Gov. Tom Wolf responds to concerns surrounding increased unemployment claims

According to Gov. Tom Wolf, the state’s unemployment compensation system has seen a dramatic increase in claims. Donna Feinberg said she’s had problems trying to file her claim after she was laid off Friday. She said she has spent the week trying to get through to the unemployment office. “I call all day long constantly,” said Feinberg. “Must have been 900 times on my cellphone. You could not get through.”Feinberg reached out to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 with her problem at 2:45 p.m. and within half an hour WTAE-TV got her a response from the governor. “We have had obviously an increase in claims that are in the hundreds of thousands and expect those to be heavy so what we’re trying to do is make sure we’re doing everything we can,” said Wolf.Wolf said he has waived the one-week waiting period and the liability that is assigned to employers. The state has asked for people with specific questions about their new or existing claims to email them at uchelp@pa.gov.Feinberg said she did email the state’s unemployment office, and the office told her they would get back to her in a week. “Now that is unacceptable. I mean, people like me, we live from paycheck to paycheck and we’re depending on that unemployment,” said Feinberg. The state Department of Labor and Industry sent the following statement to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 about the increase of unemployment claims:”Due to the very large volume of claims being filed and questions from claimants, we are urging all claimants to file online at www.uc.pa.gov. The answers to many COVID-19 UC questions are available in our employee/employer FAQ document. We are asking individuals with specific questions about their new or existing claims to email uchelp@pa.gov.”We are working quickly to bolster our UC operations during this unprecedented time, while serving our customers as effectively and efficiently as possible. We are evaluating staffing needs, but first must ensure that our operations strictly adhere to the social distancing and other mitigation efforts in Pennsylvania and around the country. We must keep our employees safe and healthy, so that they can continue to help as many COVID-impacted workers as possible.”

According to Gov. Tom Wolf, the state’s unemployment compensation system has seen a dramatic increase in claims.

Donna Feinberg said she’s had problems trying to file her claim after she was laid off Friday. She said she has spent the week trying to get through to the unemployment office.

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“I call all day long constantly,” said Feinberg. “Must have been 900 times on my cellphone. You could not get through.”

Feinberg reached out to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 with her problem at 2:45 p.m. and within half an hour WTAE-TV got her a response from the governor.

“We have had obviously an increase in claims that are in the hundreds of thousands and expect those to be heavy so what we’re trying to do is make sure we’re doing everything we can,” said Wolf.

Wolf said he has waived the one-week waiting period and the liability that is assigned to employers. The state has asked for people with specific questions about their new or existing claims to email them at uchelp@pa.gov.

Feinberg said she did email the state’s unemployment office, and the office told her they would get back to her in a week.

“Now that is unacceptable. I mean, people like me, we live from paycheck to paycheck and we’re depending on that unemployment,” said Feinberg.

The state Department of Labor and Industry sent the following statement to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 about the increase of unemployment claims:

“Due to the very large volume of claims being filed and questions from claimants, we are urging all claimants to file online at www.uc.pa.gov. The answers to many COVID-19 UC questions are available in our employee/employer FAQ document. We are asking individuals with specific questions about their new or existing claims to email uchelp@pa.gov.

“We are working quickly to bolster our UC operations during this unprecedented time, while serving our customers as effectively and efficiently as possible. We are evaluating staffing needs, but first must ensure that our operations strictly adhere to the social distancing and other mitigation efforts in Pennsylvania and around the country. We must keep our employees safe and healthy, so that they can continue to help as many COVID-impacted workers as possible.”