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06/24/2021 03:43 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=31744
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 7, 2020 03:54 PM
From: Representative Jim Cox
To: All House members
Subject: Partial Benefit Credit
 
I am preparing to introduce legislation that will temporarily increase the partial benefit credit for unemployment compensation. As the result of the COVID-19 emergency, there have been unprecedented numbers of UC claims. Even after emergency restrictions are lifted, many Pennsylvanians will remain unemployed and struggle to find work.

My bill is intended to temporarily increase the amount of UC benefits a claimant can receive while working part time. I believe that this approach will help those who are in need, while encouraging reentry into the workforce. 

Likewise, the $600/week Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will expire at the end of July. While this benefit may have created some inappropriate incentives, it did provide a supplement to unemployment benefits for the many workers who were forced off the job through no fault of their own. Therefore, beginning on August 1, 2020, my legislation will increase the partial benefit credit from 30% of the weekly benefit amount to 50% of the weekly benefit amount. After the economy has been given some time to recover, the credit will reduce to 40% on at the beginning of 2022, and it will go back to 30% at the beginning of 2023.

To help visualize how this will help unemployed workers struggling to make ends meet, I have included two examples:

Example – Current Law (30% Partial Benefit Credit)

A claimant who receives $400 in weekly UC benefits can earn up to $120/week working part time, with no reduction in weekly UC benefits.

If the claimant earns more than $120 in a week, the claimant's UC benefit will be reduced dollar for dollar until the claimant earns $520 during the week. The claimant will not be eligible for a benefit in any week they earn over $520.

Example – Proposal (50% Partial Benefit Credit)

A claimant who receives $400 in weekly UC benefits can earn up to $200/week working part time, with no reduction in weekly UC benefits.

If the claimant earns more than $200 in a week, the claimant's UC benefit will be reduced dollar for dollar until the claimant earns $600 during the week. The claimant will not be eligible for a benefit in any week they earn over $600.

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As you can see my bill will help unemployed Pennsylvanians in three ways: 1) the amount they can earn before their UC benefit is impacted will be increased, 2) the total amount they can earn while still qualifying for a partial benefit will increase, and 3) this will increase the incentive to take on part-time work while they attempt to find a full-time job.

I hope you can join me in supporting this legislation.