Republican House Members from Bucks County issued a letter to House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) requesting the House Government Oversight Committee conduct an investigation into the failure of the Unemployment Compensation program, last week.
“As a result of the COVID-19 catastrophe, Pennsylvania has experienced the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression. Our residents have been struggling not only with the impact of the virus but also with the impact of an outdated and obsolete Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation System,” they wrote.
The letter was signed by Bucks County Reps. Frank Farry (R-Langhorne), Wendi Thomas (R-Richboro), Craig Staats (R-Quakertown), Meghan Schroeder (R-Warminster), K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bensalem), and Todd Polinchock (R-Chalfont).
“Our district offices have dealt with hundreds if not thousands of constituents who have applied for unemployment, and many have yet to collect benefits or receive a resolution to filing claims. Daily, constituents call to request assistance with claims dating back to March. In addition, we have had many constituents call regarding fraudulent claims, as they received checks for claims they did not apply for; they are concerned about identity theft and how this may impact their income taxes in 2020,” they said in the letter.
The members also argued that while the General Assembly has designated funds in the budget for system upgrades and updates, and for adding staff to handle claims, the number of unresolved cases continue to be staggering.
“We urge (the committee) to not only look at what has caused the failure, but more importantly, what changes need to occur to better serve the people of Pennsylvania,” they wrote.