PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pennsylvanians collecting unemployment will soon get additional funds under President Trump’s executive order, but the state’s labor department says it will take some time to get the money. Unemployed Pennsylvanians are waiting patiently for a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel.
“I know that I’m not alone,” Maria Velez, who lost her job due to the pandemic, said. “I know that there’s a lot of people in the same situation.”
State labor officials will ask the federal government for a new round of $300 weekly unemployment benefits. The $600 payments from the initial coronavirus relief bill expired Aug. 1.
State labor officials said they’d prefer Congress to extend the larger amount but will pursue the $300. The payments were included in President Trump’s recent executive order. It was signed after Congress failed to come up with a compromise on a coronavirus relief package.
Meanwhile, as congress squabbles, unemployed Pennsylvanians are left in the dark.
“I’m living from my savings… Thank goodness because there’s nothing else,” Velez said.
However, before these additional payments can be made, the state has to set up new unemployment and that could take up to a month.
“We don’t know exactly what will be required of the system we will need to create to provide this,” Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Jerry Oleksiak said.
State labor officials say they are waiting on guidance from FEMA and the Federal Department of Labor. When the payments begin to be made, they’ll be retroactive to Aug. 1. According to state data, nearly 2 million people in Pennsylvania have filed for unemployment since lockdown orders were put in place in March.