Pennsylvania Funding Cuts Affect Access to Unemployment Benefits
Due to state funding cuts to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the staff at the Unemployment Service Centers which process claims have been significantly reduced. As a result it has become more difficult for unemployed Pennsylvanians to file claims and to get answers to questions on how to properly address issues that may arise during the course of claim determinations. The Department of Labor and Industry has recently issued guidance on how Claimants can address these issues, by providing “self service” instructions. The instructions explain how to file an initial claim and a bi-weekly claim as well as providing instruction on how to determine the status of a claim and getting answers to when you can expect to receive benefits. It also explains when a Claimant would be expected to call an Unemployment Service Center which can include when a Claimant loses a PIN number or if the automated PAT system tells you to call in. If you are required to call in be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to trying to get through since half of the staff devoted to answering calls have been furloughed.