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  • If you are close to exhausting your EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits you may qualify to join the federal Extended Benefits program. Remember how easy it was to jump from Pennsylvania state unemployment insurance to EUC benefits? Well, the transition to EB is not that easy. This is not to say you should have any trouble qualifying if you have a valid claim, but the requirements are more stringent and it is much easier to get your claim disqualified.

    This article will discuss some of the main questions workers have about the Extended Benefits program in Pennsylvania. Please note that not all Extended Benefits programs are the same. Although the EB program is funded with federal money, each states manages its own program and determines many of the requirements. It is therefore important you get information of the EB program for your state.

    When does the EB period start and end in Pennsylvania?

    Good question. Unlike other unemployment programs, such as PA UI program, the EB will not last indefinitely. EB programs are designed to help long term unemployed workers during periods with a high unemployment rate. In Pennsylvania this period started in February 2009. It will end once Pennsylvania’s unemployment figures improve. For instance, the program will end if the PA unemployment rate drops to 6 percent.

    How do I qualify for EB payments?

    If everything works out as it should the PA department of Labor should send you a notice of financial determination by mail if you qualify and you are close to exhausting your EUC benefits. However, if you feel you qualify and have not received a determination after 10 days of receiving your final EUC payment, you can call and ask about your claim at 1.888.313.7284.

    What are the special requirements of the EB Program?

    Very good question. The EB has more stringent requirements for workers and your claim could be cancelled if you don’t know what is expected of you. To receive EB payments you must prove you are making a systematic and sustained effort to find work every week you claim for benefits. More specifically, you must carry out two search activities every week and these must be on separate days. Of course, this is a minimum not a maximum. The more time and effort you spend searching for work the more chances you have of finding suitable employment. Note that you must provide tangible evidence of your job search efforts, so keep good records of all your job search activities. If you are requested to prove your claims and have no evidence, your claim could be closed down.

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