Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefit Questions

I am a resident of Pennsylvania, but I got laid off from a job in a different state, where should I file my claim?

If you worked in only one state during your base period, that is where you should file for UC from. However, if you worked in multiple states during your base period, you should be filing a Combined Wage Claim (CWC). CWC can be filed from any one of the states in which you worked and earned wages during your base period.

If you are unsure about where you should file your claim from, contact UC service center and place a query either through the Internet or through phone call at 1-888-313-7284.

My layoffs are intermittent or sporadic, if so, how do I apply for Unemployment Compensation?

File an initial claim by either visit a One-Stop Career Center or by visiting the website UC service center or by calling them at 1-888-313-7284. Filing online would be the fastest way. Once your initial claim is processed, you may be expected to file bi-weekly claims to get weekly benefit checks. Should you fail to file the claim, the claim will become inactive. If you get a job for a week in between, don’t file for that week. And when you face unemployment again, simply re-open your existing claim and continue with weekly filing to claim your remaining benefits.

Does severance, salary continuation or separation pay affect UC benefits?

Any severance pay, that exceed 40% of the annual wage of Pennsylvania, is deducted from the claimants UC. This holds true only if the claimants application for benefit was filed on or after Jan 1, 2012 and if the severance pay agreement between the claimant and his employer was signed on or after Jan 1, 2012.

Whatever amount is deducted from a claimant’s benefits is allocated the weeks that immediately follow his/her job separation.

  1. When I fill out pa unemployment application, I check no for second employer, but still asks for second employer info. Cannot get past this on application , is there a reason why it does this.

  2. My spouse worked in Pennsylvania for over 10 year and his job was recently eliminated. He has been actively seeking employment with no luck. His severance will run out in the next month. With no severance coming, will he now be eligible for unemployment?

  3. I have 2 questions:
    1) I am losing my job in Nov due to the company closing the building and moving to another location. My severance will be $3000. Since this will not be part of the base year, and probably won’t receive immediately, will this count towards my UC?
    2) I was out on disability for 6 weeks last June 2018. Will that be considered into my UC Benefits?

    1. Sandy,

      Here are possible answers to your questions.

      1) It will bot be a part of the base period. However, you might be required to declare it at the time of application.
      2) It will be.

      I suggest you call the Unemployment Office for clarification on both.

  4. I have been with the same company for the last 2 and a half years and hours have been drastically reduced. Am I able to collect partial benefits.

    1. Nick,

      You should be eligible to collect partial UI benefits until full hours are restored. Please consider applying.

  5. I think my situation is tricky. I am in Sales and my company drastically changed the area’s that I had prior and they set goals that are unattainable. It was a restructure of a small handful of territories. They put me on a performance plan in the meantime for only 30 Days. I am 20 days into the plan goals and my sales are nowhere near what they set. I am heading to be fired in 10 days. Here is where it gets tricky, If I give my notice before being fired, and say it was a company restructure (because it was) and I did not meet the goals of the restructure through no fault of my own (unattainable) can I still file for UE? The HR person at the company said that when they are contacted they will only say that the employee is no longer with the company and I don’t think they will provide anymore details?

    1. Matt,

      When you file a claim for the first time, the authorities will contact your employer to learn more about the separation. During the process, if your employer does not dispute or raise an issue, you should be able to claim weekly benefits without any hassles.

  6. My job was eliminated and I was given a severance package for about 10 months. This will be done at the end of May. Can I now apply for unemployment when my severance is done?

    1. Caroline,

      That is correct. You can consider applying for UI benefits once the severance payout is over.

    2. 3 questions and I greatly appreciate you help in advance since there is so little about severance available.

      1. Last day of work was Aug 31, 2018, but was paid thru end of July, 2019. Which do I use as last day of work?

      2. Reason for separation question: My job was eliminated therefore I got a severance. Do I call this a lay off or check other and describe

      3. Section 4: Question is are you or will you receive a severance. Since I already did and it is over, how should I answer this?

      1. Caroline,

        Let me try and answer your questions to the point.

        1. Technically, your last working day should still be Aug 31. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.
        2. If you were asked to leave to involuntary reasons, it should be considered a “Layoff”.
        3. If there’s a comment box, you can sum it up in a line.

  7. I’m asking for a relative.
    He was collecting unemployment here in PA but recently moved to another state. He is only working a part time job in the other state. Can he still claim his unemployment from PA and how does he go about filing his part time hours, Any help is appreciated.

    1. I would suggest you ask your relative to contact the Unemployment Office in the new state for instructions.

  8. Hi,
    If I am fired from a full-time salaried job and get a new job that’s 100% commission would I be able to get unemployment benefits?

    1. Barb,

      I am not sure if you apply since you’ve found employment on a commission basis. Please contact the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  9. Hello,

    I am reaching out to see what my options are for my current situation. I was laid off from my company approximately 2 weeks ago. My current salary is $57,000. I have been offered a position in order to come back and work for the company. However, the pay I am being offered now is $28,000. If I turn down this new position/salary, what are my rights for filing unemployment? Will I be denied based on the fact that a new position was offered, or am I able to deny and still receive unemployment being that I was offered a position that is $30 less than what I make a year?

  10. I left my job in order to retire early with over 20 years of service; however I now find that I have a year and 1/2 before I can start drawing on my 401K. May I put in a claim for Unemployment to gap the time I’m able to retire?

    1. Beverly,

      Please call the Unemployment Office to find out about your eligibility since UI benefits are only extended to those claimants who’re unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  11. I believe I have a unique situation. A co-worker that has been put in charge of the barbershop I have work in for the past 7 years and have amassed a healthy clientele, a few years ago, after coming back to work, told me that he would no longer be paying into my taxes. When I talked with his accountant he told me that it was perfectly legal for this co-worker that was put in charge of the shop, because the owner lives in another state, to change my employee status to an independent contractor to avoid paying taxes on my behalf to the IRS. This was done without my consent and I don’t know how this will affect me if I were to be dismissed from my job and have to file unemployment compensation. Can you help me with some guidance?

  12. Does Your initial claim has been processed. Please file your biweekly claims as instructed mean you have been approved for unemployment?

    1. Matt,

      I don’t think it means “approved”. Please make sure to continue filing biweekly claims and call the Claims Center to know the exact status.

  13. My claim has been “processed” and I’ve been filing my biweekly claims as instructed the last two periods, but I have yet to receive compensation. Is this normal?

    1. Jen,

      Ideally, there the first week is considered as the waiting period. You should have received the payments by now. Please call the Claims Center for assistance.

  14. I filed a claim for the week ending March 24 for just one week. I could not work because the county closed the park where I work. I never received the one week amount.

  15. A friend is currently on unemployment. Beginning next Monday he will be on house arrest with permission to leave for work. Will he be able to continue to collect?

  16. I recently filed for unemployment, and when asked for the names of my dependents there was only 2 spots. But I have 3 children. So now I am approved with the 2 dependents, but how can I change it to 3? I can not find this questions anywhere, and the telephones are busy. Thanks, Lauren

  17. I was an employee of Armstrong County from January 2, 1992 through January 2, 2018. My position was as the administrative assistant, judicial secretary, and law librarian under Judges Valasek and Nickleach. I was terminated by the newly elected judge who wanted to select his own assistant. I was offered a position roughly 50% of my salary. My income for 2017 was $45,721.60. I am now employed by a Kittanning law firm. My salary is $33,000.00 My question is whether I am eligible for unemployment compensation for the loss in income.

    1. Tierney,

      Unemployment Insurance benefits are only offered to claimants who’re completely jobless. Please inquire further by calling the Unemployment Office.

  18. I have been filing my unemployment claims for 6 weeks and have not received a payment. I was told that payments were processed. I would like to know what is going on please reach me at 5708801824

    1. Debra,

      Please note this is a private website and we do not have access to your claim file. Please chase the claims center by phone until you get a concrete update.

  19. I hold a full time job that as of 1/1/2018 will be eliminated and I will be filing an initial claim for this job but..I also am an independent contractor for the local newspaper company ( I deliver newspapers) As an independent contractor which does not pay unemployment compensation taxes, do I claim these wages?? Please advise

    1. Lorri,

      Contract type of employment does not generally qualify. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  20. I have been at my job for 20+ yrs and broke my leg and had surgery in Sept. I was unable to work from Sep 4th through Dec 4th. When I went back to work was told I could have collected. Did this qualify me to collect and could I now submit a claim and collect for the time I was out. Thank you

  21. the store I was working at closed they offered me a job 33 miles away. with no compensation for the travel. I cant afford to drive that far. Am I eligible for unemployment?

    1. Amy,

      If you decide to to accept the new location, it may be considered voluntary. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to ascertain before making a decision.

    1. Barbara,

      Most of the states allow the provision of both. Please contact the Unemployment Office for further details.

  22. after 37 years at the same company I am being let go at the end of the month. I am 65 and was going to retire in February When do I file? I am very hard of hearing and unable to use a telephone My wife cannot get any info as they want to speak to me which is impossible

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