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Waiting for your PUA and PEUC payments? Hang in there, and blame technology.

The state Department of Labor & Industry says on its website that the need to reprogram computer systems is why disbursement of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits have been delayed.

Labor & Industry said it received guidance on implementing these programs from the federal Department of Labor over the past week and a half. Further information is pending.

“The new guidance,” according to the L&I website, “requires several major changes to how we administer the programs, including additional verification documentation and the incorporation of 2020 as a base year. These changes require reprogramming.”

Those temporary programs, created by the federal CARES Act in March, expired at the end of December, but were extended during the holiday season as part of the second national stimulus package. Claimants are to receive weekly payments, amounts based on income, up to 11 weeks in each program. They will be eligible for back pay to the first day they were eligible.

Claimants enrolled in either program before Dec. 26 do not have to file a new claim.

Extension of PUA and PEUC will resume for nearly 19 million Americans, including more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians. An estimated 400,000 from the Keystone State have been PUA recipients, who include gig workers, independent contractors and others. Another 109,000 are PEUC claimants.

Thousands of residents, L&I noted, are now receiving $300 weekly payments through the extension of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. FPUC had ended in late July.

All three programs were created in March under the federal CARES Act. Claimants must have been unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

PUA and PEUC claimants, in the meantime, should wait for further information ... and remain patient.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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