– After hearing hundreds of firsthand accounts from unemployed residents regarding the long delays in receiving jobless benefits, Reps. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill) will introduce legislation in the near future to provide a possible solution.
Their proposal would give the General Assembly’s legislative staff access to the Unemployment Compensation (UC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) computer systems. Under current regulations, only certain employees at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) have access to these systems, with very few exceptions.
“We came up with this proposal because of the inability of Gov. Wolf and L&I to efficiently process the UC claims of thousands of hard-working Pennsylvanians who were impacted by the governor’s business shutdown orders,” said Heffley. “Too many claimants have had to wait weeks to receive their first benefit check, and some have still not gotten a dime. This is simply unacceptable, and our bill aims to fix it.”
The legislators said providing computer access to their staff members would expedite the process of identification and resolution of issues that are affecting individual claims and ultimately delaying the release of benefits.
“The goal is to address the issues regarding the program,” said Knowles. “The current system is ineffective and mismanaged, and this legislation would be a solution to the problem. I want those people who have signed up for unemployment compensation to receive the money that they are owed.”
Heffley and Knowles are seeking additional co-sponsors to their bill. The number of co-sponsors currently stands at 11.
Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Representative Jerry Knowles
124th Legislative District
Heffley Media Contact: Andy Briggs 717-260-6474
Knowles Media Contact: Rick Leiner 717-260-6437