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Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
$572
Max. Weeks of Benefits
26
Current Jobless Rate
5.7%
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
$572
Max Weeks of benefits
26
Current Jobless rate
5.7%

Updated : February 22nd, 2022

Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program in Pennsylvania (PA) is designed to support the transition of workers when they lose their jobs until they find a new career opportunity. If an individual becomes unemployed through no fault of his or her own, he or she may file for unemployment benefits in PA to get monetary support.

Explore the eligibility requirements, application process and all the other information related to Unemployment Insurance the applicant may need to successfully claim for benefits.

Eligibility To Apply For UI Benefits In Pennsylvania

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



Monetary Eligibility

The applicants should qualify for unemployment benefits in PA 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 or 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 unemployment benefits in PA if he or 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 requirements

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 or her previous employment.

Unemployment benefits in PA 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 or 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 or her employer, it may lead to disqualification of the application.

Eligibility Calculator

Eligibility requirements – overview

Maintaining Eligibility

If an applicant must remain eligible for PA unemployment benefits, it’s then important that he or 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 their eligibility 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 on job search requirements

How To Apply For UI Benefits In PA?

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

One can file an PA unemployment claim 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. Applicants should file for two benefit weeks at a time and certify that they are eligible for each week separately.

Learn how to claim weekly benefits

UI Benefit Amount in PA

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

Benefits Calculator

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

Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State:
Pennsylvania
Select Number of Dependents:
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Unemployment Benefits Calculator
State: Pennsylvania
Number of Dependents: 0

How much did you earn in each of these quarters?

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Calculating your Benefits Amount ...
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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.

Know more about the Benefits Calculator

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 or 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.

Know more 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 your nearest unemployment office



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 was a teacher in VA and had to move when my husband relocated to PA to another job. I have not been able to find a teaching job in my area. Can I receive unemployment benefits?

    1. I am working part time and want to make sure if i am eligibly so.
      Last year on August 2, 2012 i lost my job and went to rehab after that tried to look for work so finally on Feb. 12th 2013 got hired at Giants Stores in Bethlehem, pa. so far still working however my hours started to shrink so here i am seeking parial did my bi-weekly on july 7th and look like i might have a problem. Please response Quicly or call me at 484-769-4135. thank you.

  2. My employer has decreased my weekly working hours again by 3 hours. Can I apply for partial unemployment benefits?

  3. I took a job thru a temp service at UPS I was told the job would be mine after 90 days. After two weeks we were told the job was being outsourced to India. My contract keeps being renewed but is up 12/26/2012, UPS knew about this and let me go thru all the training and now want me to train someone in India which I am but can Icollect unemployment when my job is done Iwill have worked four months, with the possibility of being 7 months.

  4. How can I find out how much unemployment compensation I have for 2012, I am trying to remortgage and they are asking for this information. I can only get 06/12/12 through 08/25/12 on the website

  5. If I receive a severance package that pays me 2 weeks for every year of service, can I collect unemployment immediately after the layoff?

  6. I have been calling for 3 weeks to get an answer on unemployment. I FINALLY got through today – was on hold for 50 MINUTES – and then was disconnected. This is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe PA unemployment should hire on more help. My 26 weeks runs out next week – Will I be able to get extended benefits?

    1. If I get a busy signal because there aren’t enough employees to answer the phone, why do they not just hire some of these people on unemployment to answer the phone. I swear they just want us to give up and not file at all.

  7. I applied for my unemployment benefits and received my conformation number but have not received my conformation email yet and I filed about a week and half ago. Can you tell me if I have qualified for any benefits?

    1. If you contact with your unemployment office you can find out the status as well as how long your benefits will last. Most of the time you get an automated system and all you do is put in your info.

      If you are in Pennsylvania, go to https://www.uc.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx – click on the EB link. Claim weeks. Get claim info. And enter SSN and other info required. It will give you all the info you are looking for regarding status: Benefit year, amount in account , amount sent in the check and date to claim

  8. I am mandated by federal government to retire at age 57 in less then 2 years. People have said that PA changed law that mandated federal workers are no longer covered to receive unemployment benefits. Can you set me straight on this.

  9. My job agreed that I can start work and finish at a certain time every day. have a 14 month old child I need to watch when I am done work because my wife works. If my job makes me try to work a different shift and I tell them I cant do it because I need to be home to care for my child and they let me go will I be able to get an unemployment claim?

  10. If I worked in the state of PA 7/11 thru 10/11 and have 6 weeks here again do I qualify for UI or do I have to have 16 weeks this year?

  11. I gave my two week notice at work last week. My boss told me today to leave and I didn’t have to finish my last week. Is that considered firing and can I collect unemployment. I did nothing wrong, I’m still not sure why I couldn’t finsh the last few days

    1. The first valid week is a waiting period week and no check is payable for that week. It will take nearly 2-3 weeks from the day you first file a new claim to obtain your first unemployment check.

  12. i have been trying to call uc.gov with the number listed above for three days straight and keep getting a busy signal is there a place to go instead

    1. Be ready for long wait as lots of people are trying to call at the same time. Remain patient and you will get through to someone who can assist you. Even if it is frustrating to wait so long, please be courteous to the person you get connected to. You may expect a lot more help from the staffs than if you are terse and rude. Please understand that the staffs on the other line are over worked and are helping you in every possible way.

  13. The project I worked on ended and I wasn’t rehirable for any of the other available positions in the company, located in Utah,due to disability limtations. Thus, I decided to move back to Pennsylvania to be with family, and I plan to stay here. With which state do I file for unemployment benefits?

    1. When you finish extended benefits, depending on your resources, you might need to think about other options for financial assistance. Families with low income and financial resources might be eligible for cash assistance, food stamps, mortgage assistance and health care assistance, commonly known as Medicaid.

      You can also make use of services such as job listings, career assessment and planning, computer access, resume and interviewing tips, advisories on job fairs and workshops near you and opportunities for financial aid in education and retraining programs.

  14. Does anyone know if there is any new rule regarding seasonal employees in PA collecting?…I work on a golf course and have collected before in the winter…I went south last year and worked year round so I have over a year and a half of wages but am concerned that the law has changed since I last collected for seasonal employees….Any reply is appreciated….

  15. I have worked for the United States Postal Service for over six years and was let go a couple of weeks ago. I am receiving Administration pay which is running out, and my question is what state can I file in. I lived in Nevada and worked with the USPS since 24 June 2006 and on 9 July 2012 I transferred to Erie Pa and was terminated on 10 Sept 2012 from the USPS. Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely

    Stephen Morton

  16. This year my kid starts school & im the only one to get them on the bus, whitch makes me 20 minutes late on a daily basis. I informed my boss & he said i need to make other arrgments in whitch case i can not.. So being late has gotten me wrote up for tardyness, & they said if i get another one i will be fired.. So wanted to know if i got fired , will i be able to collect Unemployment benifits

    1. Your unemployment benefits will be denied. You were fired as what you did is against company policy. You can’t receive unemployment benefits when this is true. You are usually granted unemployment benefits when you are laid off, fired without cause or if your hours were drastically cut.

  17. I have been working at c.e.conover co. inc. for 16 yrs 3 weeks ago they cut my hre from 40 hrs per week to 24hrs per week I’am I eligible for unemployment. Thank You

  18. I am financially eligble from a claim 3 months ago. I was not eligible to collect since I was fired for attendance. I just worked 1 day from a new job and because of lack of work am not currently working at that job through no fault of mine. Can I be eligble to collect from the new employer? I filed a new claim.

  19. Two questions
    I will be 66 on November 20, 2012. Social security advised me to take social security. Am I still elgible for unemployment

    my 26 weeks end this week. Is it possible to apply again to gain another 26 weeks

    Regards
    Tom Getty

  20. Can I collect unemployment benefits if i have to quit my job due to inability to perform accurately due to fibromyalgia, which is causing me to make mistakes and forgetting how to perform my job, which entails numbers and monetary figures which are crucial to my position.

  21. My wife had an extremely premature baby back in January of this year. She exhausted all of her family medical leave by March and her employer sent out a letter stating they could not hold her position beyond the expiration of her family medical leave time. Due to my sons condition we were not able to place him in daycare in time for her to reclaim her position. My wife is now ready to go back to work, but her company does not have any work available for her. Does she qualify for unemployment compensation?

    1. Have you actually applied and received a financial determination, handbook, debit card? If yes, then call or go online – either way you will be led through the process. Be sure to use gross wages, know how much you received in holiday pay or vacation pay. If you worked for someone new since opening the claim, have date started, employer’s address and phone #, and the last day of the last week you worked your normal full time hours. It is easy, always be honest, take your time – it will be fine.

  22. what is the quaterly time frame in which someone would need to have work if applying mid to end november 2012.
    what is the wage earlings required for filling a claim mid to end november.
    does someone need to meet both the time in quarter and the wages .

    1. Minimum requirements are 16 weeks earning at least $50. These weeks must have occurred in a completed quarter. If most of your work is in the quarter just before the layoff, have paystubs ready in case employer is slow to report.

  23. I am currently receiving unemployment benefits. I started on April, 1, 2012. How long with this continue and do I need to file for an extension after 6 months?

    1. Typically, most states allow an individual to collect unemployment for a maximum of 26 weeks, or half the benefit year but if your chances of landing a job by the end of the claim year are slim, you can apply for unemployment extension benefits.

      The provision for granting extended benefits vary for each state. You can get an additional 13 weeks on your current program. In certain circumstances you may avail extended unemployment benefits for 20 weeks. Grim economy, high nationwide unemployment rates are the conditions which force the government to extend the period.

  24. Iam a nanny and the little girl starts preschool sept 4 so my hours will be cut from 40 to 10 as they still need me to pick her up everyday at 3 and stay til 5– she pays into unemployment for me but when would I start the process and what do I do?

    1. Receiving unemployment benefits from Pennsylvania is not dependent upon you living in the state for the duration of your unemployment claim. If you move to new area with an active unemployment claim in Pennsylvania, you do not transfer the claim to the new area. Instead you simply continue your claim with Pennsylvania. The only thing that changes if your physical location.

  25. The question that I have is that my employer is laying us off before the full year of the last lay off but only by week. how does this affect me and how would I sign back up for unemployment?

    Thank you
    Matthew Hafner

    1. You could reopen the old claim for the remainder of the time and then either you will qualify for an extension or a new claim.

    1. Pennsylvania unemployment insurance benefits are available if you meet the certain requirements. To know about the criteria visit http://www.paunemployment.net/benefits-eligibility

      Out of work and part time workers are eligible to apply for Pennsylvania unemployment benefits. To qualify you must meet certain minimum wage thresholds during the base period.

      Moreover, you can claim benefits for 16-26 weeks and if your weekly benefit amount is $35 – $558.

  26. I live in texas but was told to file in Penn. because that is where i worked. Ihave called the 888 number that i was given, and all i get is a busy signle. Is there another number i need to call?

    1. You may file by calling the statewide UC Service Center toll-free number at 888-313-7284 between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

      The best times to call are later in the day and later in the week.

  27. I relocated from Florida and haven’t been about to find work full time or part time am I eligible for unemployment.

  28. Where on this site is the actual form where I can apply for unemployment benefits? I can’t find it anywhere.

  29. Does working for eight months in a calendar year two four month periods make you eligible for unemployment. I am getting ready to lose my job. Two jobs in a row they are going out of business.

  30. I am currently seasonally employeed for the summer by a local fireworks store. Will I be eligible to collect unemployment when I become laid off of this job in the fall?

  31. I began working in Pennsylvania March 16, 2012. I am going to be laid off this Saturday. So I only have a few weeks in quarter 1, and all weeks in quarter 2. A friend just told me that I will be ineligible for unemployment because my 2nd quarter earnings are over 20% of my first quarter, is that correct?

  32. On Saturday, May 5th, 2012, I applied for unemployment. It would not let me apply under reinstatement. I filed back in 2011 towards the end of the year when I was laid-off for a week. Does this count towards the holding week. Please let me know.

  33. Shannon – You should wait until you become legally unemployed before you file your claims. Generally you would need to provide previous 6 months of employment history and reasons for losing/leaving the previous job. Sorry I am very sure about the benefits week, it depends on many factors and you need to check the PA state unemployment office. Hope it helps.

  34. I am done on active duty status on 31 dec 2009. I have been on active duty since 19 dec 2005. They say i will recieve 46 weeks up unemployment. Is that correct? Also what information will I need to provide proof of employment or active duty status. And do I have to wait till 31 dec 2009 to file or can I do it now knowing when my date is?

    Thank your for your time.

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