Victims of domestic violence in PA are one step closer to streamlined Unemployment benefits access

26 March 2024- Legislation sponsored by Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh) that would assist victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania when applying for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits received bipartisan approval by the House of Representatives today. House Bill 1446 now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“We are trying to help victims of domestic violence receive the benefits they would be entitled to in a more timely fashion,” said Mackenzie. “Most of the time they do qualify, but we can make a process that often takes weeks, smoother, faster, and easier through my proposal.”

Specifically, Mackenzie’s measure would clarify current law regarding a domestic violence victim’s eligibility for UC benefits. Under the bill, victims would have several methods for documenting their situation and expedite the benefit application process.

Mackenzie also noted that his measure would end any confusion for employers when someone leaves work due to a domestic violence situation by providing them with automatic relief from charges to avoid impacting their tax rates for these claims (unless the domestic violence situation itself was attributable to the employment).

The bill is supported by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Community Legal Services, and Philadelphia Legal Assistance.