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Unemployment Benefits

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NEWS
January 6, 2012 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
A revamped law governing Pennsylvania unemployment benefits may come as a surprise to the newly laid off - severance payments above about $18,000 will offset unemployment benefits until the severance is used up. The law, which went into effect this year, will affect those being laid off this year, among them the hundreds of Sunoco Inc. employees who will lose their jobs when Sunoco mothballs its refineries in Marcus Hook and Philadelphia....
BUSINESS
May 24, 2013
Pennsylvania will offer an amnesty program June 1 through Aug. 31 to collect $613 million the state's Department of Labor and Industry is owed in unemployment benefits or taxes. The program covers benefits paid or taxes owed before June 30, 2012. The amnesty covers 130,000 people, who were overpaid $356 million, either because of a mistake or because they submitted false information. Those who submitted false information will only have to pay half of interest and penalties if they pay before Aug. 31. Those who were overpaid through an error will only have to repay half the amount.
NEWS
December 1, 2011 | By Kristen A. Graham and Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writers
As controversy over her decision to apply for unemployment benefits continued, former School Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman on Wednesday took a shot at Mayor Nutter for his criticism of her move. In an e-mail to The Inquirer, Ackerman noted that her separation agreement - which preserves her right to file for unemployment - "was approved by Mayor Nutter and made public. His outcry and that of others (including the media) of disbelief appears to me to be really disingenuous.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2011 | By Derek Kravitz and Christopher S. Rugaber, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, and builders broke ground on more homes in May. The latest data offered some hope that the economy may be improving after hitting a slump in late spring. Applications for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 414,000, the Labor Department said. It was the second drop in three weeks and a sign that layoffs are slowing. Still, applications have been above 400,000 for 10 straight weeks, evidence that the job market is weaker than it was earlier this year.
NEWS
July 27, 2009
Senate Republicans in Harrisburg should be in a bigger hurry to extend unemployment benefits for thousands of out-of-work Pennsylvanians. The Democrat-controlled House approved seven more weeks of benefits for unemployed workers on July 7. The vote was 197-1; only one of the chamber's 99 GOP legislators voted against it. But the Republican-led Senate has been in no rush to act while families' benefits run out in this severe recession....
NEWS
March 27, 2013 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
As joblessness worsens in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, nearly 200,000 people in the two states - among two million long-term unemployed nationally - will see a 10.7 percent cut in their unemployment benefits next month. The cut, which will show up in benefits for the week ending April 6, is yet another result of the sequestration - the series of cuts that began March 1 when Congress failed to resolve differences on how to reduce the budget deficit. In New Jersey, 95,000 people will be affected; in Pennsylvania, 99,000.
NEWS
August 28, 1993 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
An official of the state Department of Labor and Industry ruled yesterday that an Aug. 6 work stoppage by 1,800 Philadelphia Gas Works employees was caused by a lockout by the city-owned utility. That ruling, by Jack F. Rudy of the department's Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, entitles the PGW workers to unemployment benefits. Joseph G. Given, president of the Gas Works Employees Union, Local 686, praised the decision as a victory for the workers. He estimated they were entitled to $600,000 in retroactive benefits dating to Aug. 14. Clifford Brenner, vice president for public affairs for PGW, said Rudy's decision would be appealed.
NEWS
December 8, 2010 | By WILL BUNCH, bunchw@phillynews.com 215-854-2957
THEY MAY call it a 13-month extension of unemployment benefits, but for Pat McNamara, who's been jobless for nearly two years, the deal would buy her only a few extra weeks. The 61-year-old consumer-protection advocate - laid off from a City Hall job during a round of belt-tightening in early 2009 - expects to hit her 99-week limit of eligibility in March or April. In fact, she says she doesn't even want this compromise because the plan also would include tens of billions of dollars in tax cuts for millionaires but no money specifically targeting job creation.
NEWS
December 23, 2011 | BY WILL BUNCH, bunchw@phillynews.com 215-854-2957
CAVES: THEY'RE not just for spelunkers or spineless Beltway Democrats anymore. In a move that packed the political punch of a Rudolph-the-Red-nosed-Reindeer-ready blizzard, House Republicans caved in to an avalanche of pressure last night and agreed to extend both a payroll-tax holiday and unemployment benefits for the next two months. The conservative lawmakers, led by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, collapsed under attack from everyone from President Obama to right-wing icons like Karl Rove and the Wall Street Journal editorial board.
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BUSINESS
April 12, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest point since the week of May 12, 2007, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday, and because this statistic can serve as a proxy for the economy, that sounds like good news. Such good news, in fact, that advocates for the unemployed worry that it will hurt their chances on Capitol Hill to push for an extension of extra federally funded jobless benefits. For the week ending April 5, 300,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits were filed, 32,000 fewer claims than the previous week.
NEWS
April 4, 2014
NOW that the Supreme Court has loosened the spigot of money flowing to Congress and other elected officials in its McCutcheon decision this week, maybe we'll finally start getting really outraged at the callousness with which these lawmakers treat Americans. Case in point: the intractability of the House to consider renewing the unemployment benefits for the 2 million Americans who saw theirs expire last year. The Senate this week finally paved the way for a vote to approve renewal, but the House shows no sign of rushing to fix this; in fact, House Speaker John Boehner recently suggested it was too complicated for computers to handle the programming required to restore back payments.
NEWS
March 9, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Economists liked the U.S. Labor Department's Friday report on the nation's job situation, cheered by news that payrolls expanded by 175,000 in February and unfazed by a slight rise in the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent. In a Center City classroom, Deborah Weston of West Philadelphia was also optimistic. Laid off in July after 27 years at the same insurance company, Weston signed up for Step IT Up America, which promises jobs and paid training to African American women who want to get into information technology.
NEWS
January 14, 2014
WE ELECT members of Congress to represent our interests and our views. Does that mean that Congress' view of Americans is, in fact, how we see ourselves? We hope not, because that view is unflattering, to say the least. Case in point: In December, more than a million people ran out of unemployment benefits, Congress having failed to pass an extension of federal jobless benefits that kick in after the typical 26-week state programs expire. Last week, the Senate advanced a bill that Republicans in the House say has little chance of passing.
NEWS
December 31, 2013
If some of your neighbors don't seem too happy about the new year, it could be because Congress decided to go home and party without extending unemployment benefits. After patting itself on the back for barely passing a budget deal, Congress left 1.3 million long-term-unemployed Americans without any obvious means of support. Lawmakers didn't include an extension of unemployment benefits in the budget deal, so the program expired on Saturday. In addition to the current beneficiaries, an extension would have helped another 850,000 people who are expected to have been out of work for more than six months as of March.
NEWS
December 27, 2013
WHILE some of us recover from the effects of excessive seasonal spirit, folks without jobs are soon to feel the effects of another kind of spirit: the evil, heartless kind that inspired House Republicans to allow extended job benefits to expire as of tomorrow. Before they went home last week to share the warmth and abundance of the holidays with their families, these legislators declined to extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. That means that 1.3 million laid-off Americans - including 870,000 in Pennsylvania - will stop receiving the benefits that have enabled them to stave off hunger, homelessness and poverty while they continued their search for work.
NEWS
December 18, 2013 | BY JOHN DODDS
THREE DAYS AFTER Christmas this year, 1.3 million laid-off American workers will see their unemployment benefits stopped. In Pennsylvania, the number will be 87,000 people drawing their last check on Dec. 28. "If my wife loses her benefit before she finds a job, we lose our house. " - Philadelphia resident These are working people caught in the worst economic crisis in more than 70 years, one that will not end. Unemployment in Pennsylvania is still 7.5 percent with 485,000 people officially unemployed.
NEWS
November 26, 2013
Congressional inaction could put more obstacles in the path of the already slow economic recovery. If lawmakers don't extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, $25 billion in benefits - money that tends to be quickly spent on rent, food, and other necessities - would be ripped out of the economy. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the program is a highly effective antirecession measure. An estimated 1.3 million long-term-unemployed Americans are expected to lose the emergency benefits in December if Congress doesn't act. Another 850,000 could join them before next spring.
BUSINESS
October 10, 2013 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Local investment firms have been taking frantic calls from clients lately asking whether the sky is falling. And no wonder: The U.S. debt ceiling has yet to be lifted, threatening default on government bonds; Congress failed to act to end a government shutdown, which has stretched into its second week; and yet stocks have been on a tear not seen in decades. Most are advising investors to stay the course - and in truth, there's very little to do other than to panic, sell everything, and go to cash.
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