25 Years of PLA: Unemployment Compensation

Four PLA staff members pose at our winter party.

Our Unemployment Compensation Unit supports workers who find themselves unemployed, many for the first time during the pandemic, helping them to navigate new government programs and advocating for benefits on behalf of workers. In 2021, the PA unemployment compensation system was overhauled in a “Benefits Modernization,” causing mass confusion and fallout. PLA was there to run weekly workshops with community partners on the changes, advised on how to improve technology and language access,  and created an entire website, UCHelp.org, to help workers navigate the system. In addition to individual advocacy for clients, PLA’s UC Unit has been instrumental in advocating for worker’s rights on a larger scale, winning three out of three cases they have taken to the PA Supreme Court on behalf of workers.

“We are one of the few places for clients with language access barriers to come and make sure they have an advocate and an interpreter available.” - Lina, Project Coordinator