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L&I Ready for Transition to New Unemployment Benefits System

05/28/2021

Reminder: Weekly Filing Will Be Offline June 3 to 7 for Data Migration

New Claims Offline May 31 to June 7 

Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier today announced that final preparations for the new, faster, and easier-to-use unemployment benefits system, are complete and the transition will begin Sunday with the new system coming online on June 8, 2021. 

"I am excited for unemployment benefit claimants to finally be able to use this new system, which is long overdue," said Acting Secretary Berrier. "L&I strives to provide the highest level of customer service to unemployment benefit recipients, and this new system will greatly enhance the user experience while allowing our staff to more quickly process claims." 

L&I staff will be on-hand around the clock to immediately begin working on any potential issues that arise. To keep unemployment benefit claimants informed about potential issues, L&I will communicate directly with small groups of affected claimants, use social media and its website for larger issues, and host an issue status dashboard that will go online early next week. 

The current system is scheduled to go offline to users on May 30 through June 7, 2021 to allow for data migration from the old system to the new one, the most complex part of any system upgrade. The new system is anticipated to be "live" June 8, 2021. 

New claimants who are eligible to file for the first time the week of May 30 to June 5 can file on Sunday, May 30, before new claims are taken offline, or they can file in the new system after it comes online June 8 without missing any payments. 

Individuals who are scheduled to file a biweekly claim the week of May 30 to June 5 can file by Wednesday, June 2 to have their claim processed before the system is taken offline. These individuals can also file for these weeks after the new system comes online but the payment date may be later.

Offline timeline.png

No claims processing will take place during the offline period. The system will be offline for everyone, including L&I staff. However, the UC Service Center will keep the phones and email open. They will still take new inquiries from claimants and place them in the queue for when the system comes online. They will also be able to assist individuals who are experiencing issues and will be able to answer questions about the offline period and the new UC system generally.

L&I anticipates a high volume of individuals will attempt to log onto the new system immediately after it is launched. Should the volume of active system users reach a certain threshold, the system will automatically instate a virtual "waiting room" that will place visitors into a queue and allow them into the system when other users have logged off. This prevents the system from becoming overloaded, which could cause slowness and crashing for all users. Individuals who do not wish to wait can try to log on again later. Typically, fewer individuals try to file for their benefits later in the week and during non-business hours, so these times may have little or no wait.

Waiting room graphic.jpg 

The new UC system will be much easier to use, provide faster access to relevant information and streamline the unemployment claim filing process for workers, employers, unemployment program staff, as well as the third-party administrators who will be able to easily access and update more of their information. It will offer a more modern interface for users with formatting similar to user-friendly websites most people use every day. The system will be mobile and tablet-friendly and will enable faster communications between users and L&I staff. 

To assist individuals with preparing to use the new system, L&I is continuing to host live workshops, provide video recordings of demonstrations, and offer written and visual walk-throughs of the new system. Scheduled workshops are offered in English and Spanish on a variety of days and times, including evenings and weekends. A full list of scheduled workshops and links to connect to them are here. Recordings of each workshop will be uploaded to this page on www.uc.pa.gov.  

Helpful Resources 

Claimant User Guides:

Employer User Guides:

Claimant and Employer User Guides:

 Video tutorials are also available.

For more information and updates on unemployment benefits programs, visit www.uc.pa.gov or follow L&I on Facebook or Twitter. 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Sarah DeSantis, dlipress@pa.gov  

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