FileUnemployment
Max. Weekly Benefit Amount
$561
Max. Weeks of Benefits
26
Current Jobless Rate
4.3%
Max Weekly Benefit Amount
$561
Max Weeks of benefits
26
Current Jobless rate
4.3%

Updated : July 29th, 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 applicantā€™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 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/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

Know more on non-monetary eligibility criteria

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 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:

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.

Learn how to claim 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.

Benefits 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.

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/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 about job training opportunities

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 CareerLinkĀ® system by the same deadline.

Questions & Answers

  1. Im currently on UCI benefits and on the R.T.A.A. program in Pa.,U.S. I get 563 dollars a week for 18 weeks if I return to school on the trade act of 2015 do I receive uci money and if I exhaust of my unemployment what am I eligible for? Can I file for extension? or file for T.R.A. or do I remain on R.T.A.A. and work 20 hours and what is the 200 dollars a week for on R.T.A.A. please answer this for me? barry CAIN PETITION NUMBER 91251 out of PA.

    1. The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  2. We live in NJ, but my husband worked in PA and was laid off in Sept. He still cannot find a job. Is there an extension? If no federal, what can we do. Can he file for NY unemployment since that is where we live?

  3. I got laid off a couple days ago and filed for UC benefits and released i didn’t fill one part out right. The part i didn’t fill out right was “are you being recalled back to work at a later and i put no. Well i am being recalled in march since i am a seasonal worker. I tried to go back to change but i can only file a whole new application, so that’s what i did. Now do i file on the date the first application i filled out or the 2nd correct application i filled out?

    1. Please have this corrected immediately by calling the Claims Center. You can speak to a representative for further instructions in this regard.

  4. I just got laid off and filed for UC benefits and some of the info was wrong and i couldn’t go back and change it with out redoing a new application for benefits, so i just filed a new one 4 days later after unsuccessfully trying to get a hold of anyone. So my question is should i file for benefits on the date the first application said i should or file on the new correct application i filed?

    1. Unless either of the applications is confirmed, we may not be able to decide the basis.

      Please try calling during off-peak hours and speak to a representative.

  5. my company lost contract after 26 years.. new company offered, but it is now salaried positon andformer one was hourly..(same annual compenstation.) but I know have to work many, many hours extra to get the work done.the work was misrepresented and the work load.
    the department originally had 4 people and now I’m the only one.. would I be eligible for UC benefits from former employer..I have a termination letter from them.

  6. I have been on unemployment for 4 month still have not found a job. In philadelphia ,Pa unemployment is 6 month, can they extend my unempliyment if i didnt find a job in 2 months?

    1. Please note there is no federal extension available.

      You may call the Unemployment Office to confirm the availability of state-provided extension.

  7. If I have to quit my job because I need to move, would I be able to collect unemployment until I find a new job.

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

    1. UI benefits are not revolving in nature. You can only reapply if there are benefit weeks left in your account.

      Please call the Unemployment Office.

  8. Hi, I have been separated from my job and have been approved for UC. There really aren’t jobs here in our area of PA.
    We are thinking of relocating to Florida. My husband would be able to get a job quickly. Would I be able to continue to collect UC until I would find a job? Thanks for your time!

    1. Yes, you can move them over to the new state. Please contact the Unemployment Office in the current state for further information.

  9. My fiance resigned from his job in Pa, moved to Georgia for a new position but it is not working out for him. Should he be terminated, will he be able to file UCI from the job in Pa? In Georgia you are not eligible for unemployment until after 1 year.

    1. If he loses the job due to involuntary reasons such as lay offs, he will be eligible.

      The application should be made from the state of last employment.

    1. Please visit the official website of the labor dept in your state and look for Form 1099-G or call the claims center on the phone numbers provided.

  10. due plant closing in march 2015 husband opened a claim in and started collecting unemployment not sure of the date but he started working part time and then collected partials in september the place he worked for awarded him fulltime status in Nov 2015 he needed to hit retirement to help pay for medical insurance and some of my medical bills as well as pay of government student loans that were in forebearance the place he is working for is having a temporary reduction in hours and he will need to reactivate his partial unemployment status will there be any problem with restarting a partial claim due to withdrawing money from his retirenment

    1. Retirement income will have an impact when your husband applies. Please speak to the Unemployment Office to ascertain.

  11. I am currently working for a company making $50,000. The company has been sold and I am being told that my new salary will be $32,000. If I do not accept this and am forced to leave, am I eligible for unemployment while I seek other employment?

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

      Please check further with the labor authorities in your state.

  12. I cerified late. Which i missed 2weeks pay. I certify today and they gave me one week pay I need both payments what could have went wrong. Also will they give me that other weeks pay i really need it. I understand I did not get the other payments due to not having internet but this week i NEED BOTH PAYMENTS…

    1. Please note we’re not associated with the labor authorities in your state.

      Speak to the claims center for further advice.

  13. I am nearing my 26-weeks of unemployment and benefit year does not expire until April 2016. Am I eligible for a Federal extension of unemployment benefits until April 2016 in the state of Pennsylvania? Thank you!

    1. The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  14. My husband lost his job in Jan. 2015. He started a new job over 200 miles from our house near Pittsburgh. I had to quit my job and we have relocated to the area this last week. Am I eligible for unemployment compensation?

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

  15. I am laid off from a full time position and have been collecting UC benefits for 4 weeks, my employer wants to call me back to work for 25 hours a week. PA UC says I can file for partial benefits but they will only pay the difference between the my gross and $470 UC limit. This mean I will have $17 less a week in income based on my net wage. Can I refuse the part time job offer?

  16. Filed a claim for UC but because of severance package I was told I could bot receive benefits until August 2015. My position was eliminated on 04/24/2015. I filed for benefits for 04/26/2015. Failed to register for job search but has been actively looking and maintaining a log. Told by UC that because I failing to register for job search within 3o days I was ineligible for UC for week ending 06/04/2015. Does this mean I can not Collect?????

    1. If probably means that you’re not eligible only for the particular week.

      Please check further with the claims center of the labor dept in your state.

  17. My question is: Why didn’t I receive my Pennsylvania UC Handbook, my Claim Confirmation Letter,and my Notice of Financial Determination, I filed an initial Claim on 12/26/14, and I am still waiting for all this information. Can you tell me why I am waiting so long for this? Is it because of the Holidays ? I call PAT systems on Sunday, January 4, 2015, and I didn’t receive my information yet. Please E-mail me at [email protected], and let me know. Thank you… Susan L. Arcuri

    1. Please note that we’re not a govt. organisation nor associated with the labor dept in PA. Please call the claims center for an update.

      Since it is the holiday season, there will be delay. Initial claims take up to 10 working days to be processed. You can probably wait for a couple of more days before contacting them.

  18. Long story short my son was overpaid uc benefits a few years ago and for the past 4 years the IRS has taken his entire refund checks. This has amounted to approximately 10,000 – 12,000 dollars. Questions are: 1: how does he get a copy of the records showing how much was due and how much was interest. 2: is it possible for him to question these amounts and possibly get some refunded if they are NOT correct? 3: who does he contact for help? He is a step above minimum wage earner with wife and 2 kids. I can’t believe these amounts are correct considering his income over those years could not have been that great. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

    1. First of all, your son may have received 1099 G which would have given the details of the payment made and benefits received.
      If you have not,please call 888-313-7284.

      Secondly, we do not have any information on the tax refund.Please contact your local tax authority for further information.

  19. PA unemployment owes my husband $650 after they took the amount from his 2013 tax refund. They admitted to the error and told us a check would be processed and sent to us. This took place in January and they still have not sent us the money. We have contacted them every month since then and still have not received the money. Is this legal? We are very close to hiring a lawyer as the UC employees have no answers for us.

    1. They cannot drag it for so long.

      Please check for adjudication process on the website of the labor dept in your state and make use of it.

  20. I will be returning home after retiied from the U.S. Army . Will my pension affect unemployment while searching for work?

  21. My daughter is a nurse and has been suspended regarding something she supposedly has done wrong. She has no idea what it is and is supposed to meet with her boss and HR next week. She has heard that she is going to be fired but won’t find out what for until the meeting with hr. She is single mom with 2 kids. She would like to quit when they call her in rather than have being fired on her record. Can she collect unemployment?

    1. Depends.If she lost the job due to no fault of her’s then she can collect.

      Either ways, you can consider filing.

  22. Our Pennsylvania employer gave everyone 3 days off as “punishment” since no one volunteered to take run a truck load of outboard motors for him to Georgia and Florida. He had contacted two contractors he uses and none were available. We are classisfied as mechanics, painters, shop tech and office staff. He did not ask anyone outright to go and we were all under the assumption he was going as his son would be racing in Florida and he goes to most of those. Are we eligible for unemployment or is this a legal suspension?

    1. The legality of the suspension is best answered by your employer or a local law expert. You can get in touch with the labor dept in this regard.

  23. I got administratively terminated while out on Maternity leave. I was approved for 2 months off work, but after 6 weeks they told me they had to terminate me. Can I receive unemployment benefits?

  24. I am wondering what the hold on benefit compensation payments is. I filed for a new claim Feb 2. This is now March 25. This needs resolved asap. My next step is to get a lawyer and file charges. Ohio has informed me your offices had this wage information Feb 27 and again March 5.

    1. Please note that we’re not a govt organisation and do not have access to claims information.

      Please follow up immediately with the claims center of the labor dept in your state for an update before investing on a lawyer.

  25. I work out of a union hall, and my pension is fully funded by me, not by the employer. Can I collect unemployment and my pension without penalty?

  26. I am a union laborer, getting my work from the union hall. I took a seasonal job with ISS/Amazon at 14.50 a hour with the understanding that I would be laid off when the peak season ended. Peak season ended Jan 5, 2014 and quite a few people were laid off. I however was not laid off, pay cut to 13.50 a hour, and lost my overtime day. I do not want to work the same shift for less money but was told that was the pay. Can I collect if I quit?

  27. Hello! I been searching online for a hour or so looking to find my answer. I’ll try to make it quick and simple. I’m due to reopen my claim and it would be for a partial week. If I receive the same amount I did last year, then my work take home gross would be just under the maximum amount I could use to claim and still get a partial unemployment. So to make a long story short can I open and use my waiting week on a week I only worked partially? Or should I not even bother reopening it for that week. Thanks a lot for your time, Brian

  28. On March of 2013 my PA benefits expired, the UC Rep told me that i had to use my benefits that accumalated in New Jersey so i was transferred there and waited three months to recieved benefits. I started recieving benefits in June 10th 2013, in Oct i started a temp assignment that lasted til Dec 20, 2013 where do i file for unemployement ( the job was in PA.) But i still have funds in NJ. PLEASE GIVE ME AN ANSWER CURRENTLY WITHOUT AND FUNDS.

  29. I want to move but I don’t have a job where I’m moving yet. Can I file for unemployment in PA and move to Puerto rico

  30. I have a friend who has been denied benefits because his quarters did not equal. I have never heard of such a thing. How can that be?

  31. If i am currently laid off and able to find full-time employment but at a much lower wage, am I still eligible to recieve unemployment benefits?

  32. I have been without employment since mid August of 2012. For such July – August period I earned approximately $4900.00 dollars. I have complied with all the requirements and instructions of Career Link without success. On my own I had applied at least to 150 different places including civil service. I had successfully gone to three personal interviews and at least more than twenty preliminary phone interviews without much success. I need to know if under this set of circumstances I may be entitled for additional benefits under Federal unemployment dispositions.Kindest Regards. Pedro S.

    1. If you lose work through no fault of your own, you qualify for benefits. Please call the unemployment office to discuss details.

  33. I am a union ironworker. If I get laid-off and start collecting unemployment benefits, would I be able to collect my pension and continue on unemployment without affecting my unemployment compensation benefits?

  34. I was a Sous Chef in PA and had to move when my husband relocated to MD to another job. I have not been able to find a Sous Chef job in my area. Can I receive unemployment benefits?

    1. Look for a job and file for benefits. You might have to file in PA as your last job was in that state. Please check of eligibility requirements. job separation also plays a crucial role in determining if you qualify.

  35. If I was fired due to my supervisor lying on me, and me responding by not following through to irrational demands she was making, but still me doing my job, would I.be eligible for benefits of unemployment compensation?

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