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Do I qualify for unemployment insurance if my internship job offer was canceled?

Steven Rothberg AvatarSteven Rothberg
May 13, 2020


Technically no, but sort of yes.

Students and recent graduates whose internships and entry-level job offers were rescinded by their employers due to COVID-19 are likely eligible not for unemployment insurance, but for another program that is quite similar.

According to Brighid Scanlon, the Assistant Director for Undergraduate Professional Development at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, “Unemployment benefits and processes do vary by state, but students can look into Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in their home state for more details on what is covered. ‘Under PUA, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to continue working as a result of COVID-19 (www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20200405).'”

“For example, in Pennsylvania students with paying jobs or internships that were canceled due to COVID-19 may be eligible for PUA”, wrote Scanlon in a National Association of Colleges and Employers listserv. “This also applies to students whose job/internship offers were rescinded due to the virus. I have been providing PA unemployment resources to students who are experiencing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19 job loss.”

Given that PUA varies state-to-state, students and recent graduates will want to look at the websites for their own states to see what is covered and the process they should follow. In Pennsylvania where Temple University is located, the webpage to start at is https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing-for-PUA.aspx.

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