Pennsylvania residents who receive unemployment benefits will be facing some changes in the online system. The Department of Labor and Industry is beginning this week the transition to a new system.
Acting Secretary of Labor Jennifer Berrier stated the state expects the new system will make it easier and faster for people to access the benefits, although they do expect some technical issues during the transition.
“Obviously, within the first month of going live with the new system there’s going to be some issues that are going to inherently need to be ironed out; and also our folks are going to need to get used to the system as well,” Berrier said according to WPXI.com.
The old system will go offline on June 3 to make the transition. The state says anyone who has to file for benefits this week should do it no later than Wednesday, June 2.
Part of the changes is that the new system will move to weekly filing for unemployment, instead of bi-weekly.
Butler resident Dennis Crouch was one person who used the old system, and dealt with delays and difficulties to get his unemployment benefits this past year.
“Some of the wait times were like 16 hours, and then it’d drop down to four hours, and then the system would drop you off the system,” Crouch said of his experience. “It was terrible. Hit and miss. So many people were trying to get on the website. That was the most frustrating part.”
New claims offline
The department also informed that initial claims are offline, so people cannot open a new claim at the moment. New claims can be filed again June 8 – 12. Filers will be able to back-date their claim to May 30, if they were unemployed that week.
Another thing to be aware of is that the Memorial Day holiday could have delayed the unemployment benefits by one or two days.
Changes also include that at the end of July, people applying for benefits will have to once again prove they are searching for work in the week before they file.