Pa., NJ to start distributing extra $300 unemployment benefit this week

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Starting this week, Pennsylvania and New Jersey will start to distribute an extra weekly $300 in federal funds to residents receiving unemployment assistance, but they’re still waiting for guidelines on how to continue to run the pandemic assistance program.

From now until the middle of March, anyone who continues to file for their unemployment benefits, under the regular state unemployment program, will get the extra $300.

In New Jersey that money will begin to be deposited to bank cards and in accounts on Tuesday. The state's commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Robert Asaro-Angelo, has said the reason it's come so quickly is because of the staff increases and technology upgrades they implemented at the start of the pandemic.

Labor officials for both states said they are still waiting on guidance from the feds on how to continue with the pandemic programs, both for the extension and for self-employed and gig workers. But like last time, jobless workers can file for dates missed, so everyone will get the full 11 weeks.

Pennsylvania's Acting Secretary of the Department of Labor and Industry, Jennifer Berrier, said their department is urging the feds to issue the guidance soon, so they can make the necessary changes to the system and continue with both programs. However, the federal government hasn't given them a timeline on when that will happen.

Any jobless worker who had their benefits end will still be eligible for an automatic three-month extension, plus the extra $300. However, if your claim expired in 2020, you will need to file a new claim.

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