HARRISBURG – In response to Pennsylvanians reporting difficulties applying for and receiving unemployment benefits amid the pandemic, Luzerne County Rep. Gerald Mullery and Montgomery County Rep. Liz Hanbidge have introduced a bill to make improvements to PA’s Unemployment Compensation system. House Bill 549 would permanently eliminate the “waiting week” that makes claimants ineligible for benefits during the first week of unemployment. It also eliminates credit weeks from the process of verifying income, which regularly causes delays in benefits and confusion amongst employers and claimants. It also eliminates severance pay requirements to minimize the occurrence of claims being sent to UC examiners for review, which further delays claims processing. The bill is awaiting committee assignment for further review.