soon"

The CARES Act was passed by U.S. Congress, giving those who filed unemployment an extra $600/week and expanding who can file unemployment

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — More than one million Pennsylvanians have filed claims since March 15th. About half of them received their unemployment benefits, while the state Department of Labor and Industry works to disperse the other half. 

It's also been more than a week since U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act. The bill provides emergency assistance to people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

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For people who file unemployment, that means an extra $600 per week and increase the amount of time one can receive unemployment benefits. The Dept. of L&I is beginning to implement the benefits of the CARES Act into its system, and says people will begin seeing the extra $600 "soon." 

"The claimants will automatically get these payments when they file for weeks ending April 4th through July 25th," said Susan Dickinson, Director of the Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits Policy. "When we have out other federal programs up and running we will be making sure everyone got that extra money." 

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That payment, though, will be made to you separately from your typical state unemployment money.  

"The payment will likely be made separately from your check," said Dickinson. "If someone is used to filing on a Sunday, and they receive their money on Wednesday, the FPUC payment will come a day later."

The CARES Act will also expand who is eligible for unemployment benefits. Self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers will soon be eligible to file unemployment claims. The Dept. of L&I encourages those folks to continue to check its website for when they will be eligible to apply.