Reform the PA Unemployment System to bring relief to Industry Workers

Reform the PA Unemployment System to bring relief to Industry Workers

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Shannon Darcy started this petition to Philadelphia City Counsil and

Coronavirus & A frustrated Bartender 

Starting the week of March 8th, 2020 my life dramatically changed, like many others. In Philadelphia, we started to see the pandemic spreading and causing true panic throughout the city by Wednesday. By Friday some of our top restaurants were closing, in fear of spreading the virus and by Monday we were under a state mandated lockdown for all non essential businesses. Like most people in the Philadelphia Service Industry my restaurant closed Monday, March 16th and I was laid off, instructed to file unemployment. In the last 3 weeks 1 million people have filed unemployment in Pennsylvania, most with no guidance.

The unemployment process has been very vague and inconsistent. It is impossible to get a representative on the phone from the unemployment office due to the volume of claims and lack of action to appropriately handle said volume. In the midst of the unknown about our employment benefits, the Federal Government rolled out a new Stimulus Bill. We expect to rely on our Government to answer any questions regarding the bill but it seems there is nowhere to turn with these questions. In this time of uncertainty and unknown we are relying on the government to put our minds at ease and help guide us through this time, the lack of communication is causing panic across the state.

Now entering in the second week of April, in our 3rd week of Quarantine I believe it is time to politely ask for answers and give some suggestions of solutions to the state of Pennsylvania who is working off a dinosaur of a system. Being over 2 weeks into this unemployment crisis, the numbers continue to rise. This was easily foreseeable and actions should have already been taken. In order to receive funds a bi-weekly claim needs to be filed, that claim is expected to be filed one week after your initial claim. However, you cannot file your bi-weekly claim until your receive your determination letter with your pin and that is expected to come 7-10 days after your initial claim. We have been advised that mail is 2-3 weeks behind, so these bi-weekly claims will not be filed for another 2-3 weeks leaving majority of our citizens without a paycheck for over a month. This should be the governments top concern and these are some solutions I believe they should consider. The following list would help solve the chaos and challenges most people in Pennsylvania are feeling right now dealing with unemployment alone.

1. Mail: why are you mailing everything in 3 separate  packets? Anyone not familiar with PA you are mailed a PIN, a financial determination, and a debit card. Generally all 3 items take 5-10 business days. Currently they are taking 3+ weeks to be received. ALL of these items should be sent in 1 envelope OR via email. If you do not file for direct deposit, which in PA can take up to 4 weeks for approval, you are mailed a debit card. If anyone is entering banking information there’s NO reason they need a debit card.

2. Calling System: Monday through Friday calls should be and can be monitored by any or all of the following options: 

A) An alphabetical system enforcing certain days for last names once you call in you confirm your PIN which confirms your last name to transfer your call to a representative.

B) A system based off of the last number of your social security number specific days and/ or times for odds and evens.

3. Hire some of the MILLIONS of unemployed workers to help field emails from home.

*This is a petition not only asking for change, but asking for answers and guidance from the government during this time that we deserve.

If you or someone you know who has not been able to contact unemployment, has directly been affected by the unemployment system in PA, or has had issues with the system in another state please feel free to sign, and share this. This is not just affecting me it’s affecting THOUSANDS of people and we all deserve answers. 

Thank you,

A frustrated Bartender  


0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!