Pennsylvania – How Unemployment Payments Are Considered

Updated : September 29th, 2022

If you are unemployed in the state of Pennsylvania then the PA Unemployment Commission (UC) will help you monetarily with your day-to-day activities. Once you qualify, this will help take care of the bills and ensure that you can fall back on a few benefits during this transition phase.

Hence, it is important to file for unemployment as you can as look to derive a certain monetary creche that will give you the time to look out for work in that time span. So why worry, when the Pennsylvania UC will give you the right support needed to get you back on your feet!

Pennsylvania How Unemployment Payments Are Considered

About Unemployment Payment in PA

As an unemployed worker, you can claim UC benefits through online, telephone, videophone, and written consent. This can be made possible by furnishing:

  • Social Security Number and PIN
  • Telephone Number and Email address
  • Home and mailing address
  • Pennsylvania Driving Licence Number
  • DD Form 214, Member (If you were in the US Military)
  • Alien Registration Number (If you are a not a US Citizen)
  • Standard Form 8, Standard Form 50 (If you worked with the Federal government)
  • TA-W or NAFTA-TAA petition number (if you have the requisite certification)
  • Name and address of employer
  • Duration of work with your employer
  • Reasons for separation
  • Salary details
  • Copy of your rent pay stub
  • Details of employment in the last 18 months
  • Bank details and routing number for direct deposit

File your applications or reopen existing claims through:

    • Online: Fill this online application at your convenience.
    • Telephone: Call the toll-free unemployment compensation number at 1-888-313-7284 or 1-888-334-4046.
    • Paper Form: Use this paper application to file unemployment and mail or fax it to a UC service center.
    • Videophone: This service can be assessed every Wednesday at 717-704-8474 from noon to 4 p.m.File your Initial Claim here:

Partial Benefits

As a worker, you are entitled to certain claims partially if you are working partially to cover some of your overheads. You are still entitled to UC benefits based on furnishing the above details and the following these eligibility criteria.

You are eligible for partial benefits if you have:

  • Received a reduction in regular work hours
  • Separated from a job and obtained employment by working less than full-time
  • Separated but you continue to work as a part-time employee for another firm/s.

Subsequent Claims

You can make additional claims if you are not employed at the end of the year, meet the base-year eligibility requirements and earned close to six times the weekly benefit rate of your first application. Before making these claims, you must ensure that your employment, either full, part-time or temporary is covered by UC Law. You can also establish a claim against the state that after maximum entitlement to Pennsylvania UC benefits are exhausted. Once all the details are ironed out, you will receive your first benefit payment within four weeks of your application.

PA Unemployment Payment Schedule

Unemployment Payment Schedule

Once you have outlined and shared the requisite details with your UC then you should know how quickly you would have funds to meet your daily expenses. This is especially true if you are in need of a cushion when you are between jobs. Here’s how the payment schedule works:

First Benefit Payment

Once you are eligible for benefits, you can file biweekly claims and receive your first benefit payment within four weeks from the time that you filed your application. Since the time you filed your application, your first payment would be only for one week after the waiting week.

Schedule of Benefits

Usually, benefits are paid biweekly and within four days after the biweekly claim is filed. At times, this can take up to 10 days before you receive your payment. Payments may be delayed if the eligibility issue is not resolved. Your benefits can be paid through your debit card or by a direct deposit. Just remember that you can also file your current application and still receive your previous UC benefits. When required, you can switch from a direct deposit to a debit card based on your preferred method of payment. Since it may take a while for direct deposit options, you can avail financial assistance through your debit card.

Procuring your benefits information

There are two methods of getting information about your benefits. Your recent payment information can be accessed on the Benefit Payment Information page or by calling 888-255-4728. Additionally, your payment history can be sort by visiting the Benefit Payment Information page or calling the UC service center at 717-525-5160. By calling this number, you can receive two free faxes of your UC details after which they would be chargeable to your account.

PA Unemployment Payment History

It’s only a matter of time before you receive your benefit in your respective account.

The Pennsylvania UC can be reviewed by visiting:

You can log in with your PIN and access your benefit payment information here.

Benefit Payment Information
In doing so, you must enter your Social Security Number and UC Pin that is provided to you on the Claim Confirmation Letter.

Benefit Payment Login

The minute your credential is received you will be taken to the Benefit Payment Information screen where you can review your recent payment history.

Recent Payment Activity

Click on Additional Benefit Payment History and this will open to the Current Claim Summary where you can view the Total Benefits Payable, Remaining Balance and Currently Weekly Benefit Rate.

Additional Benefit Payment History

Select View Benefit Payment History.

Current Claim Summary

On this page, you can review the status of your payment, the date on which it is issued and whether it is sent via direct deposit or debit card deposit. Additionally, you can also view your tax withholding amounts.

Benefit Payment History

Unemployment Payment Status

If you are looking to review your payment status then you can review it here:

Simply enter your Social Security Number and your PIN and you can find these details. Additionally, you can review your payment history as described above to review all the transactions in your account.

Unemployment Payment Chart

With respect to the PA UC Law, the application for benefits would be based on financial and benefit eligibility which will enable you to re-qualify for these benefits after filing the application. This will allow you to earn sufficient wages and help you remain financially eligible. Additionally, the nature of the job is considered and the reason behind why you have separated from your employer would be reviewed here. In order to ensure that you receive these payments, you should be eligible to find a job that would get you back on track.

Similarly, this payment chart attracts a rate of compensation based on the Highest Quarterly Wage that you were previously earning. The figures below provide an outline of the payment chart as follows for the Highest Quarterly Wage:

  • $1,688 – $2,512
  • $2,513 – $4,387
  • $4,388 – $6,262
  • $6,263 – $8,137
  • $8,138 – $10,012
  • $10,013 – $11,887
  • $11,888 – $13,737
  • $13,738 or more

To elaborate on the first category, this table outlines the first category:

Highest Quarterly Wage: $1,688 – $2,512

Part A

Highest Quarterly Wage

Part B

Rate of Compensation

Part C

Qualifying Wages

1688 – 1712 $68 $2,718
1713 – 1737 $69 $2,758
1738 – 1762 $70 $2,797
1763 – 1787 $71 $2,837
1788 – 1812 $72 $2,877
1813 – 1837 $73 $2,916
1838 – 1862 $74 $2,956
1863 – 1887 $75 $2,996
1888 – 1912 $76 $3,035
1913 – 1937 $77 $3,075
1938 – 1962 $78 $3,115
1963 – 1987 $79 $3,154
1998 – 2012 $80 $3,194
2013 – 2037 $81 $3,234
2038 – 2062 $82 $3,274
2063 – 2087 $83 $3,313
2088 – 2112 $84 $3,353
2113 – 2137 $85 $3,393
2138 – 2162 $86 $3,432
2163 – 2187 $87 $3,472
2188 – 2212 $88 $3,512
2213 – 2237 $89 $3,551
2238 – 2262 $90 $3,591
2263 – 2287 $91 $3,631
2288 – 2312 $92 $3,670
2313 – 2337 $93 $3,710
2338 – 2362 $94 $3,750
2363 – 2387 $95 $3,789
2388 – 2412 $96 $3,829
2413 – 2437 $97 $3,869
2438 – 2462 $98 $3,908
2463 – 2487 $98 $3,948
2488 – 2512 $99 $3,988


Unemployment Payment Delay

Since there are several unemployed that claim benefits from the PA UC, there are chances where you may receive a delay in payment. This can be resolved by reviewing your payment options based on the Direct Deposit, UC Debit Card and determining your Benefit Payment Information to review if you have received for entitlement. You can also review if you have received your payment from the Benefit Payment Information page and by checking your Payment History. If this fails to help you check if you have received your payment then you can check your claims and benefit status. You can also call 888-255-4728 to rectify payment details at the earliest from Monday to Friday between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

PA Unemployment Compensation Biweekly Claim

Once you file your application for UC benefits, you will receive a Claims Confirmation letter. In this letter, you will be provided with a 4 digit PIN that is necessary to file your biweekly claim. Additionally, you will find the date that you will use to file your biweekly claim. For most, this is usually the second Sunday after you complete your initial application to receive your benefits.
Just remember, you will have to file for two benefit weeks every time which begins on Saturday and finishes on Sunday. This is known as the compensable week ending date. Though you file for two weeks at a time, you are eligible for each passing week separately. So you must ensure that you file timely to ensure that you are paid on time.

You can file your biweekly claim online anytime between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Additionally, you can call the TTY at 888-255-4748 from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Using TTY and Videophone Service

A TTY is used specifically for those that are hard of hearing and speech impaired to allow them to communicate messages back and forth instead of having to communicate over the phone. Additionally, the videophone service allows individuals to use sign language to communicate every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474.


Alternatively, you can file your biweekly claim by mail if:

  • The application cannot be shared via the Internet
  • There is limited access to telephone
  • No access to a touch-tone or push button telephone with a tone-pulse switch
  • Cannot communicate in English or Spanish
  • You have a disability that prevents you from using PAT
  • Already receiving TRA

Claim Form

Once your mail is received, you will receive a Claim Form. This form will help you claim benefits for the claim weeks. The face of the form will be title Claim Week Ending On. As stated, the claim week will begin on Sunday and end at midnight on Saturday. If this form is stolen or misplaced, you should contact the UC service center at the earliest.

Filing in the Claim Form

In this Claim Form, you should mention whether you have been employed during the weeks that you are issuing the claim, personal details like Name, Residential Address, Zip Code, Dates of duration of work, total work hours, hourly rate and gross pay. You must also mention the reasons for your separation from employment and if you had received vacation by your previous employer. If certain claims are to be left blank, then you should cross out these sections. In case you need to change your name, address and telephone number then you should re-print your details to avoid any errors to creep in. Ensure that you add the date and sign to certify that the form is complete.

Sending your Claim Form to PA

You’re almost there! Just ensure that you follow these guidelines when you mail the Claim Form:

  • Enter your name and the return mailing address on the upper left corner of the envelope.
  • Attach the requisite postage stamp to the envelope
  • Ensure that you mail your Claim Form to the UC Service Center Address
  • Do mail your claim form as detailed in the Claimant Instructions in the form during the week beginning as printed on the form.


If all the details are met as prescribed by the Claim Form then it will be processed for payment. An incorrectly filed form will be returned and this can lead to a delay in receiving your benefits.

PA Unemployment Compensation Tax

The Unemployment Compensation (UC) protects all from job loss by ensuring that they receive a temporary income support to those that are unemployed through no fault of their own. These benefits are payable to those that can actively seek new employment. You must qualify for UC benefits under Pennsylvania UC Law and previously employed by an employer that elected to contribute towards the UC Fund. Employer contributions are the main sources of UC benefit payments. You are applicable to pay federal employer taxes that are collected under FUTA.

Tax Rate Breakup

Your employer would have been mailed a contribution rate notice containing information about the rate for the specified Calendar period. They may appeal within 90 days of the rate notice. Under a Contribution Rate Notice (Form UC-657) that is mailed to the employers at the end of each year, the rate will be mentioned for the following year. This is applicable for taxable wages that are paid to employer contributions due. The rate notice will provide employers with details of the factors that comprise the total rate. These rates are mentioned as follows:

  • New Employer Rates – Businesses that pay wages for the first time are assigned as a new employer and the contribution rate of 3.5 per for new employers is applicable for Non-Construction and 9.7 for new employers of Construction firms.
  • Standard Rates: Those employers that have a sporadic employment history are assigned to the Standard Contribution Rate. A standard rate will be assigned to employers with zero or positive reserve account balances and a higher standard rate is assigned to employers with a negative account balance. On the lower rate, employers would be charged 6% and the highest being over 11%.
  • Computed Rate: Once an employer has provided covered employment and paid wages for two complete calendar years then the employer falls under the experienced-based rate. There are several variations in the contribution rates assigned to employers based on the assessment of unemployment risk of the employers. The Office of the UC Tax Services reviews the compensation history and the rate at each calendar year through June 30 of the earlier year. Hence, an employer with a high rate of unemployment will have a higher contribution rate and similarly, employers with stable and lower unemployment will receive a lower rate. The contribution rate is based on six components namely; Reserve Ratio Factor, Benefit Ratio Factor, State Adjustment Factor, Surcharge Adjustment, Additional Contributions Factor and Interest Factor.
  • Delinquency Rate: Those employers that pay 3 percent higher than the rate are assigned to Delinquency Contribution Rate. This is assigned if they fail to file all required registration documents, file all quarterly UC tax returns and pay all contributions, interest or penalties that are due in the second quarter of the year for which the rates are calculated. This rate is assigned to delinquent employers as solvency measures applicable to that particular year. Hence, this delinquency rate is the sum of the Basic Rate (Reserve Ratio Factor + Benefit Ratio Factor + State Adjustment Factor) + 3 percent (3%) + the Solvency Measures (Surcharge Adjustment + Additional Contributions + Interest Factor).

If there is an appeal against the UC Tax rate, then your employer can do so by accessing or filing a written appeal with 90 days since the mailing date of the rate notice.

PA Unemployment Claim Balance

The most important thing to do when you lose your job is to claim unemployment. You should ensure that you file your unemployment from the state that you have worked in.

This would mean that you would have to provide details of your:

  • Name, address, telephone
  • Social security number OR Alien Registration card number
  • Driver’s license or ID card number
  • 18 months of employment history
  • Names/addresses of former employer(s)
  • Employment dates
  • Most recent employers’ Employer Registration number or Federal Employer Identification Number

Your Unemployment Claim Balance can be applied through online, telephone, videophone and written modes. As suggested, you can file claims at

To check your claims, payment history, and benefit status, you can review the section above or call 888-255-4728 for more details.

Just remember that once you file your initial application for UC benefits, you will receive three separate mailings within 10 days time. The first item would be, An official Notice of Financial Determination and you should review if the information of your finances is accurate. The second is a Claim Confirmation Letter which contains your Personal Identification Number (PIN) that will use to access your documents. Only you will access to this and the UC Service Centre cannot help you if you misplace you confidential PIN. This PIN will not change from year to year and can be used for your PAT. This Claim Confirmation Letter will also instruct you when to file your Biweekly Claims. Finally, you will receive the Unemployment Compensation Handbook that would provide information regarding compensation and your rights and responsibilities.

Claim Eligibility

In order to ensure claims are paid in total or partially, you should ensure that you must file biweekly claims for benefits. The first eligible week is the waiting week. You must file a claim and get credit for a valid waiting week. This period is required before you receive any benefit payment. You can claim eligibility by filing your biweekly claims online on Sunday from 6 am to 11 pm and on Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm. at Additionally, you can call the Pennsylvania Teleclaims – PAT system on Sunday from 6 am to 11 pm., and Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm. These PAT numbers will be available from your UC handbook.

The following video will help you check you Claim Balance

PA Unemployment Debit card

Your UC claimants can be received as a Direct Deposit or through your Debit Card. You can opt for a debit card that will be mailed to your residential address after determining your financial eligibility. You can avoid fees using your debit card by accessing your information on the website. Also, you can save on fees by withdrawing at branches that accept Visa cards and request for cash back purchases.

Once you have your direct deposit, you can receive UC payments using your debit card. Unless you have submitted the form to stop direct deposit, your debit card will not be processed. Similarly, if you have your debit card number and PIN on your person, then you should speak to a customer service representative to make your debit card active. Similarly, you do not have your card number and PIN, then you should enter your SSN and ensure that the Chase customer service representative completes your request.

Your debit card will help you cover your expenses during your transition period and transactions can be made at any place of your convenience. It’s a great way to shop, withdraw money when needed to simply cover your tracks when needed instantly. A word of caution is to ensure that you use your debit card sparingly as you might get carried away!

Debit Card Deposit Time

Initially, it may take up to four weeks until you receive your payments that are issued via direct deposit. From the moment you become financially eligible for benefits, you will be mailed a UC debit card at the address you provided in your initial application to access all the benefits that you are entitled to. In case these benefits haven’t reached you, dial the toll-free number at 877-869-1956. Generally, payments are transferred on the date of the payment issue or the following day. However, payments are not transmitted on the weekends and on state, federal or banking holidays.

Payment Delay

Usually, benefits are paid biweekly and carried out within four days after the biweekly claim has been filed and considered. This may take up to 10 days to receive before payment is disbursed.But payments may be delayed if there is an eligibility issue that requires to be resolved or if the documents shared to UC are not complete and are returned. Payments may also be delayed due to natural calamities that cause time bound irregularities in discharging service.

Payment Status  

This video will help you review how you can check your unemployment payment status online:

Enter your social security number and your PIN. Then, you are directed to a page that contains all your payment benefit information. Select the payment history option and you are directed to your current claim summary. When you select the View Benefit Payment History icon, you can review your history and check the payment status based on the date, payment number, status, amount paid, method of payment and the payment issue date.

Keep It Working, Pennsylvania!

Hope we helped you understand what it takes to get your UC payments. You can play a role in assisting the community and connect hundreds of unemployed individuals that need help. Additionally, you can gain knowledge from our forum. You can also review, our earlier post on Pennsylvania Overcome anything that comes in your way and be the change.


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