Majority of people who applied for unemployment benefit received payment: work and industry

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The vast majority of state residents who are unemployed or on leave have received unemployment benefits, state officials say.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, 92% of eligible claimants who filed for benefits between March 15 and June 13 – and who filed ongoing claims – had received payment on Friday.

Labor & Industry, which released unemployment benefit data on Monday, recently postponed the release of information on Thursday to better coordinate with federal agencies to track similar data.

As many as 2.2 million Pennsylvania residents filed for unemployment compensation earlier this month. The tally counts claims dating back to mid-March, when a statewide shutdown forced businesses to close.

PennLive continues to distribute correspondence from officials desperate to receive their benefits.

Labor and industry officials have repeatedly pointed out that staff are working overtime to meet the unprecedented demand for services.

Unemployment in Pennsylvania, which hit a record low 4% last year, has stabilized in recent weeks after peaking in April amid the outbreak of the pandemic. According to data released Friday by Labor & Industry, the rate of 13% in June was well above the national rate of 11.1%. The state’s unemployment rate peaked at 16 percent in April, the highest rate in more than four decades of record keeping.

The workforce at the unemployment compensation service center has more than doubled, increasing 103% since March 15, officials said. New employees have been hired; staff from other agencies and state offices have been reassigned to meet departmental demands.

Since March 15, when the Wolf administration issued a statewide shutdown amid the surge in coronavirus cases, the ministry has paid out more than $ 28 billion in unemployment benefits.

Managers say they remain focused on improving customer service.

“Our aim is to provide as positive an experience as possible for claimants applying for unemployment benefits,” ministry officials said in the written statement.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 1,032 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday as the state nears 100,000 infections.

The new report brings the state total to 99,478 cases since the first case of Pennsylvania’s coronavirus was reported on March 6.

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