How will the federal stimulus package expand unemployment benefits for people already getting checks?

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Hundreds of thousands of people have been furloughed or laid off as part of the ongoing crisis, which pushed the federal government to expand unemployment. Will unemployment eligibility extend beyond the six-month period?

This past fall, 64-year-old Dan was laid off from his job as a construction engineer designer after 40 years of uninterrupted work. In November, 2019, he signed up for unemployment. 

The Broomall resident says there isn’t much similar work out there, and because of his vulnerable age, he is unable to go out and find work and needs to get the benefits beyond the normal six-month period.

“My heart aches for younger families with the position I am in. They are not going to be able to find meaningful work that pays well to take care of themselves, so that extension is really a life line and would make people whole until we get past this point,” he said. 

Luckily for Dan, unemployment assistance will go beyond the typical.

“It is going to extend it by 13 weeks,” he said. 

Susan Dickinson, director of unemployment policy for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, says the federal stimulus package lengthens how long people can get the checks.

“So far the federal government hasn’t given us the information to implement the program, so all of the states are waiting for the information on how to run the program,” Dickinson explained. 

____

Editor's note: Last names were withheld from the story for individuals' protection.
Each day, KYW Newsradio's Kristen Johanson will answer your unemployment questions. Email us to submit a question.