UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

How to get a Keystone ID to claim Pennsylvania unemployment benefits

The state's Unemployment Compensation process has been updated with a new online portal that went live this week, but some residents are having issues with the system.

How to get a Keystone ID to claim Pennsylvania unemployment benefits
SPENCER PLATT AFP

Pennsylvania residents looking to access the state’s new Unemployment Compensation (UC) system will need to use a personal identification code known as their Keystone ID to do so. Anyone without one will be required to create one the first time they log on to the online portal.

The previous, 40-year-old legacy system has been replaced with a new computer system and the Keystone ID will replace the UC Personal Identification number which was previously used to file for the biweekly benefits.

How to get a Pennsylvania Keystone ID to claim unemployment benefits

The Keystone ID will provide a single, secure way to access a variety of state-organised resources using the same online system.

If you do not yet have one, simply use the state’s New User online portal to create your account. From here simply fill in your personal details and you will be issued with a Keystone ID with which you can log into your account.

If you need to claim unemployment benefits, you can log into your online account and use the Online Employment Complaint Form to file your claim.

Issues reported with the new Keystone ID online system

Unfortunately, the introduction of the new procedure has not been without flaws and the $30 million system has suffered glitches. It was given a ‘soft launch’ at 3am on Tuesday 8 July but the state’s Department of Labor and Industry confirmed that more than 62,000 users had attempted to file for UC in the first 12 hours.

L&I Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier said that the faults were inevitable given the vast scale of the roll-out, adding that it was “an all-hands-on-deck” situation for the state’s unemployment authority.

In a news conference on Tuesday afternoon she said: “This was not unexpected, and I will assure you that we will not rest until we correct all of the glitches and issues.”

Some users complained that the need for a Keystone ID made the process too confusing while others found that the default setting for the UC payments was debit card, rather than a direct deposit. The high volume of internet traffic that followed the new system’s launch is also suspected to have caused pages to load slowly and the alternative telephone helpline was overran with requests for assistance.

Berrier has confirmed that staffers are working to fix all the issues raised, and reassured UC claimants that the problems should be fixed in the “very near future.”