PENNSYLVANIA, USA — As workers across the United States celebrate Labor Day weekend, those still looking for a job will face their first test this week as the federal safety net for unemployment compensation expires.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs ended this weekend. This expiration date comes days after a US Supreme Court decision on August 26 that ended the CDC's eviction moratorium.
Nearly 558,000 Pennsylvanians benefitted from the federal unemployment programs that expired.
Those eligible for PEUC, PUA, MEUC, and FPUC filed for the final week of benefits through these federal, pandemic-specific programs during the week ending Sept. 11. The expiration of the programs means that the additional $300 per week provided by the federal government for those in the state’s regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) will also end. The number of weeks of eligibility for UC will be also limited to 26 after the end of the federal PEUC extension program.
“Many families, through no fault of their own, have seen their incomes decreased or lost entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Inez Titus. “While the federal unemployment programs may be ending, anyone who is still struggling to make ends meet or needs assistance should know that help is available.”
WHERE TO FIND HELP
Resources offered through DHS include:
• The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
• Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
• Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
• Child Care Works (CCW) subsidized child care.
Per a state press release:
-Applications for ERAP, Medicaid, SNAP, and other public assistance programs can be submitted online here. SNAP and Medical Assistance applications can also be submitted over the phone by calling 1-866-550-4355.
-On-site County Assistance Office (CAO) services are now available if clients cannot access online services or need assistance that cannot be accessed through the COMPASS website, the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling the Customer Service Centers at 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia clients or 1-877-395-8930 for clients in all other counties.
- Pennsylvanians who need health insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid can explore coverage options through Pennie, the commonwealth's health insurance exchange. Pennsylvanians can learn more here.
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Learn more about the programs that expired
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): PUA provides unemployment benefits to individuals who are not typically eligible for UC, such as gig workers and self-employed individuals. Individuals on the PUA program will cease to receive payments for weeks of unemployment after Sept. 4 unless they become eligible for the UC program.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): PEUC provided additional weeks to individuals enrolled in the Unemployment Compensation (UC) program. When PEUC ends Sept. 4, UC will revert to providing up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits to eligible individuals. Individuals who have exhausted their 26 weeks of UC benefits will cease to receive benefit payments for weeks of unemployment after Sept. 4 under that claim.
$300 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): FPUC provides an additional $300 per week to individuals who are receiving at least $1 in other unemployment program benefits. For weeks of unemployment after Sept. 4, individuals will no longer receive the additional $300 per week and solely receive the benefit payment they are eligible for under UC.
$100 Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC): MEUC provides $100 in extra benefits to individuals with at least $5,000 in net income from self-employment. For weeks of unemployment after Sept. 4, individuals will no longer receive the additional $100 per week and solely receive the benefit payment they are eligible for under UC.