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UC Issues Update Newsletter 

Volume 1 (03/02/2022)

In This Issue...

Contacting the Department of Labor & Industry for Unemployment Issues

We often hear that employers have trouble reaching us. We want to be sure you are using the correct contact information and not the toll-free phone number intended for claimants’ use. Using the phone numbers designated for employers’ unemployment questions means you should not have trouble reaching us. This Employer Quick Guide shows the four different contact numbers (and email addresses) for employers to use for questions and provide information to the Department.

Most of the questions employers have about how unemployment programs work in Pennsylvania can be answered through the up-to-date information on the website, www.uc.pa.gov. We encourage you to become familiar with the content or use the "Search" feature to find what you need. Employers most often find the Employer & UC Tax pages to be useful, as well as the additional sections for benefits, appeals, and contact information.

Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

Fraudulent claims filed via identity theft are on the rise nationally in an unprecedented way. Here are some warning signs that a fraudulent unemployment claim was filed involving you or your company:

  • You receive paperwork/notice for an employee who never worked for you. We hear employers say: "I don’t know why this person would have entered me as their employer. I never heard of this person." The answer is: because it probably wasn’t a person. It was probably a robot filing multiple claims at a time and choosing random Pennsylvania employers. Mark "Never worked here" on the form and return it using the enclosed instructions.

  • You receive paperwork/notice for an employee who is fully employed by you. Contact the employee to ask if he/she initiated a claim. Most times, they are unaware that their identity is being used by a fraudster. If they did not file the unemployment claim, instruct the employee to report the fraud to us using the Report Fraud link on our website.

  • You receive paperwork for yourself. Your identity was stolen and you should report the fraud to us using the Report Fraud link on our website.

If you do receive paperwork, it does not necessarily mean that payments have or will be made on that claim. Regardless, it is important for you to report it to us as soon as possible.

UC-640 Charging Statements

COVID-19 relief from charges, a part of Act 9 of 2020, expired at the end of 2021. This means that benefits paid for claim weeks in 2021 will be charged to your account unless you are granted relief.

You do not need the actual Request for Relief from Charges form (UC-44FR) to request relief from the Department. You can request relief by emailing the following information to uiempcharge@pa.gov:

  • Claimant’s full name and last 4 digits of their Social Security Number;

  • Employer’s name and PA UC account number;

  • Last day the claimant worked;

  • Detailed, but brief separation information or reason you are requesting the relief from charges;

  • Name and contact information of the person completing the form; and,

  • Signature of the employer or authorized representative.

Please remember that reimbursable employers who did not pay the solvency fee for the year cannot request relief from charges. These employers are instead currently receiving a form of federal relief by only being charged for a percentage of benefits paid in 2021.

Did you know you can receive email notifications when new UC Tax correspondence is available?

Just Three Easy Steps:

  1. Log in to your account at www.uctax.pa.gov

  2. Select "Employer Profile/Profile Maintenance" or "Representative Profile/Profile Maintenance" on the left menu

  3. In the "Notifications" area, select the "Send Notifications via Email" option

Why Sign Up for Email Notification?

  • Timely - electronic notifications provide real-time important UC tax information about your account.

  • Reliable - to ensure the notifications are not missed; up to 25 contact addresses can receive the email notification.

  • Identifiable – the email notification provides the Legal Name and Correspondence Type so you know what information is available.

  • Environmentally Friendly – paper notices are not mailed for accounts that receive electronic notifications.

Don’t delay, sign up today!

Employer Address Change for Tax and Benefits

To ensure that both employer UC Tax and UC Benefits correspondence is mailed to the correct address please complete step 1 and 2, below.

To complete step 1 and 2, you will need:

  • Your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)

  • Your PA UC Account Number
    This seven-digit number can be found on the following UC Tax and UC Benefit forms:

    • UC-1408 New Employer Confirmation Letter

    • UC-851 Notice of PA Unemployment Compensation Responsibilities

    • UC-657 Contribution Rate Notice

    • UC-44FR Request for Relief from Charges

    • UC-44F(3) Notice of Financial Determination

    • UC-640 Monthly Notice of Compensation Charged

    • UC-45 Employers Notice of Application

    If you do not know your PA UC account number, please call the Unemployment Compensation Resource Center at 833-728-2367. If an account number has not been assigned, please register with the Department by submitting the Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration Form (PA-100) at www.pa100.state.pa.us.

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader Opens In A New Window (download this program to open the UC-1212 pdf)

Step 1: Change Your Tax Address

If your address changes, you must update the address to which UC tax forms are sent. To do so:

  1. Go to www.uctax.pa.gov to log into the Unemployment Compensation Management System (UCMS) using your keystone ID and password.

  2. Select "Employer Profile" and "Addresses" to view and update your Mailing Address. This is the default address used by the Department for most of the UC related correspondence sent to you.

  3. After filing your change of address request online you will receive a confirmation email indicating your request was received. You should save or print a copy of this email for your records.

  4. For assistance call 1-866-403-6163.

Step 2: Change Your Benefits Address

The address to which Benefit forms are sent must be updated using Form UC-1212W. You can designate a different address(s) for the following forms:

  • UC-640 Monthly Notice of Compensation Charged

  • UC-44F(3) Notice of Financial Determination

  • UC-560 Determination on Requests for Relief from Charges

  • UC-45 Notice of Application and Request for Separation Information

  • Fact-finding questionnaires, and benefit eligibility determinations

To update your address for Benefit forms, complete the following:

  1. Open and complete form UC-1212W. Click on the following link for instructions UC-1212(W)(INS).

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page to "Save" or "Print" the form, and then click the "Submit" button to open your email browser.

  3. Once your email opens, your completed form will appear as a PDF attachment (depending on your email settings, it may appear in your draft emails).

  4. Click "Send."

  5. If you cannot submit the UC-1212W online, you can also send it via Email, Fax or US Mail:
    EMAIL: Print Form UC-1212W and then email to: addresschangepoa@pa.gov
    FAX: 717-346-3174
    US MAIL: Office of UC Benefits Policy
    651 Boas St., Room 606
    Harrisburg, PA 17121-0725

NOTE: Please be advised the Department cannot guarantee the security of personally identifiable information submitted via unsecured means such as: fax or unencrypted email systems.

Tips to Help Us Ensure Your Forms are Sent to the Correct Address

The Department will send Form UC-45, Notice of Application and Request for Separation Information, to the address you have designated. Under some circumstances, however, this form might be sent to another address. Below are two things that will ensure that Form UC-45 is sent to the desired address:

  1. Mandatory:Give Form UC-1609 to separating employees. Form UC-1609, Employer Information, contains your name, address and other contact information for a former employee, or an employee whose hours are reduced, to use when applying for benefits.

  2. Recommended:Enroll in SIDES. The State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) and SIDES E-Response are web-based systems available to employers and TPAs free of charge. They provide a secure and nationally-standardized format to receive the electronic counterpart of Form UC-45 and to electronically respond to UC information requests. Please visit the SIDES page on our website for more information and to enroll in the SIDES program.

The Pennsylvania New Hire Reporting Program

The Pennsylvania New Hire Reporting Program requires all employers to report basic information about all newly hired and re-hired employees in accordance with state and federal law. Administered by the Center for Workforce Information and Analysis (CWIA) within L&I, the Pennsylvania New Hire Reporting Program aids in the collection of child support from non-custodial parents.

Information provided by employers is matched against files containing the names of non-custodial parents who owe child support. When a match occurs, a notice is immediately sent notifying the employer to withhold child support, thus expediting child support payments. For calendar year 2021, over $721.4 thousand in child support monies were collected due to the new hire cross match. Since 1998, child support collections activity within Pennsylvania (from wage garnishments issued to obligors) totaled an estimated $665 million through December 2021, an average of $28.9 million per year.

Data collected from the Pennsylvania New Hire Reporting Program is also used to detect fraud in the UC and Workers’ Compensation programs. Since 1998, this matching process has identified more than 103,000 UC fraud overpayments, resulting in the recovery of an estimated $48.9 million.

CWIA continues to increase public awareness of the New Hire Program (and increase employer compliance with reporting laws) by conducting outreach meetings with employers at local Pennsylvania CareerLink® offices, partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services at the local level through the Bureau of Child Support Enforcement, and educating and informing both the public and employers about the importance of reporting new hires.

To learn more about the Pennsylvania New Hire Reporting Program and reporting process, please visit www.pacareerlink.pa.gov, and from the "I am an Employer" tile on the website homepage, click the "Report a New Hire" tile in the "Employer Services" page to proceed to the New Hire Reporting Program landing page.

An Innovative Alternative to Employee Layoffs -- Pa’s Shared-Work Program

Pennsylvania’s Shared-Work program is a great tool that that allows an employer to temporarily reduce the work hours of a group of employees while supplementing their lost wages with partial unemployment benefits rather than laying off any employees. Employees covered by the Shared-Work plan receive a percentage of their UC weekly benefit amount while they work the reduced schedule if they are otherwise eligible for UC.

Shared-Work plans empower employers to retain a trained and qualified workforce during periods of slowdown, and quickly ramp up operations without the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.

Since March 2020, more than 1050 Shared-Work plans have been successfully put into action from employers across the commonwealth. With changing dynamics in the modern-day workplace, Pennsylvania’s Shared-Work program may help your business in its continued success.

"As a small company that sells winter heating oil, the Shared Work program allows us to share the work between employees during the slower, warmer months. The company benefits because it is simple to sign-up for, we save on wages and training costs, and it helps us keep our well-trained employees year after year.

"Our employees benefit by maintaining their jobs, pay, and benefits, and enjoy some additional time off during the summer. We are thankful that this program, which we’ve participated in since 2016, has allowed us to avoid annual employee layoffs."

Amy Purcell, President

Robert E Reedy & Sons Inc

Who is included in the Shared-Work plan?

As the employer, you select which employees will be included in the Shared-Work plan. A plan must apply to one "affected unit" which is defined as a department, shift, or other organizational unit. Employers may have more than one plan if there is more than one affected unit. For example, all employees working the night shift may be one unit. All employees in the affected unit must participate; however, an employee who has been employed in the affected unit for less than three months, or an employee who would work 40 or more hours a week under the plan may not participate. There must be at least two participating employees. Corporate officers may not participate in Shared-Work programs.

How much will the employees’ hours be reduced under the Shared-Work program?

Once you have identified the affected unit(s), you must select the percentage by which the employees’ hours are reduced, referred to as the "reduction percentage." The employer determines the reduction percentage based on business needs, but it must be at least 20 percent and cannot exceed 40 percent of the employees’ normal weekly hours. The reduction percentage must be the same for all employees participating in the Shared-Work plan. For example, if an employee normally works 40 hours per week, and the reduction percentage is 20 percent, then the employee’s hours are reduced by 20 percent and he or she would work 80 percent of 40 hours, or 32 hours per week. If an employee in the same unit works 30 hours per week, then he or she would work 80 percent of 30 hours, or 24 hours per week.

Pennsylvania's Shared-Work Program - an innovative alternative to employee layoffs

How are UC benefits determined under the plan?

For each week in the plan, an employee receives a percentage of his or her UC weekly benefit amount (WBA) equal to the reduction percentage. For example, if the employee’s WBA is $400 and the employee’s hours are reduced by 20 percent under the plan, the employee would receive 20 percent of $400 (or $80) in Shared-Work UC benefits.

What qualifications are required for participation?

As an employer, you are eligible to participate in Pennsylvania’s Shared-Work program if you have filed all UC tax reports and paid all amounts due under the PA UC Law, have a positive reserve account balance (for contributory employers) and have paid wages for the last 12 consecutive quarters, according to the Department’s Office of UC Tax Services.

For more information and to view FAQs, forms and the brochure, please visit www.uc.pa.gov/sharedwork.

UC Newsletter is published by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry on a quarterly basis. Questions, comments and feedback can be sent via email to uc-news@pa.gov. General UC Tax information is available by calling 717-787-7679 or outside the Harrisburg area, toll free 866-403-6163 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM If you have questions regarding UC benefit charges to your account, please call 717-787- 4677 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. If you suspect fraud, report it online at www.uc.pa.gov under "Report Fraud," or contact 800-692-7469.

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Equal Opportunity Employer/Program