Rendell Signs Seven-Week Jobless Benefit Extension; More Than 23,000 Pennsylvanians to Receive Immediate Financial Relief

MAXIMUM OF 79 WEEKS OF BENEFITS NOW AVAILABLE

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvanians who have exhausted their unemployment benefits may now apply for up to seven additional weeks of payments under legislation signed by Gov. Edward G. Rendell today.

“I am thrilled to sign this legislation that will immediately provide money to more than 23,000 Pennsylvanians whose unemployment benefits have run out,” said Rendell. “This money is badly needed right now by individuals who must pay for food, shelter and other necessities for their families as they try to find jobs in a challenging economy. I have wholeheartedly supported this legislation and I applaud the General Assembly for approving it.

“Through December, nearly 60,000 people could receive the additional seven weeks of benefits with no additional costs to businesses,” said Rendell. “This legislation will put money in people’s pockets and infuse $145 million directly into our economy this year.”

With this extension, Pennsylvanians who are out of work through no fault of their own may qualify for up to 79 weeks of unemployment benefits.

Individuals who are eligible for the additional extended benefits will automatically be notified by mail with instructions on how to file for the additional benefits.

“We understand the financial strain facing unemployed workers and their families,” Labor & Industry Secretary Sandi Vito said. “We have strongly advocated for and supported the extension of benefits. We will work to get benefits out to those who need them as soon as possible.”

The extended benefits are federally funded through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act for workers laid off by private-sector and nonprofit employers. Because the benefits are federally funded, this extension will have no effect on the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. More than 30 other states have adopted similar legislation.

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