The COVID-19 pandemic has broadly affected nearly every state’s unemployment compensation (UC) system in one way or another, and Pennsylvania is no exception. From extended appeal deadlines to an uptick in UC fraud claims, this article sets forth four of the most recent changes or proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s UC system that have arisen due to COVID-19.

  • Appeal Deadlines: Extension and Refresher

The process for employees seeking UC benefits can involve several steps and multiple appeals. The first step involves the recently separated employee filing an application for benefits. Applications are processed by one of several UC service centers across the commonwealth. These service centers are tasked with making an initial determination on claimants’ applications. The service centers’ determinations may be appealed by either the claimant or their former employer to a UC referee, who will conduct an evidentiary hearing on the merits of the application. The decision of the UC referee may then be appealed by either party to the UC board of review (board).