Davis demands action in processing unemployment claims

PITTSBURGH, April 17 – Amidst growing desperation by workers waiting to receive unemployment benefits, state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, reiterated demands that the administration address the delays and problems that have plagued the system and prevented timely delivery of those benefits.

“Our working families are suffering, they are struggling because they are not getting access to the unemployment compensation benefits to which they’re entitled,” Davis said. “The problem has been compounded for self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers, who are still waiting for directions on where to file.

“Our workers have given their all to make Pennsylvania strong and productive, and now they are asking that the system respond by providing the assistance they need because of this pandemic. So far, the system has been mired in red tape. We need real solutions now – today – to cut the tape and get these benefits flowing. Lives are depending on it.”

Davis said he and his colleagues have been doing all they can to address the issue but are hitting a wall.

“I asked the Labor secretary what the department needs from the legislature to streamline this process and get results and the answer is ‘nothing,’” Davis said. “That’s not an acceptable answer. We all stand ready to help, but we can’t do that without more guidance and information from the agency.”

Earlier this month, Davis wrote to the secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry urging the department to address his concerns, but said he has not received an adequate response.