Deasy: Pa. should resolve outstanding unemployment issues before launching new UC system

PITTSBURGH, May 7 – To show his support of Pennsylvanians at the “Pay Benefits Now” rally in downtown Pittsburgh on Thursday, state Rep. Dan Deasy is calling on the state to resolve hundreds of thousands of unemployment claims before the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry launches a new Unemployment Compensation system on June 1.

“I am extremely concerned that these cases are going to get lost in the transition,” said Deasy, D-Allegheny. “For those deemed eligible, they have waited far too long for benefits they have earned and desperately need. For those the department deems ineligible, let us move the process forward now and provide these claimants their right to an appeal.”

Deasy shares the concerns of rally organizers who said nearly 300,000 Pennsylvanians continue to wait on decisions regarding their unemployment benefits. The groups said some of those claimants have been in limbo for months and have faced evictions, foreclosures, utility shut offs, and hunger.

Deasy wrote a letter to Gov. Tom Wolf last week to express his frustration with the current processing of UC claims.

“These Pennsylvanians need and deserve an answer now,” said Deasy. “I urge in the strongest of terms that Governor Wolf provide the department with all the resources necessary to resolve these cases before the implementation of the new system.”

The “Pay Benefits Now” rally was held outside of Wolf’s office in Pittsburgh and organized by the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, Restaurant Opportunities Center of Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid.