What can I do to extend unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania?
If you are wondering how to get an unemployment extension, you must first learn about the circumstances under which unemployment benefits extensions occur. In addition, benefit recipients must also meet a set of eligibility requirements, especially because eligibility for regular benefits does not guarantee eligibility for an unemployment extension. First of all, it is strictly during times of high unemployment that the state activates a special emergency program to provide extended benefits for unemployed individuals who need them the most. During these times, the PA Department of Labor and Industry must make selections and then notify all of the chosen candidates that they will continue to receive benefits via unemployment compensation extensions.
In regular conditions, unemployed individuals cannot file for federal unemployment extensions, nor can they affect their eligibility. Since these programs are only activated when absolutely necessary, you will not be able to receive any type of unemployment benefits extension in Pennsylvania after your regular benefit period, unless there is extremely high unemployment and you meet the necessary qualifications. However, if you would like to know how to get an unemployment extension when the emergency programs are activated, contact your nearest Office of Unemployment Compensation in PA. If you are eligible for an unemployment compensation extension, the amount of extended benefits will be the same as the amount you received while on standard UC benefits. Note that unemployment benefits extensions are available for a very limited time and should not serve as a steady source of income. Recipients are still expected to perform regular job searches and be available for work when it is offered.
Unemployment Extension Programs in Pennsylvania
Unemployment benefits extensions in Pennsylvania become available under very specific circumstances, i.e. in times of high unemployment in the state. During these situations, the government activates special emergency programs that are tailored to extend the time period of unemployment benefits to eligible individuals. Federal unemployment extensions are available for a limited time, but at the moment, Pennsylvania does not have any active emergency programs. However, should there be a period of high unemployment in the state, the government would activate an emergency program, such as:
- The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program
- The Extended Benefits (EB) Program
The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program was a federal unemployment extension program active in Pennsylvania for several non-consecutive weeks between 2008 and 2013. The eligibility requirements for the program were the same as those for regular unemployment benefits, with a few additional criteria. Namely, benefit recipients were required to have a regular benefit claim with a benefit year ending on or after May 1, 2007, or they must have received all of their regular benefits. Additionally, applicants had to have total wages equal to 1.5 times the amount of wages in the highest quarter of their base year. Finally, individuals applying for an unemployment benefits extension were obliged to attend a reemployment eligibility assessment meeting with a CareerLink representative to have their EUC benefit eligibility determined and continued. However, this program is no longer available in Pennsylvania.
On the other hand, the State Extended Benefits program is still in existence. The SEB is intended for unemployed individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits while the state is experiencing adverse economic conditions (declared as such in accordance with the unemployment rate that was established by the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law). Unemployment compensation extension of this kind is only payable during an extended benefit period and only to eligible individuals who have exhausted their regular benefits. Furthermore, as there is currently no economic crisis, the SEB program in Pennsylvania is not currently available, and no applications are being accepted.