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Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act creates a new temporary federal program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

PEUC provides up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to individuals who previously collected state or federal unemployment compensation (UC) but exhausted those benefits.

Please read the following FAQs for information on whether there are any actions you need to take or whether you will be automatically enrolled. Additional information and how to apply online is available on the File for PEUC page.  

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Who is eligible for PEUC?

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​You are eligible for PEUC if:

  • You are unemployed for weeks within the time frame of March 29 through December 26, 2020.

  • You exhausted your regular state or federal benefits after July 6, 2019;

  • You are not currently eligible for state or federal unemployment benefits; and

  • You are able and available to work. Please note, however, that Act 9 of 2020, which Governor Wolf signed into law on March 27, 2020, temporarily suspended the work registration and work search requirements for the length of Pennsylvania's declaration of a disaster emergency.

Please note: If you qualify for PEUC and previously filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), you must exhaust all PEUC benefits before continuing to accept additional PUA benefits. It is fraudulent to accept payment on two different programs for the same claim week. 

How do I know if I exhausted my benefits?

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​You have exhausted your benefits when:

  1. You are not eligible for regular UC benefits because you have received the maximum number of weeks of these benefits available to you based on your employment during your base period; OR

  2. Your benefit year ended on or after July 6, 2019.

How do I file for PEUC?

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If you currently have an open UC claim, there is nothing for you to do other than continue filing your bi-weekly claim. You will automatically receive the additional 13 weeks of PEUC benefits. 

If your benefit year has expired and you wish to apply for PEUC, apply for PEUC online here. Your benefit year expires one year (52 weeks) after your regular unemployment application for benefits date.

For example, if you applied for benefits on February 1, 2019, and have not worked since, your benefit year expired on February 1, 2020, you can now apply for PEUC benefits.


How much is the PEUC weekly benefit amount?

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Your PEUC weekly benefit amount is the same as your regular UC weekly benefit rate. 

Your weekly benefit rate is based on your reported earnings during the base year (the first four of the last five completed quarters). You must also have over 18 credit weeks (weeks during which you earned $116 or more) in your base year to be eligible for UC.

Click here to find out how to calculate your weekly benefit rate.

I heard everyone collecting UC gets an extra $600 a week.  Will I get that through PEUC?

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Yes. All individuals collecting any type of UC, including PEUC, will receive $600 per week from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, in addition to their weekly benefits as calculated. FPUC payments began the week ending April 4, 2020 and will end July 25, 2020. These payments will be backdated for eligible individuals.

I filed a new UC claim recently.  Am I eligible for PEUC?

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In general, individuals collecting regular UC are eligible for 26 weeks of benefits. If you are still unemployed after 26 weeks, you may be eligible for up to 13 additional weeks of benefits through PEUC.

I exhausted my benefits before July 1, 2019 and have not worked since then.  Am I eligible for PEUC?

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No. However, depending on when you last reported income, you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits to those individuals who do not have enough wages in their base year to file a regular UC claim. Please visit our PUA FAQs to find out more.

I exhausted my benefits on or after July 1, 2019 and have not worked since then. Am I eligible for PEUC?

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You may be eligible for 13 weeks of PEUC.  Depending on when you last reported income, you may also be eligible for PUA after your PEUC eligibility ends. PUA provides benefits to those individuals who do not have enough wages in their base year to file a regular UC claim. Please visit our PUA FAQs to find out more.

I was collecting unemployment after July 1, 2019, but then went back to work.  Now I am laid-off again.  How many weeks of UC am I eligible for?

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The PEUC program provides eligible individuals with up to 13 additional weeks of benefits when you have exhausted your regular UC. You may be eligible for at least 39 total weeks of benefits.

How long will PEUC be available?

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PEUC is available beginning the week ending April 4, 2020 through the end of the year. However, because Pennsylvania considers a week of unemployment to end on a Saturday, the last week that PEUC may be paid in the commonwealth is the week ending December 26, 2020. 

How is PEUC Paid?

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​PEUC is paid either by direct deposit or debit card.

If you signed up to receive your UC benefits by direct deposit within the last two years, your PEUC payments will be deposited directly into your bank account and you do not need to submit a new direct deposit application. If you received UC benefits most recently by debit card, your PEUC payments will be made to you by debit card unless you choose direct deposit.

If you have lost your debit card, contact U.S. Bank ReliaCard®  at 888-233-5916 or 888-233-5916 TTY.

  • Enter the 10-digit phone number associated with your account, if you DO have your card number enter your 16-digit card number.

  • If you DO NOT have your card number and PIN, wait until you hear the prompt that says, "select 0 to report your card lost or stolen."

    • You'll be transferred to a Customer Service Representative and can confirm your name, SSN, address, date of birth and phone number to confirm your identity so they can issue a card replacement.