Pennsylvania launched its new unemployment system Tuesday replacing a 40-year-old mainframe. Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier announced that the new unemployment compensation system is now operative online.
The new system is accepting claims at benefits.uc.pa.gov. According to the Pennsylvania Government website, it makes filing for benefits easier and faster for users. Staff will need less time to process claims, which is expected to help reduce the number of users waiting for their claim to be processed.
“Today, Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation system took a giant leap forward not just in terms of technology, but in the quality of service we are able to provide,” said Acting Secretary Berrier.
Barrier added that the L&I staff has been working hard to make the transition to this new unemployment system seamless for users. As we see users logging on and successfully filing their claims in this faster and easier-to-use system, we are thrilled to see our vision of a modern, intuitive unemployment system has finally come to fruition.”
Two areas with questions
L&I is actively reviewing feedback from individuals using the new system and has identified two areas where several users have had questions. The first is that multiple users who receive payments by direct deposit have reported seeing their payment type listed as “debit card.”
Because payment data is stored primarily by the Pennsylvania Treasury and not the UC system, this is just a display issue and is not a problem with payment type. After a person’s payment is made, the correct payment method will be displayed. Users do not need to take any action to correct this should they see “debit card” listed instead of direct deposit.
L&I is also aware that a small percentage of users have experienced an issue logging in with their Keystone ID or when they attempt to change their payment type. This issue has been identified as being related to server connectivity, and a fix is already underway.
When the number of users on the new unemployment system exceeds a set capacity, the system automatically instates a “waiting room” page to prevent slowness or crashing for all users. The waiting room page places users into a queue in order of their arrival on the page, then admits them as other users leave the site.
Individuals currently filing for benefits will use the new system to file their weekly or biweekly claims.
Other actions include:
- Filing a new claim
- Accessing information about a claim
- Filing an appeal
- Checking the status of a payment
- Receiving messages from UC program staff
- Changing options such as whether communication is sent electronically or by physical mail, and whether federal income tax is withheld.
L&I is offering a series of workshops and other easy-to-use tools and helpful resources for the unemployment system users, including the legislative, advocate, and employer communities, to guide them through the transition to the new system.
Programs on the new system are Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
For more information and updates on unemployment benefits programs, visit www.uc.pa.gov