Legal aid services in Pa., NJ still fielding hundreds of calls from unemployed workers trying to get benefits

Kristen Johanson
July 04, 2020 - 4:00 am

    PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) More than 1 million people remain unemployed in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and many are still having issues getting much-needed benefits into their bank accounts.

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, legal aid centers around the country have been fielding record high calls when it comes to problems with state unemployment.

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    “We see a decent amount of people who are still struggling or having confusion over financial eligibility and are getting decisions in the mail where they are missing wages, especially out of state wages or credit weeks,” said Julia Simon-Mishel, supervising attorney for Philadelphia Legal Assistance’s Unemployment Compensation Unit.

    She says across the country, they have been helping state offices understand the challenges claimants are facing, and they are trying to work with people to figure out what issues they face.

    “If somebody has tried contacting the agency and can’t figure out benefits, or has been denied benefits and needs to contest that, they should go to their local legal aid provider,” she advised. 

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    Simon-Mishel suggests emailing the unemployment office so you document the problem, but also to read through the state’s website for questions often asked to see if you can pinpoint the problem.

    “People are just really, really desperate for any help they can find,” she added.

    For more information from Philadelphia Legal Assistance, click here.