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  • Losing a job is often a traumatic and unexpected experience. This often causes us to make less than ideal decisions, which can further affect our financial situation. For instance, what happens if you do not apply for unemployment  benefits straight after losing your job. This often occurs with workers who have never or rarely been unemployed. You may go through a period of denial, which can last several weeks, where you hope to either recover your old job or bounce straight back into a new one.

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    What happens if you took several weeks to file your initial unemployment benefits claim? Can you backtrack your application and get paid for the weeks you missed?

    Sadly, the answer to this question is not as straightforward as we would like. As a general rule you cannot backtrack your unemployment application. However, in some “very limited number of circumstances” the Labor and Industry Department of Pennsylvania may consider paying your for your missed benefits. Contact the PA Labor and Industry Department or visit your local CareerLink office for more information.

    Missing a few weeks benefits is not the only reason you should be quick to apply for UC in Pennsylvania. If you delay your application for too long this could affect your eligibility for unemployment compensation altogether. Let’s explain.

    In Pennsylvania your unemployment compensation eligibility is determined by the income you earned during your base period, the last four quarters from filing for UC. If you wait to long to apply while you are no longer reporting an income, your chances of receiving unemployment benefits could suffer.

    What is Pennsylvania’s PREP program and why should you set aside the time to go?

    The federal government has determined all states institute a worker profile and re-employment system. These systems are designed to screen for workers who are most likely to exhaust their unemployment compensation benefits and may need special assistance to find work. If you are selected by this program, you may receive special assistance finding work. Also, if your are selected to participate in the program without a good reason you could be lose your unemployment benefits. If your personal circumstances don’t allow you to attend the Profile Re-Employment Program (PREP) call your local Pennsylvania (PA) CareerLink office and explain your situation.

    What help will the PREP program provide?

    Participants in PA’s PREP are given personalized assessment and guidance on career planning and occupational needs. It also provides better job match and referral services. You will also qualify for job match, referral services, labor market information and resume preparation help. These services can increase your chances of finding employment and provide you with valuable education and training opportunities.

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