Harrisburg, Pa. − May 19, 2022 − State Senators Maria Collett (D-12 Montgomery/Bucks) and Tina Tartaglione (D-2 Philadelphia) will soon introduce legislation to make commonsense improvements to our outdated Unemployment Compensation (UC) laws and allow claims to be processed faster.
“Since the onset of COVID-19, my office has helped thousands of constituents navigate an overwhelmed unemployment system,” said Senator Collett. “The pandemic exposed many problems with Pennsylvania’s UC system, some which will require time, money and bipartisan agreement to correct and others – like abolishing the waiting week – that can be quickly resolved by simply cutting through the red tape. I’ve heard directly from my constituents how eliminating the waiting week could help their families. Pennsylvanians contribute to the unemployment system every time they clock in for their shift – they deserve a UC system which works for them right away because bills don’t disappear as quickly as work can.”
As Pennsylvania’s unemployment rates continue to decline and stress on the UC system eases, now is the time to conduct reviews and make changes to ensure residents can access the benefits they are entitled to.
“It’s no secret that Pennsylvanians need help. Our Commonwealth’s Unemployment System helps struggling families to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads,” said Senator Tartaglione. “This commonsense legislation will remove the roadblocks and red-tape that keep our neighbors from accessing help in a timely manner.”
Collett & Tartaglione’s bill will address some of the most common roadblocks in the UC claims process by:
- Permanently eliminating the “waiting week” that makes claimants ineligible for benefits during the first week of unemployment.
- Eliminating credit weeks from the process of verifying income, which too regularly causes delays in benefits and confusion amongst employers and claimants.
- Eliminating severance pay requirements to minimize the occurrence of claims being sent to UC examiners for review, which further delays claims processing.
- Streamlining the Shared Work Program to help claimants access benefits in a timelier manner.
- Improving the stability of the UC Trust Fund by aligning the solvency definition and trigger percentage with federal policy.
This is companion legislation to HB 549, introduced by Representatives Gerald J. Mullery and Liz Hanbidge.