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Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefit Questions

Updated : June 21st, 2019

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. Recently after 28-29 years installing alarm systems . My most recent Company of which I was employed for ten years was bought out by bigger alarm company. I was told I had a position and was tenured into the new company and my job was secure. After only 3&1/2 days I was called in to office and they said and I quote., “your skill set is not that of which we can use” after being told our what’s the cure with my job I I was let go during the acquisition, they said they would not deny my unemployment. But if while we were there 3 1/2 days on the unemployment form online it asked for your total amount of money and the amount if it’s over $3000 and something well of course it was not it was only 3 1/2 days so what do I put in this spot because they did officially have me on board for 3 1/2 days does it fall back on my previous employer do I give them the correct amount I made for 3 1/2 days and try to explain it online somehow or should I end up going to the actual office . I never file before my life I’m 59 years old and I don’t fill out something online that will be later kick back and told I didn’t work there over a certain amount of time and since my previous employer was bought by this company ?? What do I do I i’m single and had one income I need to keep the cash flow coming and going or else I will full behind right away. Help please!

    1. Ken,

      I suggest you call the Claims Center on the phone number and take assistance while you fill the form online for real-time help.

  2. I’ve been checking my status for five weeks. Yesterday after all that time my status finally changed to my initial claim has been processed! What the hell does that mean? Forget about trying to call for clarification when every time I’ve called the past day and a half I’m told the wait is over an hour long! Today is my birthday and I don’t have two dimes to spare to pay bills or by myself a friggin cup cake.

    1. Santos,

      Belated birthday wishes.

      I can understand your frustration. It looks like you will be paid soon. Please try and reach out during off-peak hours for lesser waiting time.

  3. I’ve been at my job for 24 years. They seem to be cleaning house. If I get fired or laid off due to my age 63 can I apply for unemployment?

    1. You should be able to if you’re able and available for further employment.

      Please call the Unemployment Office to clarify if they have a cap on the age of the applicant.

  4. I am considered a displaced worker after working 17 years for the company, but was planning to start school in the fall. Will I be able to collect unemployment while taking classes and is there any funding available to help pay tuition?

    1. You can get specific answers to these questions by calling the Unemployment Office in your state. Alternatively, these details can also be found on the official website of the Unemployment Agency –


  6. I have worked part time for a medical practice in PA for almost nine years. My hours of late have been radically reduced due to low patient volume. Am I able to collect UC since my pay has been radically reduced? I am seeking full time employment now, but nothing has come up yet.

    1. I am not sure if you can apply for partial unemployment benefits on the basis of a part-time job.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  7. I was laid off temporarily from my main job in Pennsylvania with a recall date given and was found eligible for Unemployment after an appeal.

    However, I recently started substitute teaching 1 day per week during my lay-off. If I don’t substitute teach every single day, is that counted as not being available to work? The claim is for my main job, not the substitute teaching job – is it all or nothing? Basically, can I lose my benefits by only substituting 1 day per week?

    1. It depends of the type of job contract. If it was meant to be a temporary job, you may not qualify to receive Unemployment Benefits.

  8. After losing my job, I opted to take an 8 week payout for my severance payments. Once my severance payout is over, can I start taking my full 26 weeks of unemployment benefits at that point? Or would it be reduced by 8 weeks because I waited for the severance payout to end?

    1. Yes, you can apply for Unemployment Benefits after the severance payout expires.

      The number of weeks you’re approved for depends on multiple factors and not just severance alone. It is up to 26 weeks.

    1. Severance pay is an income.

      A claimant receiving severance pay can be eligible to claim UI benefits after the payout is over.

    1. Please note this is a private forum and do not have access to your claim information.

      You may chase the Claims Center on the phone numbers provided.

  9. If I did not know I was going to receive a bonus bc I Was laid off from the company. Do I have to claim the bonus on my biweekly claim bc it was not for employment during the weeks I’m filing for

  10. My claim expires at the end of next week but my bi weekly claim falls on this week. How can i claim the last week that I am eligible for?

    1. 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.

  11. If I work for a company full time and I also am listed as a partial owner of a separate company that I don’t collect any income, bonus or any form of compensation can I collect unemployment benefits from my full time job?

  12. Senior citizen working full time and collecting social security. Potential layoff pending. Does the SS compensation impact UC payments for the layoff?

    1. Yes, it does. The level of impact differs from state to state. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further details.

    1. I did not quite understand. If you worked part time only for two days in a week, I am not sure if you’re eligible.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  13. I left a job that I had been at for almost 5 years for a new job and then was laid off from the new job after 15 weeks, am I eligible for benefits?

  14. I was laid off a month ago, but didn’t apply for unemployment. I started a new job last week, but have since discovered that the job isn’t what I thought it would be. If I quit, can I now apply for unemployment?

    1. You should be able to on the basis of your employment before this. Make sure to call the Unemployment Office to confirm before deciding to apply for the weekly compensation.

  15. I recently found work. My question is this: I realize that i can still file for the previous week that i did not work, however, can i still use the money that i currently have that was deposited for previous weeks? Am i no longer allowed to use the money as soon as my first day starts? I dont get paid for another 2 & a half weeks and the unemployment benefits is all the income i have until then.

    1. Since each state has its own rules in this regard, please speak to the Unemployment Office to inquire about your eligibility to receive Unemployment Benefits.

  16. i left a part time job (25-30)hrs a week to take a full time job (40) hrs. a week, after passing clerances drug test,tb test,etc. I was not hired, was told i definitly had the job, i worked out a 2 week notice with my employer, am i able to collect unemployment? i had worked for my previous employer for 1 1/2 years.

  17. My hours have been cut from full time at 150 hours per month to part time at 75 hours per month, can I collect partial unemployment?

  18. Hello,

    I am currently out FMLA. My company is giving me a hard time about my leave. I have a feeling this is due to the fact I have filed a discrimination case with the PHRC with the company so they are trying every which way to fire me or force me out. If they should happen to fire me due to my leave as a result of my leave am I able to collect unemployment? Thanks.

    1. You can be eligible if you’re fired from the job due invalid reasons.

      Be sure to keep supporting documents handy if there is a dispute from your employer when you apply.

  19. I worked 30 hrs got hurt at work took me to 27i got an open wmc cases but I’m still working last week my Dr took me outta work last week til the results of my MRI results they called and said they replace me. Can I apply???

    1. Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health issues are generally not considered.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  20. I was wondering, I live in PA. I’ve been working at a business for more than 2 years full time, they recently cut our hours to 3 days per week due to lack of work. Since I was hired for full time can I leave and collect unemployment? I need to work full time. Or would I be eligible for part time benefits?

  21. My employer recently fired me because another employee had spit in my face and a shoving match occured between us both. Can i still collect UC? HR rep said she would not fight me collecting. Also i had an on the job injury last year (within 18months) but i have been back to work for 5 months now witout restrictions, can i still collect?

    1. You can leave the job and collect under such circumstances.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information.

  22. if you work part time can you still collect unemployment and how many hours are considered part time.

    1. If the job is designed to be part time, you may not qualify.

      Please check further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

    1. You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  23. Three years ago, I retired from an employer and have been receiving monthly pension payments. After retiring, I worked full time with another employer until recently when our contract was adjusted and my position was eliminated. Do I report this monthly pension when applying for UC, and does my monthly pension impact the UC benefits?

    Also, when applying for UC, do I use gross or net wages?

    1. Yes please. Report the pension as well since it has an impact on UC benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information on the last question.

    1. You will need to ask for Form 1099 G for filing taxes.

      You can download this from the official website or obtain it by calling the claims center.

  24. I turned in my FML paper work when I was almost 34 weeks pregnant. The paperwork was to show I would be out 6-8 weeks after delivery. I had no problems with this with my first pregnancy (2 years ago with same employer.) However, this time the Dr. who filled out my FML papers (I have never actually seen this Dr.) put under job limitations that I cannot lift more than 25lbs. I handed in the papers yesterday and today my HR office called to tell me that I cannot return to work because the weight lifting is considered a restriction for me. I am still able and willing to work but they will not let me come back until after I have the baby. This has put a financial hardship on myself and my family as I will only have enough paid time off for about 3 weeks. After that I will not be getting paid. I was told by someone I can collect until I have the baby. Is this true? If so, how do I go about filing?

    Thank you,

    Lauren Vogel

    1. Personal reasons such as health issues are not considered.

      Please check further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  25. I have been a full time USPS (postal worker) for 22 years and just recently I am now reduced to part time duty (about 15 hours a week). Can I file for partial unemployment compensation ?

    1. Yes, you can claim and receive partial UI benefits as long as the hours cut is involuntary.

      Please consider filing.

  26. the company I work for is from wv,i live in pa but they got work in pa been working in pa ,when I claim do I get uc from pa since they got work in pa ,

  27. I lost my job of 25 years in on Dec 15, 2014. I collected unemployment and my benefits ran out after 26 weeks. I finally found work only to find out after 5 months I am being fired. Will I have enough benefits built up to collect ago until I find employment?

    1. Generally, if you decide not to accept, it may be considered voluntary resignation. However,there are exceptions.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for further information before making a decision regarding your job.

  28. Hi, I didn’t have means of transportation after my car was damaged, and was in the auto body shop being fixed. Could I file for unemployment. I was with a temp agency and my assignment ended though I’m still active with the agency. Could I temporarily seek benefits, if I financially qualify? The loss of my car wasn’t due to my own fault though anothers.

    1. I don’t think you will qualify for a temporary or contractual job.

      Please inquire further with the labor dept in your state.

  29. I have been laid off, but my employer is going to give me an hourly rate up to 15 hrs a week to complete required reporting. Will I be able to receive the full compensation that I am eligible for through unemployment.

  30. I am pregnant and am leaving for maternity leave for 8 weeks. My job doesn’t offer maternity leave pay. Can I collect unemployment while I am not employed during those 8 weeks?

  31. i am collecting a pension since october 2000 but have been working full time since then in other companies. i am being laid off and would like to know what unemployment payment be to me.

    1. Please check with the customer service of the labor dept in this regard.

      Some states accept both whilst some don’t.

  32. I have been working perdiem and now they have hired a “floater” in the docs office that I work in. I have been working for the hospital 7 years. Now they have not been calling me. I worked 7 hours in three weeks. Am I eligible for some compensation?

    1. You should be as long as your employment is a regular job and your application satisfies all rules.

      Please consider applying.

  33. I presently work in New Mexico and am leaving my present job because I have to move to PA. Will I be able to collect unemployment in PA while I’m not working?

    1. Yes,you can.If you’re working part time,states provide UI for the hours not worked in a given week.
      Please consider applying for compensation.

    1. I am not sure what you mean.If you left the current job because of the distance traveled,then it depends.Please contact the claims center in your state to understand more regarding this.

  34. I worked in 3 states in past 18 months and was wondering could I claim unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania even though I didn’t work there or live there maybe on a multi state claim or something

  35. I reside in sc. but my home base where my payroll came from was through pittsburgh. The rate is significantly higher there. Sc. says i am not eligible for pitt unemployment rate. Is this true?

  36. Had knee surgery, employer allowed me to come back on light duty. the knee did not improve and cant be repaired for a year so employer can no longer provide light duty and is terminating me. am I able to collect uc benefits?

    1. If you are able to work light duty, actively seek and accept employment you will be able to collect if you meet the minimum earnings.

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