Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits
Are you physically able to work?
Are you willing to actively look for a job?
Did your employer pay unemployment taxes ("Covered Employment")?
Did you earn at least $1320 in the base period in Pennsylvania?
Base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters. If you are filing today, base period is Jan 2012 - Mar 2012 to Oct 2012 - Dec 2012
How did you lose your job?
Did you quit your last job due to unsafe working conditions, not being paid, discrimination and / or health and safety risks?
Were you fired for no fault of your own?
Were you laid off for no fault of your own?
Applying online is the easiest and fastest way to claim benefits. Check for more specific details such as timings and requirements to claim benefits in your state.
CALL: 888-313-7284, Monday through Friday from 8.a.m. - 4 p.m. with Mondays being heavy call days. If your Social Security number ends in an even number, call on Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday. If it ends in an odd number, call on Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
Visit UC Center:
You can’t seem to find assistance on call? No worries. Visit one of the UC center and let the specialist help you out. Please note that wait times can be longer but assistance is guaranteed.
you are not eligible
What is the Eligibility Criteria in Pennsylvania?
There are some basic rules for eligibility. Even if you meet some of these rules partially, you should still apply for unemployment because state offices make a reasonable attempt to process your claim, as long as you provide a good justification.
To learn more check unemployment eligibility article
A "base period" is four consecutive calendar quarters that fall within the 18 month period before establishing a new benefit year.Claim your benefits
How to File Your Initial Claim in Pennsylvania?
If You Are Not a United States Citizen
You must give verification that you were legally eligible to work in your state and that you are presently eligible to begin a new job.
How to File Your Weekly Claim?
After you file your application for unemployment benefits, you must start filing your weekly claims. You require filing each week, even though you are:
You can file your weekly claim:
File every week that you want to claim benefits and keep on filing until you go back to work, run out of benefits or stop seeking work. You should claim at least one week before we can make a decision on your eligibility.
How to Claim for an Extension?
If you are presently filing weekly claims for unemployment benefits; carry on filing your weekly claim if you are jobless or working reduced hours. You will be informed by mail of your eligibility for the added benefits.
In case you have been filing weekly claims and are still laid off or working reduced hours, you will have to file an application for these extra benefits online or by telephone. You will be alerted by mail of your eligibility for the additional benefits.
To be eligible for EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits you must:
To be eligible for EB benefits you must:
Pennsylvania Unemployment Questions
What are the new registration requirements after I file my application for benefits?
You must register for employment search services with the Pennsylvania Careerlink® system within 30 days after you file your application for benefits. If you are not already registered, create a Keystone ID and Password, using your complete Social Security number. Use your Keystone ID and Password. If you previously created a Keystone ID and Password, login and update your information to include your complete Social Security number and all applicable information.
I am currently in another state, do the registration requirements affect me?
Yes. You must register for employment search services in your local labor market in that state within thirty days after your Pennsylvania application for benefits is filed, but you must also register in the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system by the same deadline.
How do I request to receive my benefits by debit card?
You do not need to sign up to receive your payments via debit card. If you do not have direct deposit, a debit card will be mailed to you automatically after you have been determined financially eligible for benefits.
What should I do if I receive a UC payment for a week that I am working?
If you believe that a benefit payment was issued to you improperly or in the wrong amount, contact the UC office immediately.
If I run out of unemployment compensation benefits, would I qualify for extended benefits?
On June 30, 2008, President Bush signed a federal extension of UC benefits – Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or EUC, and the program began paying benefits to eligible workers beginning with the week ending July 12, 2008.
What should I do if I’m unable to get through to the UC service center via telephone?
Each UC service center is open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Sundays 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays are traditionally a heavy call day. Customers who wish to apply or claim UC benefits are encouraged to file online, or call the UC service center later in the day and later in the week, if possible, when call volume is lighter.
During times of high call volume, a call back system may be in place. If you would like a return call, you must enter your Social Security number and the telephone number where you can be reached. Calls are returned from 7 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The UC service center telephone system utilizes line blocking or caller ID block. Callers who have anonymous call rejection activated on their telephones must deactivate this service to receive return calls from the UC service center.
I was told by my employer that I may be furloughed or laid off intermittently during the next several months. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?
To be eligible for UC benefits, you must meet certain requirements, including the following: First, you must have sufficient wages in the base year. The base year is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters preceding the application for benefits. Second, you must have been unemployed through no fault of your own. Generally, the reason for your separation from employment will determine whether this requirement is met. This decision is based on the information you supply when you file your application for benefits and information collected from your former employer. Third, you must maintain eligibility on a week-to-week basis. For example, you must be able and available for work.
If your hours of work have been reduced or you otherwise continue to work less than your normal full-time work week, you may be eligible for partial benefits.
Will receiving a pension make me ineligible for UC benefits?
When filing for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, you are required to report all pensions, including retirement, retired pay, annuities or other similar periodic payments and lump-sum pension payments. Pension and retirement payments are deducted from UC benefits if a base year employer maintained or contributed to the pension plan and if the base year employment affected your eligibility for, or increased the amount of, the pension. If the base year employer alone contributed to the pension, 100 percent of the prorated, weekly amount of the pension is deductible. If you contributed in any amount to the pension, 50 percent of the prorated, weekly pension amount is deductible. Pensions are deductible from weekly benefits on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The partial benefit credit is not applicable.
A lump-sum pension payment is not deducted from UC, unless you had the option of taking a monthly pension. In addition, a lump-sum pension is not deductible if you "roll over" the lump sum into an eligible retirement plan such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) within 60 days of receipt.
Social Security and Railroad Retirement pensions are not deducted from UC benefit payments.
May I collect UC benefits while attending school?
The PA UC Law does not disqualify you for benefits simply because you are a full or part-time student. Additionally, you will not be ineligible for any claim week that you are in training approved by the secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry and are otherwise eligible.
You may not be eligible for UC benefits if you quit your job to enroll in an academic credit training program. There is no requirement that you must be available for full-time or permanent work. Your work history can be full-time, part-time, or seasonal. However, you must not refuse suitable work when offered. You may also be ineligible if you refuse a referral to a job opportunity.
A claimant is ineligible if a claimant's limitation on availability for employment effectively removes the claimant from the local labor market. For you to be ruled ineligible, it must be because the particular limitation on your availability is such that a search for employment in the local labor market would have an unreasonable low possibility of success. For example, a claimant must be able and available for the majority of the workweek.
You may also be ineligible for benefits if you fail to participate in reemployment services to which you have been referred through the claimant profiling system. You may also be ineligible for benefits if you fail to be available to be contacted by the UC service center when instructed to do so. It is your responsibility to inform the UC service center when you are unavailable for scheduled services. When you know that you will be unavailable to be contacted at the scheduled time, call the UC service center immediately.
I don’t have regular Internet access. How can I request a printed copy of the PA UC Handbook?
You can request a printed copy of the PA UC Handbook by calling the UC service center toll free at 888-313-7284, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sundays 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
What is the PREP program and why must I attend?
The Profile Reemployment Program (PREP) is Pennsylvania’s version of the federally mandated Worker Profiling and Reemployment Service system. PREP is designed to identify claimants who are most likely to exhaust unemployment compensation (UC) benefits and may need assistance to find a new job.
You may be ineligible for benefits for any week in which you fail to participate in reemployment services to which you have been referred through PREP. If selected, you must participate in this mandatory program unless there is justifiable reason for your failure to participate. If you receive a letter to attend a PREP orientation and you are not able to do so, you must call the PA CareerLink® office shown on the letter to discuss your availability.
How Benefits are calculated?
To calculate your weekly benefits amount click here
The minimum benefits amount in Pennsylvania is $35.
The maximum benefits amount in Pennsylvania is $573
A "base period" is four consecutive calendar quarters that fall within the 18 month period before establishing a new benefit year.
To learn more Unemployment benefits article