Federal Unemployment Benefits End

Written by on September 15, 2020

Federal Unemployment Benefits End

By Kiley Koscinski, WESA

September 15, 2020

In this May 7, 2020, photo, the entrance to the Labor Department is seen near the Capitol in Washington. The record unemployment rate reflects a nation ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the economic devastation upending the presidential campaign and forcing President Donald Trump to overcome historic headwinds to win a second term. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A federal program meant to supplement unemployment benefits during the pandemic has ended earlier than expected. WESA’s Kiley Koscinski reports the program will cover a period of weeks, rather than months.

Pennsylvanians who qualify for the federal Lost Wages Assistance Program have yet to receive their first check. But the Federal Emergency

Management Agency told states this week that the qualifying period…which began August first… would end September fifth. Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry began sending checks Thursday and said claimants can expect payment as early as Monday.

Secretary Jerry Oleksiak says anyone who has already applied will get a lump sum but did not specify how future applicants would be compensated.

“We will continue making those retroactive payments for the claim weeks of August 1st through September 5th for the foreseeable future,” said Oleksiak. 

The program was initially slated to run through December unless funds ran out sooner. Qualifying applicants must certify that they’re out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic and have been out of work during the qualifying period. Funding is limited and officials encourage people to apply as soon as possible. 

“We will continue making those retroactive payments for the claim weeks of August 1st through September 5th for the foreseeable future,” said Oleksiak. 

The program was initially slated to run through December unless funds ran out sooner. Qualifying applicants must certify that they’re out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic and have been out of work during the qualifying period. Funding is limited and officials encourage people to apply as soon as possible. 

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