The federal "fiscal cliff" agreement pushed back the end date for existing federal Unemployment Compensation extensions to January 1, 2014.
State officials say they encourage those eligible for extensions to continue to file biweekly claims as usual.
At the state level, Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, said many constituents were hanging on news of a federal deal.
“My office has fielded numerous calls about unemployment compensation issues,” he said. “Even as we do everything we can to put people back to work and dig ourselves out of the recession, we want to ensure that residents can make use of this system as they get back on their feet.”
The maximum number of benefit weeks that an eligible unemployed worker in Pennsylvania can receive remains at 63, as no new weeks of benefit extensions were added. The 63-week cutoff includes regular compensation and extension weeks.
Federal law requires extension weeks to phase out as state unemployment rates decline. As such, if the state unemployment rate falls below 7 percent, the maximum number of benefit weeks will be reduced by nine weeks.
Pennsylvania’s current unemployment rate is 7.8 percent.
White also said due to the high call volume to unemployment offices, constituents are encouraged to visit his website at www.pahouse.com/white to find answers to unemployment compensation-related questions or to obtain help in filing a claim.