FileUnemployment
Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
$569
Max. Weeks of Benefits
26
Current Jobless Rate
4.3%
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
$569
Max Weeks of benefits
26
Current Jobless rate
4.3%

Updated : May 15th, 2019

The unemployment insurance program is designed to support the transition of workers when they lose their jobs until they find a new career opportunity. If you have become unemployed recently for no fault of your own, you may file for unemployment benefits to get monetary support.

Explore the eligibility requirements, application process and all the other information related to unemployment insurance you may need to successfully claim for benefits.

Eligibility to Apply for UI Benefits in Pennsylvania

To be eligible for unemployment benefits in the state of Pennsylvania, applicants need to prove that they qualify for the following criteria:

Monetary Eligibility

The applicants should qualify for UC Benefits if the applicant has earned sufficient wages during the base period. This base period is usually the first 4 quarters of the last 5 completed calendar quarters.

The applicants should qualify for UI Benefits if sufficient wages are earned during the base period. This base period is usually the first 4 quarters of the last 5 completed calendar quarters.

In order to qualify for the first condition, at least 37% of the total qualifying wages must be earned outside the High Quarter of the applicant’s base period. The High Quarter is the quarter in which the applicant has earned his/her highest wages, and the qualifying wage is the total wages earned in the entire base year.

The Minimum qualifying wages required to qualify for the weekly benefits is $2178. This would guarantee minimum weekly compensation of $68, and qualifying wages of $22,639 or more would ensure a maximum weekly benefit of $561.

The second condition is that the applicants must fulfill the credit week requirement in order to gain eligibility for unemployment compensation. In the state of Pennsylvania, a credit week is defined as any calendar week within the base period, in which the applicant has earned $116 or more. An applicant will not be eligible to receive benefits if he/she has fewer than 18 credit weeks in the base year.

The applicants must note that the weekly benefit amount is calculated based on the total wages received in the base year. They must also provide the information on the total gross wages earned during the base year and must assign the wages to the respective quarters in which it was earned. It must be noted that the applicants must list the total gross wages and not the take-home pay.

Find out more about eligibility

Job Separation

Once the financial eligibility is determined, the state of Pennsylvania will then take into consideration the reason for the separation of the applicant from his/her previous employment.

Unemployment Benefits are only given to those who have lost their jobs due to no mistake of their own and are willing and able to work full-time. An applicant will not be eligible if any of the following points applies to his/her case:

  • If the applicant has voluntarily resigned from the job without a compelling reason.
  • If the applicant was removed from the organization due to misconduct or drug abuse.
  • If the applicant participated in stoppage of work in the form of strikes and protests. (This disqualification does not apply to a lock-out)

The concerned department will call the applicants and their previous employers to determine the cause of separation. In the event of a mismatch in the reason provided by the applicant and his/her employer, it may lead to disqualification of the application.

Eligibility Calculator

Learn more about factors influencing eligibility

Maintaining Eligibility

If an applicant must remain eligible for UI, it’s then important that he/she regularly seeks new job opportunities. Since UI is meant to help between jobs, it is vital that the applicant meets the specific job requirements.

In order to receive weekly benefits unhindered every week, applicants must ensure that they maintain the eligibility by following these procedures:

  • Be able-bodied and available for work
  • The applicants must file timely biweekly claims and certify their eligibilities for each week. The applicants are also expected to serve an unpaid waiting week.
  • It is highly essential to record and present the work search details to the concerned authorities for each week.
  • Report wages from any other work-related income.
  • In the event of a job being offered, the applicant must not reject it unless there is a highly compelling reason to do so.
  • The applicant must take part in the mandatory reemployment services such as – Profile Reemployment Program (PREP) and Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA).

Find out more on job search fulfilment requirement

How to Apply For UI Benefits in PA?

In order to file an Initial Claim in Pennsylvania, applicants should keep this information available:

You can file your application or reopen the existing claim through the following ways:

Online: In Pennsylvania it is easily accessible to fill an online application. The online portal will be open on Sunday, from 6 am to 11 pm, and Monday through Friday, from 6 am to 9 pm, at www.uc.pa.gov.
Register with the JobGateway, a work search website, within 30 days to maintain eligibility. https://www.careeronestop.org/

Telephone:The applicant can reach the Pennsylvania Teleclaims (PAT) to file claims via telephone by dialing 888-255-4728 or 877-888-8104 for correspondence in Spanish.

Some of the services offered by PAT are:

  • Biweekly claims filing
  • Information on benefit payment
  • Information on federal withholding tax.
  • UC-1099G information
  • Change UC PIN

The applicants could file the biweekly claims using PAT on Sunday from 6 am to 11 pm, and Monday through Friday, from 6 am to 9 pm.

You can also call the statewide unemployment compensation toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284 to obtain more information on Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation program (TTY services for the deaf and hard of hearing at 1-888-334-4046).

Paper Form: You can file a paper application which is to be downloaded and mailed or faxed to a UC service center receiving applications from your County

Videophone Service: Videophone service is available every Wednesday from noon to 4 pm at 717-704-8474. (Sign language is the ONLY means of communication provided in this service).

How to File Weekly Claims

Follow the step by step process to file for weekly claims in PA. This includes receiving the Claims Confirmation letter, using the 4 digit pin Number to file the claim and determining the date of filing the initial application for benefits. You should file for two benefit weeks at a time and ensure that you certify for eligibility for each week separately.

Find out more on claiming weekly benefits

UI Benefit Amount in Pennsylvania

UI Benefits Amount in Pennsylvania
Unemployment benefits is a joint federal-state program. It provides temporary benefit payments to partially replace lost wages. The following UI Benefits Calculator will help you determine the approximate UI Benefits amount that you can receive in Pennsylvania.

Benifits Calculator

Use the calculator to find out how much weekly benefits you may approximately earn in the state of Pennsylvania.

State Name: Pennsylvania

Number of Dependants:

$0
$25000

$0
$25000

$0
$25000

$0
$25000

Disclaimer: The estimates are good in faith and accuracy is not guaranteed. We are not liable for any loss and damages caused by using the tools on our website. This calculator is here to assist you in evaluating what you might obtain if you are entitled to receive benefits. We make no promises that the sum you receive will be equal to what the calculator illustrates.

Get more information on benefit criteria

Things to Know After Filing An Application

Once the application is filed, there is some more information that the applicant needs to know to make sure that they receive the services without any hindrance.

Overpayments and Collections

The state of Pennsylvania places a lot of importance on the fair distribution of unemployment benefits. If an instance of overpayment occurs, the claimants must inform the concerned authorities and payback the excessive funds received.

A non-fault overpayment: An overpayment is considered non-fault when it involves no fault of the claimants whatsoever. In such a scenario, the overpaid amount is deducted from future benefit payments.

The deductions will not exceed one-third of the total weekly benefit amount. However, if the total amount owed is $99 or less, the deductions may be made in a single week. No interest will be levied on non-fault overpayments.

A fault overpayment: This occurs when a claimant receives UC benefits that he/she is not entitled to due to the fault of the claimant. In such a scenario, the claimant will have to repay the excess fund with interest. The claimant will have to pay 100 percent of their weekly benefit amount until the amount is recovered.

A fraud overpayment: This occurs when a claimant knowingly provides false information or withholds important material to obtain UC benefits or to extend the benefit period. The deductions made in such cases are much harsher than the previous scenarios.

The concerned department may assign penalty weeks to the claimants, where they may not receive any benefits in spite of their eligibility. In addition to this, the department may charge a monetary penalty of 15% of the amount of the overall benefits.

Benefits Extension

The federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) has become defunct as of Dec 28, 2013. Claimants are advised to depend on UI Benefits which last for a period of 26 weeks until EB and EUC are made available. The applicant can also visit the state’s UI agency website to determine the current available Reemployment Assistance plans.

Job Training Assistance

Make use of the Pennsylvania JobGatewaySM to obtain assistance in job training. This services in this portal include locating training services, obtaining vocational rehabilitation, and researching careers.

The applicants may also take a look at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), which offers various special programs, state grants and educational loans to help individuals attend college. For more information on this, log on to PHEAA’s website at www.pheaa.org .

The applicants in Pennsylvania may also explore programs offered by Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). TAA offers job training and other benefits to especially those who have lost their jobs due to adverse effects in imports or job relocation to other countries.

In order to be eligible for this program, workers must be laid off from a company that has a certified petition with the United States Department of Labor. Log on to http://www.doleta.gov/tradeactOpens for more information on the TAA program.

View more about the job training opportunities in PA

Pennsylvania Office Locations and Phone Numbers


Connect with an Unemployment Office about UI Benefits and have your claim questions answered by visiting the Unemployment offices or call the phone numbers listed in this section.

Locate a UC service center near your location.

To contact the Pennsylvania Teleclaims (PAT), dial 888-255-4728 (English) and 877-888-8104 (Spanish). Other important phone numbers are listed below:

PA Unemployment Office Phone Numbers

UC Service Center Statewide
Toll-Free Number
888-313-7284
Tfy Services for Deaf and
Hard-of-Hearing Toll-Free
888-334-4046
Videophone Service for ASL Users-Wednesdays, noon-4 p.m. (Sign language is the ONLY means of communication provided at this number). 717-704-8474

UC Fax Numbers

Altoona 814-941-6801
Scranton 570-562-4385
Erie 814-871-4863
Indiana 724-599-1068
Duquesne 412-267-1475
Harrisburg 717-214-5463

Frequently Asked Question

Q. What are the additional responsibilities of the claimants?

Ans. The additional responsibility of the claimants include:

  • Provide Accurate and Complete Information
  • Report Any Separation from Employment
  • Report Holiday Pay and Vacation Pay
  • Report Severance Pay, Pensions and Back Wage Awards
  • Update Your Contact Information
  • Protect Your PIN
Q. How can I get my benefit period extended?

Ans. Presently, extension benefits are not available in the state of Pennsylvania.

Q. I'm presently collecting my severance pay from my employer, can I apply for unemployment benefits immediately?

Ans. No. You will have to wait till the severance payout is complete to apply for benefits in PA.

Q. How much weekly benefits will I receive?

Ans. In the state of Pennsylvania, eligible applicants receive a minimum of $68 and a maximum of $561.

Q. Would I have to inform the department if I decide to take up employment or start my own business?

Ans. If you are presently receiving unemployment benefits, you MUST immediately inform the concerned authorities if you are taking up a new job or starting a new business. If you fail to do so, it will be considered as committing fraud.

Q.Will receiving a pension make me ineligible for UC benefits?

Ans. The payment of pension may be deductible from weekly benefit amount if (1) your Base-Year employer has contributed to or maintained the pension plan, and (2) your work during the Base Year increased the amount of or affected your eligibility for, the pension.

In case if your employer was the only one who contributed to the pension, 100% of the prorated, the weekly pension amount is deductible. If you contributed in any amount to the pension, 50% of the prorated, weekly pension amount is deductible.

The following payments are NOT deductible, however:

  • Social Security and Railroad Retirement pensions.

  • A lump-sum pension payment, if you did not have the option of receiving monthly or periodic payments.

  • A lump-sum pension payment that is deposited (rolled over) into an eligible retirement plan, such as an IRA, within 60 days after you received the payment

In other words, you can avoid having your UC benefits reduced if you roll over your pension to save it for re-tirement. If you roll over only a part of a lump-sum payment, the portion of the lump-sum that is not rolled over is deductible.

Q. What happens after I've applied for UI benefits?

Ans. You will receive a total of three mails from the PA Department of Labor after applying for UI benefits. The first mail will contain an official Notice of Financial Determination. The second mail will contain a Claim Confirmation Letter (which is form UC-360) and a PIN (Personal Identification Number) for PAT, filing over the telephone. The third mailer will have a printed copy of the PA UC Handbook which is sent to you within a span of 10 days after you've applied for UI Benefits.

Q. I am currently in another state, do the registration requirements affect me?

Ans. 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 Pennsyl-vania CareerLink® system by the same deadline.

Questions & Answers

  1. I had a stroke in January which put me on short term disability. I’ve been doing physical therapy every week and have made progress, thank goodness. My doctor approved me to be able to return to work as working from home as I’m not allowed to drive yet, which I’ve been doing every Friday for the past three years. My Short Term Disability was closed in April since I can “return” to work says the insurance company, however my employer says that they won’t have the work for me until July. So for the month of May and going to be June I’ll have no income to pay bills. I’ve submitted an ADA form to my employer at their request, listing my issues and some side effects from my doctor. I’d love to get back at it now, but my employer wants me to wait. Am I eligible to collect until I return in July?

    1. Chris,

      Unfortunately, Unemployment Insurance benefits are only offered to claimants who are able and available for work. Not sure if you qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  2. I’m being terminated at the end of April 31, 2019 after 33 1/2 years of faithful and dependable service and being forced to take my defined pension plan benefit.

    How will this affect my eligibility for PA UC?

    The defined benefit pension plan was frozen November 1, 2018 and was 100% funded by the employer.

    1. Jesse,

      To understand the precise impact of pension on Unemployment Insurance, please call the Unemployment Office for advice as it depends on multiple factors.

  3. I was collecting this past winter due to lack of work, I took a different job but making less money, would I be eligible to collect benefits even though I work 40 hrs a week

    1. Adam,

      I am not sure if a claimant can claim UI benefits for a reduction in income. Please call the Unemployment Office for more.

  4. As a W2 worker for a furniture moving company, my hours can vary greatly week by week. Some weeks I may work 60+ hrs, some weeks during the slower season, I may only work 10 hrs. Say I have a busy week 1… 50 hrs, then a slow week 2… 10 hours, then busy week 3… 60 hours. Am I eligible to collect partial unemployment for the slow Week 2? Even though the three week average is 40 hrs per week? Thank you!

    1. Ryan,

      Firstly, we need to ascertain if your employer remits Unemployment Taxes into the system on the basis of which you can be eligible to claim partial UI benefits. Please check with your HR team.

      1. Sam, I was not asking how many weeks of employment you can get (26), rather I was asking the time frame the UC center has to make a decision after you file a claim for benefits? How many days does employer have to respond to UC Service Center’s request for information?

        1. Margaret,

          Thank you for the clarification. I am not sure of the timelines employers’ are allowed to respond. Perhaps, a phone call to the Unemployment Office might help you access the right information.

  5. I gave 2 weeks notice to my last job because I was moving to Florida. And I try to contact the uc services to explain me about my appeals. Any number or place that I can reach to answer my questions here in Florida?

  6. we are a retired military family and draw a monthly pension. My husband recently lost his job and is filing for UC. My question is does PA UC take dollar for dollar out of the UC that he is to receive?

  7. My husband was terminated from his job on August 2nd and has been unable to access a computer or phone to try to file for unemployment. When is the latest he can file and would I be able to file for him if he is unable to file himself?

    1. Jessica,

      If your husband was terminated due to involuntary reasons, he can claim UI benefits. With regard to your question, I suggest you call the Unemployment Office in your state to inquire about filing on his behalf.

  8. My company has eliminated my position within the company. They are giving me a small severance package ( $1547 plus $2000 towards healthcare benefits ). How will this effect my UE benefits. Right now I am illegible for 393 a week.
    Thank You

    1. Elaine,

      Please wait until the severance payout ends. You can apply towards the end of it. The actual weekly benefit amount depends on multiple inputs. Please call the Unemployment Office for additional info.

  9. I am currently making $23/hr as a contractor and my assignment will end in four weeks. They are offering me another position for $16/hr. Do I have to take the lower paying position? If I don’t, can I collect UI?

    1. Janis,

      Contract workers are generally not eligible since employers’ do not remit Unemployment Taxes. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  10. I recently got hired full time while I was waiting on UC , I work close to 30 hours a week maybe less which sounds like part time , can I still collect UC benefits ? I reported the income and was approved for partial payment which is fine w me as long as I’m not braking any UC law, please advise kindly? Just want to make sure that is ok to collect. Thanks

    1. Yes, you should be able to collect partial UI benefits for the hours lost. Please consider applying for the lost hours until full-time employment is restored.

  11. I received a letter 07/12/18 saying that i was financially eligible for unemployment and i got the reliacard the same day but i still haven’t received a payment yet, and online it says i haven’t been issued one yet either. Should I be expecting one soon or has something gone wrong?

    1. Hayley,

      Have you been making a weekly claim by phone/online? You will only receive weekly payments if you do so. Please call the Claims Center for further details.

  12. I work full time now, I asked to work part time because my husband is having health issues and can not watch my son. They will not give me the part time hours. Told me to use FMLA. I don’t want to use it. Our company policy is if we are an employee, we can not work any where else. I can’t be on FMLA and work part-time somewhere else. I would have to quit to be able to work part-time somewhere. Can I quit and file unemployment? I really do not know what to do.

    1. Kate,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not generally not considered. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification before making a decision.

    1. Leo,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  13. I applied on 1/22. I received a letter dated 2/15 saying that I was eligible to receive benefits. the first payment has been made my account 3/5/18, but it only for the two most recent weeks. I know there is a waiting week. I was expecting to be paid for 5/6 weeks for which I filed claims. Why was I only [aid for two?

    1. Lannia,

      Chances are that the missing payment is on its way. I suggest you call the Claims Center for clarification.

  14. Got notice saying attendance is mandatory at resea meeting..I belong to the painters Union and can only get my jobs through Union hiring hall.. I thought my attendance is not required because of this condition….can anyone help ty

  15. I filed my claim in Feb 2017…my salary at my new job was not included and I make 3 times as much. Am I able to cancel my claim and file an initial claim in April, changing my base year and including my new salary?

    1. Mike,

      Short-term disability will be a bearing on unemployment insurance claims. For specific details, please contact the unemployment office.

  16. I have been on short term disability due to back surgeries for the past 4 months. I have been at my job for 9+ years. I got a phone call today stating that since my short term disability is now changing over to long term disability he is being terminated. Can I file for unemployment benefits until my long term disability gets approved and begins? I need to pay bills and was not expecting this. any help is appreciated 🙂

    1. David,

      You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

      Hope you get well soon!

  17. I am working as a substitute teacher now after not working and getting unemployment from Feb-June 2016 will I be eligible for benefits after the school year is over?

    1. Nan,

      If your job is meant to be a seasonal one or on contract, you may not be eligible. Please contact the Unemployment Office.

  18. I work in a retail corp. I am a key carrying supervisor. I deal with western union transaction. A fraudulent transaction was done using my I’d and password on a day I was not on the clock.. the person who is responsible for the transaction was to be set up by the HR office. Because she wasn’t and we were us I allowed 2 people to use my information to do there job. So I was terminated because of a security violation. Am I eligible for unemployment

    1. Joann,

      You should be able to claim since it looks like it’s not your fault. Please make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute.

  19. I have a 2 weeks notice to my employer for office politics and being harassed. I did break several rules that I was comfusdd about. The office was a toxic environment and started to affect my health. I only worked 2 more into my documented 2 week notice and was terminated. Am I eligible for benefits?

    1. Sue,

      Your employer may raise a dispute when you file. If you’re able to prove your innocence with documentary evidence, you can be eligible.

  20. I have filed a claim over 6 weeks ago and it will not let me file a biweekly or let me call the 888 313 7284 always busy. What is going on cant pay my bills or get food.

  21. i am working the same job for 11 years but my boss is at me every day sometimes insulting and i cant take it anymore. can i quit and collect checks until i find something else?

    1. You can be eligible to quit under hostile working conditions and draw UI benefits.

      However, it can be considered voluntary separation. Please call the Unemployment Office to inquire about the limitations.

  22. Still employed but due to lack of work, hours, and pay, I need to file for Partial Unemployment. Doing this online, there is a section where the questions don’t fit my needs as it asks “What is the reason you are no longer employed?” The next question: “Yes or No, Were you told by your employer that you would be recalled to your job?” If Yes, I need to enter a date. The lack of 40 work hours will go on for awhile. How can I receive partial benefits while still employed?

    1. Partial UI benefits are available for workers who lose hours. Please call the Claims Center to find out how these questions can be answered.

  23. Looking for experienced middle aged male to do temporary field work. person would travel to site with one or two other field technicians. Person must be mechanically inclined and able to work with power tools such as a concrete core drill, able to lift up to 50 lbs

  24. I work a full time and a part time job. What if you are laid off from your full time job, how will that affect your claim with still working the part time job?

    1. You will be probably asked to declare the income from the part-time job. Please make sure to let them know about your part-time job when you file.

  25. If your claim has been appealed twice by the employer and you have won both appeals does UC pay you back pay? Initial claim was filed in January.

    1. They should if you were asked to file regularly during the disputed weeks.

      Please speak to the Claims Center for an update.

  26. Am I eligible for unemployment if I am on a 6 week fulough? I may be hired back but it is not guaranteed.

    1. If the reason is involuntary, you should be able to claim until you’re hired back.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

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