In the US, the Social Security Disability Insurance program is one of the most misused programs. The newly added feature states that those who received SSDI benefits would be reviewed. Before the added feature, once people are in the SSDI system that they can rarely get off until now.
A New York Times report suggests that social security plunged as the economy continues to get stronger. This shows that disability claims have fallen to a 15-year low where only 8.63 million received disability benefits as compared to 8.96 million in September 2014.
This showcased that projected solvency of Social Security of the long depleted Disability Insurance trust fund has been extended to 2032. This is nine years later since the projection was two years ago. In this regard, this is a massive gain and explains that there has been a huge drop in the number of beneficiaries. While the disability claims fell to a 15 year low in 2017, it also saw projected solvency of Social Security of the Disability Insurance trust fund to be extended all the way to 2032. This means that the number of people in the program’s rolls has fallen by more than 350,000 from its peak four years ago.
This helps predict the economy as it continues to improve. The two things that you notice about this is that people prefer their dignity of having a job and the second is that they are tempted to cheat if the jobs are scarce which is not a good sign. While a strong economy should not have a big effect on how many people are too disabled to work. At the same time, there are some that abuse the system to make a gain. In this case, it’s as simple as reasoning that certain people would defraud the system instead of getting off the couch.
On one hand, applications for disability benefits jumped nearly one-third in the first two years after one of the worst financial crises hit the U.S. Though there was an outpour of applications, this did not afflict the several people that subscribed to the system.
This comes at a time when the Trump administration projected that $72.5 billion would be slashed from Social Security disability programs. Though the Trump administration deserves some credit for the reduction in SSDI claims, it makes it impossible for people to apply for both disability payments and unemployment benefits.
At the same time, magistrates would evaluate disability claims that are retrained to avoid awarding several payments to those that make a mockery of the system. So the question is, who benefits from the decline in the SSDI claims?
The straightforward answer would be the taxpayer for sure. Here people that are genuinely disabled and unable to work would be allowed to receive disability.
In today’s society, there is a safety net for people that are incapable of supporting themselves. It is when able people claim benefits that it destroys the support structure of the system.
The thumb rule is those capable people that can support themselves should not drain the funds for those that cannot work. Thus, a leaner disability program would ensure that fewer people would benefit from a stronger program with a safer trust fund.
While there is also another set of beneficiaries that really do not deserve the SSDI benefits, this would lead them to have jobs and leading honest working lifestyles.
While disabled workers can apply for both SSDI and Workers Compensation (WC) benefits, there is an estimated 10% of the SSDI beneficiaries that qualify for WC benefits. In the same way when evaluating how individual states treat SSDI within their workers’ compensation system regulatory framework. This is an important trend that involves dual receipts.
In addition, this is critical to understand how federal and state insurance programs share the cost incurred in caring for these individuals. Here, the number of SSDI beneficiaries rose by 58% and the SSDI expenditures grew by 138% between the 15-year period of 2001 to 2015.
In terms of expenses, this means that expenditures grew from $60 billion to $143 billion and peaked in 2010. After which, the number of SSDI beneficiaries have been stable and growth has been moderated.
This leaves the Social Security Administration to suggest that the number of applicants is to decline after the recession when the number of beneficiaries peaked. So even when the government number crunchers were unaccounted for, the duration of the fall set it off.
At the same time, the expansion of Medicaid in 33 states and the District of Columbia has been successful. It has improved insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act where experts argue that fewer people look into the disability program as a way to obtain health care.
To finally understand the ramifications of this, a 2017 study explains that there are field office closings that lead to large reductions in a number of disabled applicants. Those that had moderately severe conditions, low education levels, pre-application earnings were hit the hardest.
How do you know if you are eligible? Try the Eligibility Calculator and get to know if you can receive the benefits that you are due. This way, you can learn about the amount that you would receive in terms of benefits based on the wages that you earned. This is sure to help you identify what you are eligible for and that you get your fair share of what is due to you.
If you are unemployed in the state of Pennsylvania then the PA Unemployment Commission (UC) will help you monetarily with your day-to-day activities. Once you qualify, this will help take care of the bills and ensure that you can fall back on a few benefits during this transition phase.
Hence, it is important to file for unemployment as you can as look to derive a certain monetary creche that will give you the time to look out for work in that time span. So why worry, when the Pennsylvania UC will give you the right support needed to get you back on your feet!
About Unemployment Payment in PA
As an unemployed worker, you can claim UC benefits through online, telephone, videophone, and written consent. This can be made possible by furnishing:
Social Security Number and PIN
Telephone Number and Email address
Home and mailing address
Pennsylvania Driving Licence Number
DD Form 214, Member (If you were in the US Military)
Alien Registration Number (If you are a not a US Citizen)
Standard Form 8, Standard Form 50 (If you worked with the Federal government)
TA-W or NAFTA-TAA petition number (if you have the requisite certification)
Name and address of employer
Duration of work with your employer
Reasons for separation
Copy of your rent pay stub
Details of employment in the last 18 months
Bank details and routing number for direct deposit
File your applications or reopen existing claims through:
As a worker, you are entitled to certain claims partially if you are working partially to cover some of your overheads. You are still entitled to UC benefits based on furnishing the above details and the following these eligibility criteria. You are eligible for partial benefits if you have:
Received a reduction in regular work hours
Separated from a job and obtained employment by working less than full-time
Separated but you continue to work as a part-time employee for another firm/s.
You can make additional claims if you are not employed at the end of the year, meet the base-year eligibility requirements and earned close to six times the weekly benefit rate of your first application. Before making these claims, you must ensure that your employment, either full, part-time or temporary is covered by UC Law. You can also establish a claim against the state that after maximum entitlement to Pennsylvania UC benefits are exhausted. Once all the details are ironed out, you will receive your first benefit payment within four weeks of your application.
PA Unemployment Payment Schedule
Once you have outlined and shared the requisite details with your UC then you should know how quickly you would have funds to meet your daily expenses. This is especially true if you are in need of a cushion when you are between jobs. Here’s how the payment schedule works:
First Benefit Payment
Once you are eligible for benefits, you can file biweekly claims and receive your first benefit payment within four weeks from the time that you filed your application. Since the time you filed your application, your first payment would be only for one week after the waiting week.
Schedule of Benefits
Usually, benefits are paid biweekly and within four days after the biweekly claim is filed. At times, this can take up to 10 days before you receive your payment. Payments may be delayed if the eligibility issue is not resolved. Your benefits can be paid through your debit card or by a direct deposit. Just remember that you can also file your current application and still receive your previous UC benefits. When required, you can switch from a direct deposit to a debit card based on your preferred method of payment. Since it may take a while for direct deposit options, you can avail financial assistance through your debit card.
Procuring your benefits information
There are two methods of getting information about your benefits. Your recent payment information can be accessed on the Benefit Payment Information page or by calling 888-255-4728. Additionally, your payment history can be sort by visiting the Benefit Payment Information page or calling the UC service center at 717-525-5160. By calling this number, you can receive two free faxes of your UC details after which they would be chargeable to your account.
PA Unemployment Payment History
It’s only a matter of time before you receive your benefit in your respective account.
You can log in with your PIN and access your benefit payment information here.
In doing so, you must enter your Social Security Number and UC Pin that is provided to you on the Claim Confirmation Letter.
The minute your credential is received you will be taken to the Benefit Payment Information screen where you can review your recent payment history.
Click on Additional Benefit Payment History and this will open to the Current Claim Summary where you can view the Total Benefits Payable, Remaining Balance and Currently Weekly Benefit Rate.
Select View Benefit Payment History.
On this page, you can review the status of your payment, the date on which it is issued and whether it is sent via direct deposit or debit card deposit. Additionally, you can also view your tax withholding amounts.
Simply enter your Social Security Number and your PIN and you can find these details. Additionally, you can review your payment history as described above to review all the transactions in your account.
With respect to the PA UC Law, the application for benefits would be based on financial and benefit eligibility which will enable you to re-qualify for these benefits after filing the application. This will allow you to earn sufficient wages and help you remain financially eligible. Additionally, the nature of the job is considered and the reason behind why you have separated from your employer would be reviewed here. In order to ensure that you receive these payments, you should be eligible to find a job that would get you back on track.
Similarly, this payment chart attracts a rate of compensation based on the Highest Quarterly Wage that you were previously earning. The figures below provide an outline of the payment chart as follows for the Highest Quarterly Wage:
$1,688 – $2,512
$2,513 – $4,387
$4,388 – $6,262
$6,263 – $8,137
$8,138 – $10,012
$10,013 – $11,887
$11,888 – $13,737
$13,738 or more
To elaborate on the first category, this table outlines the first category:
Highest Quarterly Wage: $1,688 – $2,512
Highest Quarterly Wage
Rate of Compensation
1688 – 1712
1713 – 1737
1738 – 1762
1763 – 1787
1788 – 1812
1813 – 1837
1838 – 1862
1863 – 1887
1888 – 1912
1913 – 1937
1938 – 1962
1963 – 1987
1998 – 2012
2013 – 2037
2038 – 2062
2063 – 2087
2088 – 2112
2113 – 2137
2138 – 2162
2163 – 2187
2188 – 2212
2213 – 2237
2238 – 2262
2263 – 2287
2288 – 2312
2313 – 2337
2338 – 2362
2363 – 2387
2388 – 2412
2413 – 2437
2438 – 2462
2463 – 2487
2488 – 2512
Unemployment Payment Delay
Since there are several unemployed that claim benefits from the PA UC, there are chances where you may receive a delay in payment. This can be resolved by reviewing your payment options based on the Direct Deposit, UC Debit Card and determining your Benefit Payment Information to review if you have received for entitlement. You can also review if you have received your payment from the Benefit Payment Information page and by checking your Payment History. If this fails to help you check if you have received your payment then you can check your claims and benefit status. You can also call 888-255-4728 to rectify payment details at the earliest from Monday to Friday between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
PA Unemployment Compensation Biweekly Claim
Once you file your application for UC benefits, you will receive a Claims Confirmation letter. In this letter, you will be provided with a 4 digit PIN that is necessary to file your biweekly claim. Additionally, you will find the date that you will use to file your biweekly claim. For most, this is usually the second Sunday after you complete your initial application to receive your benefits. Just remember, you will have to file for two benefit weeks every time which begins on Saturday and finishes on Sunday. This is known as the compensable week ending date. Though you file for two weeks at a time, you are eligible for each passing week separately. So you must ensure that you file timely to ensure that you are paid on time.
You can file your biweekly claim online anytime between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Additionally, you can call the TTY at 888-255-4748 from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Using TTY and Videophone Service
A TTY is used specifically for those that are hard of hearing and speech impaired to allow them to communicate messages back and forth instead of having to communicate over the phone. Additionally, the videophone service allows individuals to use sign language to communicate every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474.
Alternatively, you can file your biweekly claim by mail if:
The application cannot be shared via the Internet
There is limited access to telephone
No access to a touch-tone or push button telephone with a tone-pulse switch
Cannot communicate in English or Spanish
You have a disability that prevents you from using PAT
Already receiving TRA
Once your mail is received, you will receive a Claim Form. This form will help you claim benefits for the claim weeks. The face of the form will be title Claim Week Ending On. As stated, the claim week will begin on Sunday and end at midnight on Saturday. If this form is stolen or misplaced, you should contact the UC service center at the earliest.
Filing in the Claim Form
In this Claim Form, you should mention whether you have been employed during the weeks that you are issuing the claim, personal details like Name, Residential Address, Zip Code, Dates of duration of work, total work hours, hourly rate and gross pay. You must also mention the reasons for your separation from employment and if you had received vacation by your previous employer. If certain claims are to be left blank, then you should cross out these sections. In case you need to change your name, address and telephone number then you should re-print your details to avoid any errors to creep in. Ensure that you add the date and sign to certify that the form is complete.
Sending your Claim Form to PA
You’re almost there! Just ensure that you follow these guidelines when you mail the Claim Form:
Enter your name and the return mailing address on the upper left corner of the envelope.
Attach the requisite postage stamp to the envelope
Ensure that you mail your Claim Form to the UC Service Center Address
Do mail your claim form as detailed in the Claimant Instructions in the form during the week beginning as printed on the form.
If all the details are met as prescribed by the Claim Form then it will be processed for payment. An incorrectly filed form will be returned and this can lead to a delay in receiving your benefits.
PA Unemployment Compensation Tax
The Unemployment Compensation (UC) protects all from job loss by ensuring that they receive a temporary income support to those that are unemployed through no fault of their own. These benefits are payable to those that can actively seek new employment. You must qualify for UC benefits under Pennsylvania UC Law and previously employed by an employer that elected to contribute towards the UC Fund. Employer contributions are the main sources of UC benefit payments. You are applicable to pay federal employer taxes that are collected under FUTA.
Tax Rate Breakup
Your employer would have been mailed a contribution rate notice containing information about the rate for the specified Calendar period. They may appeal within 90 days of the rate notice. Under a Contribution Rate Notice (Form UC-657) that is mailed to the employers at the end of each year, the rate will be mentioned for the following year. This is applicable for taxable wages that are paid to employer contributions due. The rate notice will provide employers with details of the factors that comprise the total rate. These rates are mentioned as follows:
New Employer Rates – Businesses that pay wages for the first time are assigned as a new employer and the contribution rate of 3.5 per for new employers is applicable for Non-Construction and 9.7 for new employers of Construction firms.
Standard Rates:Those employers that have a sporadic employment history are assigned to the Standard Contribution Rate. A standard rate will be assigned to employers with zero or positive reserve account balances and a higher standard rate is assigned to employers with a negative account balance. On the lower rate, employers would be charged 6% and the highest being over 11%.
Computed Rate: Once an employer has provided covered employment and paid wages for two complete calendar years then the employer falls under the experienced-based rate. There are several variations in the contribution rates assigned to employers based on the assessment of unemployment risk of the employers. The Office of the UC Tax Services reviews the compensation history and the rate at each calendar year through June 30 of the earlier year. Hence, an employer with a high rate of unemployment will have a higher contribution rate and similarly, employers with stable and lower unemployment will receive a lower rate. The contribution rate is based on six components namely; Reserve Ratio Factor, Benefit Ratio Factor, State Adjustment Factor, Surcharge Adjustment, Additional Contributions Factor and Interest Factor.
Delinquency Rate: Those employers that pay 3 percent higher than the rate are assigned to Delinquency Contribution Rate. This is assigned if they fail to file all required registration documents, file all quarterly UC tax returns and pay all contributions, interest or penalties that are due in the second quarter of the year for which the rates are calculated. This rate is assigned to delinquent employers as solvency measures applicable to that particular year. Hence, this delinquency rate is the sum of the Basic Rate (Reserve Ratio Factor + Benefit Ratio Factor + State Adjustment Factor) + 3 percent (3%) + the Solvency Measures (Surcharge Adjustment + Additional Contributions + Interest Factor).
If there is an appeal against the UC Tax rate, then your employer can do so by accessing www.uctax.pa.gov or filing a written appeal with 90 days since the mailing date of the rate notice.
PA Unemployment Claim Balance
The most important thing to do when you lose your job is to claim unemployment. You should ensure that you file your unemployment from the state that you have worked in. This would mean that you would have to provide details of your:
Name, address, telephone
Social security number OR Alien Registration card number
Driver’s license or ID card number
18 months of employment history
Names/addresses of former employer(s)
Most recent employers’ Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number
To check your claims, payment history, and benefit status, you can review the section above or call 888-255-4728 for more details.
Just remember that once you file your initial application for UC benefits, you will receive three separate mailings within 10 days time. The first item would be, An official Notice of Financial Determination and you should review if the information of your finances is accurate. The second is a Claim Confirmation Letter which contains your Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will use to access your documents. Only you will access to this and the UC Service Centre cannot help you if you misplace you confidential PIN. This PIN will not change from year to year and can be used for your PAT. This Claim Confirmation Letter will also instruct you when to file your Biweekly Claims. Finally, you will receive the Unemployment Compensation Handbook that would provide information regarding compensation and your rights and responsibilities.
In order to ensure claims are paid in total or partially, you should ensure that you must file biweekly claims for benefits. The first eligible week is the waiting week. You must file a claim and get credit for a valid waiting week. This period is required before you receive any benefit payment. You can claim eligibility by filing your biweekly claims online on Sunday from 6 am to 11 pm and on Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm. at www.uc.pa.gov. Additionally, you can call the Pennsylvania Teleclaims – PAT system on Sunday from 6 am to 11 pm., and Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm. These PAT numbers will be available from your UC handbook. The following video will help you check you Claim Balance
PA Unemployment Debit card
Your UC claimants can be received as a Direct Deposit or through your Debit Card. You can opt for a debit card that will be mailed to your residential address after determining your financial eligibility. You can avoid fees using your debit card by accessing your information on the usbankreliacard.com website. Also, you can save on fees by withdrawing at branches that accept Visa cards and request for cash back purchases.
Once you have your direct deposit, you can receive UC payments using your debit card. Unless you have submitted the form to stop direct deposit, your debit card will not be processed. Similarly, if you have your debit card number and PIN on your person, then you should speak to a customer service representative to make your debit card active. Similarly, you do not have your card number and PIN, then you should enter your SSN and ensure that the Chase customer service representative completes your request.
Your debit card will help you cover your expenses during your transition period and transactions can be made at any place of your convenience. It’s a great way to shop, withdraw money when needed to simply cover your tracks when needed instantly. A word of caution is to ensure that you use your debit card sparingly as you might get carried away!
Debit Card Deposit Time
Initially, it may take up to four weeks until you receive your payments that are issued via direct deposit. From the moment you become financially eligible for benefits, you will be mailed a UC debit card at the address you provided in your initial application to access all the benefits that you are entitled to. In case these benefits haven’t reached you, dial the toll-free number at 877-869-1956. Generally, payments are transferred on the date of the payment issue or the following day. However, payments are not transmitted on the weekends and on state, federal or banking holidays.
Usually, benefits are paid biweekly and carried out within four days after the biweekly claim has been filed and considered. This may take up to 10 days to receive before payment is disbursed.But payments may be delayed if there is an eligibility issue that requires to be resolved or if the documents shared to UC are not complete and are returned. Payments may also be delayed due to natural calamities that cause time bound irregularities in discharging service.
This video will help you review how you can check your unemployment payment status online:
Enter your social security number and your PIN. Then, you are directed to a page that contains all your payment benefit information. Select the payment history option and you are directed to your current claim summary. When you select the View Benefit Payment History icon, you can review your history and check the payment status based on the date, payment number, status, amount paid, method of payment and the payment issue date.
Keep It Working, Pennsylvania!
Hope we helped you understand what it takes to get your UC payments. You can play a role in assisting the community and connect hundreds of unemployed individuals that need help. Additionally, you can gain knowledge from our forum. You can also review, our earlier post on Pennsylvania Overcome anything that comes in your way and be the change.
Resigning from your place of work for unavoidable reasons takes a toll on your life in all ways monetary, besides the emotional and career-related setbacks. One of the leading concerns that act as a cause for voluntary resignation from your place of work is health issues, either your own or of a close family member. Long-term or chronic illnesses can surpass your sick days, forcing you to call it quits to recuperate.
A Medical Leave Act enforced within a company allows you leave for as long as twelve weeks, but beyond that resignation is inevitable. Such a resignation qualifies for Unemployment insurance in the majority of states in the US, but it is important for you to have a concrete idea of the process, eligibility, and limitations of the benefits provided.
Breaking the News
The first step is to get the company into the loop; reaching out to your boss or the manager and letting them know that such a decision on your part is inescapable. Allow them to meet you halfway, and explain that the decision you are taking is for the best. It is advisable to take a rough resignation letter with you at the time of this meeting, along with a letter from a doctor to support your claim.
The most important aspect of this step is to end the relationship you have developed with the company over the years on a positive note, as future references and a possible re-entry into the workforce should be kept open for debate.
Immediate termination or a few weeks’ notice
There are times when the news of an illness requires immediate attention, wherein giving any notice to the company is not possible. Even so, strive to give at least a couple of weeks’ notice if you can, as this not only gives the employer time to hunt for a replacement for your position but also allows the drift to be amicable and without tension.
You can also strike a position of compromise, tell them that you will work from home or maybe come in a few days a week to wrap up the project and help the company transition. Trust us, these little efforts on your part could help greatly in the future when you return to your career goals.
Qualifying for Unemployment insurance requires the fulfillment of four main criteria –
Your ability to work must be hampered beyond your control.
Your weekly earnings should have diminished by approximately 40% or more due to the reason above. (Subject to change from state to state)
Approximately six hundred hours of work should have been accumulated in the past year of your working, all insured. (Subject to change from state to state)
Your sick leave credits must be exhausted before opting for resignation and the consequent claim for Unemployment insurance.
Besides these, any Worker’s Compensation you are already in line for can nullify your Unemployment insurance claim.
Duration of Benefits
A standard clause provides you with about 10 to 15 weeks of benefits, wherein the benefits have to be utilized within a year and then you must re-apply for an extension if need be.
You are usually entitled to approximately 55% of your past income on a weekly basis, though this may vary from state to state. That being said, there is an upper limit on the benefits, so you will either get 55% of your income or the maximum limit specified in the clause, whichever is less. The limit is usually a sum of $450 per week.
The Application Process
Your application for Unemployment insurance must be submitted to the Labour Department, which will review your case. It is extremely important that you are crystal clear in your application with the reason for your quitting your job, providing all the necessary supporting documents and doctors’ letters.
It is a good idea to go through the exact laws of your state of residence available in FileUnemployment.org, so that you are prepared for the eligibility criteria with all the necessary proofs and papers, and are not taken for granted by false denials of your claim.
Sensitive handling of the situation
The chaos of having to quit your job and re-adjust your life can be a very difficult turn of events, and that too because of reasons that can cause stress and anxiety in your daily functioning as well as your relationships with others.
Though this is easier said than done, look at the long-term impact of a hastily handled resignation and attempt to keep it as clear and constructive as possible in the given circumstances. An affirmative and confident conversation with your superiors at your workplace and colleagues can save you a lot of time and effort when I come to reinstating your long-term goals, so make sure they hear it from you and not through other sources.
FileUnemployment.org has a number of tools and guides dedicated to those who are in the process of filing for Unemployment Insurance and Benefits. One of these is the Eligibility Checker, a tool essential in a nation like the US where each state functions according to its own laws to a great extent.
While general rules remain constant, the Eligibility Checker gives you a simple yes or no regarding whether or not you are eligible, taking into account your physical and mental capability to work, your employer’s payment of Unemployment Tax and if you lost your job by quitting, being fired or being laid off.
These three pieces of information along with your state of residence are used to judge your primary eligibility, after which you can dive into the process and individual criteria, which is available on the website as well.