Pennsylvania Unemployment Eligibility

In order to monetarily qualify for UC benefits, you should have earned sufficient wages during the base period. The base period is the first 4 quarters of the last 5 completed calendar quarters. The wages you earned during the base period, often forms the basis on which your eligibility is determined and weekly benefit amounts are calculated.

As you may already know, UC is for those individuals who lost their jobs due to no mistake of their own. This means that if you were fired from your last job because of a mistake you made or for gross misconduct/ disciplinary issues, chances of you qualifying for UC are slim.

And finally, you must be willing and available for full-time work. That is yet another important eligibility criteria for UC. This means that if you reject a suitable job offer while you are on UC, you may end up being disqualified from UC.

Common Eligibility Questions

I was fired from my last job, can I still qualify for UC?

To be frank, your chances are slim. Typically in PA, folks who get fired from their jobs are rarely considered eligible for UC. This means that claimants who lost their reason due to no mistake of yours alone get to receive UC benefits. So it is unlikely that you will qualify for UC.

However, we still recommend that you file a claim for UI. There are some cases where even fired claimants were deemed eligible for UI, so you should not refrain from filing for UI just because you were fired.

If you feel that firing you was uncalled for and that  not justified, bring that to the attention of the authorities at the Unemployment Insurance Agency. If your claim was denied because you were fired from your last job, you may get the chance to appeal .

I was laid off from my previous job as the company was shutting down. Will I qualify for UI benefits?

Laws vary from state to state in the U.S. In general, claimants who were laid off from their jobs because there was no sufficient work or because the company was shutting down are usually eligible for UI. As long as there is no mistake of yours behind your job separation, you should be okay.

However, keep in mind that it is not the only criterion for qualifying for UC. You must have earned minimum wages and worked minimum hours during your base period to be eligible.

I wish to quit my job for a very genuine reason. Will I be able to collect UI benefits?

That would depend on the reason that compelled you to quit your job. However, in general, claims are denied to claimants who opted for a voluntary resignation as this is a direct negation to the rule that applicants must have lost their jobs due to no fault of theirs.

That said, the state of Pennsylvania does understand that there could be reasons outside of your control that compel you to leave your job. Hence, some applicants are considered eligible if the reason behind the decision to quit was one of the following.

  • Unavailability of suitable transportation
  • Harassment at work
  • Unfriendly working environment

Want to know about how much you will receive? Calculate your benefits here

Watch this video to know more about unemployment eligibility requirements in the state of Pennsylvania –

82 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Unemployment Eligibility”

  1. Ana says:

    If i decide to quit my job because of unhealthy work environment where I feel we are not treated fairly (there are more than 1 person who will quit for the same reasons) can i file for unemployment? i leave in Philly

    1. Sam says:


      It depends on what constitutes to be called “unhealthy”. Before making a decision, please call the Unemployment Office for clarification and decide accordingly.

  2. Dan S says:

    I work for a school district and I had an emergency appendectomy done and was out of work for two weeks. During this 2 week span the school year ended and i was unable to return to work. Would i be eligible for benefits, or would this be considered a voluntary quit?

    1. Sam says:


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

  3. Stephanie says:

    If the factory you work at is being sold and you receive a termination letter … then the new owner gives you a job offer letter that is a paycut for doing the same job are you eligible?

    1. Sam says:


      I don’t think you will be eligible on the mentioned grounds. Please contact the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  4. Michelle D says:

    My husband has been out of work since July 11, 2016 due to a car accident from a seizure he had in the driver’s seat on the road. He went back to his work to start again but his boss said that there is nothing available for him right now. He was told that his job would be held for when he comes back, but it wasn’t. Can he collect UI?

    1. Sam says:


      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. The claimant is required to have employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. Please ask your husband to call the Unemployment Office for details.

  5. Lisa says:

    My Company was sold and those of us that will stay until the sale is complete, (a few months from now) will receive a “stay bonus” paid out as a bonus. Will I still be eligible for UE? Or does it depend on the amount of the bonus?

    1. Sam says:

      Yes, you can be eligible to claim after the Bonus payout.

      Please make sure to declare the same as income at the time of applying for UI benefits.

  6. John says:

    I have been working at my place of employment for the last year. They recently did a shift bid and I was at the bottom of the list (meaning I got what shift was left with no choice). This changed my hours from 2:00pm-10:00pm to 6pm-2:00am. I no longer have transportation due to my wife having the car for her work. She can normally pick me up but it is a strain on her due to her working early in the morning. Would I be entitled to unemployment until I find a new job?

    1. Sam says:


      Generally, quitting voluntarily means, you will not qualify. However, yours can be a valid reason. Please speak to the Unemployment Office.

  7. Carla says:

    I will be laid off in a month. The company is providing 6 months of severance pay in one lump sum. When can I or should I apply for Unemployment benefits

    1. Sam says:

      Please wait until the severance payout ends. You can apply towards the end of it.

  8. Bill says:

    The car dealership I work at was just bought out. The parent company still exists. The new owners who will be taking over on May 8 told us today that our department is being eliminated that day. I will not receive an offer from the parent company. I live in PA so can I collect? Really stressed out.

    1. Sam says:

      Yes, you can be eligible to collect since you’re being laid off.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I’m a PA resident who is being medically retired from the Navy. I’m currently in California, and will probably stay here while I search for employment. Would I file for unemployment in PA or CA?

    1. Sam says:

      You can consider filing from your current state of residence.

  10. ken king says:

    If the state is closing my prison that i work at and i choose to furlough can i receive unemployment benefits? they say they will give us a job at another institute but i have only one choice that is even close to my residence. we are trying to get the home ready to sell but i don’t know how long that will take, never been unemployed before, dont know what to do…..

    1. Sam says:

      If you’ve been completely laid off from the job, you can be eligible to claim employment until you find a new job.

      Please consider applying.

  11. Jessica Pascoe says:

    I am currently working in a warehouse where the last 3-4 months, we get told at least 3 days a week, ( I work 4, ten hour days), that DUE TO LOW WORK VOLUME, we do not have to go in, and taking the time off will NOT be held against us. Would I be able to open a partial claim??

    1. Martin says:

      Yes, you can be eligible to claim partial UI benefits for the hours lost.

      Please consider applying.

  12. Hamed says:

    I had a heart Bypass surgery and cant work for temporarily can I get unemployment?

    1. Martin says:

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. UI benefits are only extended to those who are able and available for work.

  13. nilda says:

    how tf do I apply?

  14. Wanda says:

    I resigned my employer in PA where I worked for 18 months and relocated to NC. 2 weeks after moving here I got a part-time ongoing HR position. After 6 weeks of working for the company, the owner called me in his office and said that they would have to eliminate my position due to financial reasons. So now I am unemployed due to no fault of my own. I filed for UC here in NC but I was told by them that I needed to file in PA against the NC employer and my UC benefits would come from PA. Is this correct?

    1. Martin says:

      Yes, that is correct. If the employment was based in PA, you should be filing from there since your employer would have remitted the taxes there.

  15. Autunm says:

    Can I collect unemployment if my boss says I’m unable to be on the job pregnant?

    1. Martin says:

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. UI is only extended to those who’re able and available for work.

  16. Domenic Lombardo says:

    Can I collect unemployment if I’m getting SS

    1. Martin says:

      In some states, you can get both. Please call the Unemployment Office for further details on how it works in your state.

  17. JIm McAllister says:

    I have worked full-time doing accounting for a company for 32 years and also the Treasurer for signing purposes only. There is a chance that the company my be going out of business. Will I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

    1. Martin says:

      You can be eligible to collect Unemployment Insurance if you’re laid off due to business reasons.

  18. Mark says:

    I closed the business I owned in March. I am presently employed but fear I may be laid off. Would I be eligible for unemployment benefits?

    1. Martin says:

      With just under 3 months of salaried employment, you will not qualify.

      You would need at least 4-5 quarters of active employment. Please inquire further with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  19. Eli says:

    I work at a small nonprofit organization and was recently furloughed without pay for two weeks, as were all salaried staff, due to the organization being unable to make payroll. I have been invited to return in two weeks and continue to work. I do not want to return because I no longer trust that there is enough money to pay me.

    If I were to simply not return to work would I be eligible to collect unemployment benefits? If I were to go back and submit my resignation for this reason, would that affect my eligibility?

    I have already begun to apply for other jobs.

    1. Martin says:

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

      If you resign, it would be considered voluntary.

  20. Terence Williams says:

    If I am out of work due to a labor issue(union called a strike) am I eligible for UC. If so and I live in another state but work in PA., where do I file

    1. Martin says:

      Not sure if you will be eligible for temp time off from work.

      Please inquire with the Unemployment Office in PA.

  21. Liz Evarts says:

    My employer has accused our department of theft and says he doesn’t trust anyone. He is sending employees from other departments to learn the work we do and to spy even though there are cameras. It is very stressful at work now since being accused. He said he will not fire anyone he will force us to quit so we can’t collect UC. Can I collect if I quit due to this stressful environment?

    1. Martin says:

      You can be eligible if you leave due to hostile work environment.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  22. Reen says:

    My employer of 4yrs is relocating it’s 2 buses about 1.5hrs trip each way. I cannot physically take a bus, for the last year. I don’t have a way to work. My manager is suggesting carpooling since it is so far. Intentions are good, but I don’t think this will be a reliable solution. Would I qualify for benefits until I can find employment closer to my area.

    1. Martin says:

      Some states do consider this as a valid reason to quit. Not sure how it works in PA.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for specific information.

  23. Marie says:

    I own my S-corporation. I am on my payroll. I pay unemployment taxes. Under what circumstances will I ever be permitted to collect unemployment compensation benefits (besides bankruptcy), because for the most part I am not allowed to collect because I am an owner/officer of the business. Once in awhile business is slowed to a halt. I have been paying my taxes for seven years now. I seem to be involved in Taxation Without Representation. Thank you!

    1. Martin says:


      We do not have any information in this regard. Please call the Unemployment Office in your state for precise information.

  24. Kathaleen says:

    My spouse and I currently live in PA. I have secured a job in Indiana and my husband has had to quit his job to move with me. I see that in the FAQ’s that you are eligible if you quit you job if: “Transfer of a spouse to a new location.” I understand that we have to apply in PA because that is where my husband has worked. Will he still receive benefits through PA unemployment if he lives in Indiana?

    1. Martin says:

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

      1. Kathaleen says:

        Please clarify when someone will be eligible for unemployment when they quit voluntarily. It states on this website that for the following reasons a per son may collect of they quit voluntarily:
        Ill health
        Unavailability of suitable transportation
        Transfer of a spouse to a new location
        Harassment at work
        Unfriendly working environment
        I asked specifically about the “Transfer of a spouse to a new location” stipulation and I was told: “He will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.”
        If this site is not correct, please revise. Otherwise, could you clarify when a spouse would be eligible in this case?
        Thank you.

        1. Martin says:

          Apologies for the content published in this regard. Information on this page has been corrected.

          You may want to check with the Labor authorities in your state to confirm.

  25. Tim says:


    I left my job in December 2015 to pursue a career in teaching. If I am unable to secure a job after student teaching, would I be eligible to collect unemployment?


    1. Martin says:

      If you quit voluntarily, you will not be eligible since unemployment benefits are only extended to those who lose job due to no fault of their own.

  26. DALE says:


    1. Martin says:

      Part time workers are generally not eligible.

      Please inquire with the labor authorities in your state.

  27. Lee says:

    My husband was offered a promotion in which we had to relocate from PA to FL. If my husband didn’t accept the promotion he was going to be terminated because his employer decided to close all their PA stores. Since my husband’s income was significantly more than mine, I had to quit my job of 2 years and move. Upon moving and selling our PA home his employer decided to cut his pay by more than 25%. We lived in FL for about 5-6 months total. During that time I worked 2 jobs. Both ended before the 90 day probationary period. I was let go from the 1st job and I left the 2nd to because my husband accepted a new job back in PA. Now that I am back in PA I am having a really hard time find employment.
    In the end I had to quit 2 jobs. Once for my husband’s transfer to a new location and second for his acceptance of a new position after his pay was cut by more than 25%. I’ve never been unemployed, could I possibly receive UC?

    1. Martin says:

      Please use the calculator available on this site to ascertain your eligibility.

      You will not be eligible if the last job was lost due to voluntary reasons.

  28. tracy harsh says:

    I was laid off

    1. Martin says:

      Please let us know how we can help. You can be eligible to apply for Unemployment Compensation.

  29. Brian says:

    I will be getting laid off from my part time job of 28 yrs.. That job has been a supplement for my income. I do have a full time job. Will I be able to collect partial UC?

    1. Martin says:

      I don’t think you will qualify for a part time job.

      Please check with the labor authorities in your state.

  30. john schmitd says:

    The job I’ve been at for around 6 months (I was employed elsewhere prior for over 1 1/2 years) is constantly changing our schedules. It’s been about 6 times now. The current schedule change will only allow me to spend around 2 hours a day with my 13year old son. It is only him and I so he would be left alone from 5pm until the following morning until I get home around 6:30am. He leaves for school at 7:10am and gets home at 3:15. Would I be able to collect for not being able to work the new shift because of it being unhealthy for my son?

    1. Martin says:

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

  31. JF says:

    I was let go from a previous employer and was collecting UC benefits. I took a new job, but the physical demands are more than I am able to handle. I am less than a month into the new job, am I able to collect?

    1. Martin says:

      Please call the labor authorities in your state for further information. You may not qualify if you quit voluntarily.

  32. jannices says:

    i am active duty military and i will be getting discharged on a future date honorably can I start the claim before getting my dd214 and then finish the filing after?

    1. Adrian says:

      Please call the claims center/customer service for further information. Each state has its own rules for Military men.

  33. jack kreider says:

    I work for a school district in pa. My custodial job is being outsourced to another company, I do not want to be forced to work for them, even if they offer me a job, can I collect UC & look for work elsewhere?

    1. Adrian says:

      If you voluntarily decide to resign due to the changes in the organisation,you will not be eligible to receive UI benefits.

      Remember,UI is extended to those who become jobless due to no fault of their own.Please explore other options within your company.

  34. Andrew says:

    Dear Sir/Ms.,

    I live in North Carolina and lost my job at a PA company in Nov. 2013 of last year after working for the firm for only six months. I filed for UC benefits at the end May 2014 at the end of my severance period. PA UC has rejected my claim because they state that I do not meet the financial rules. Apparently greater that 49.5% of my income was made in the third quarter of my employment. The third quarter was a rather large severance payment. I initially appealed and after five weeks called this morning to follow up only to find out that my appeal had been rejected again for the same reason. They claim that notification was sent to me but I never received it. How do I appeal this? I do not understand the why my claim was rejected and how I go forward. Thank you in advance for your response.

    1. Adrian says:

      Please contact the customer service/claims center and ask them for an adjudicator who will help you to amicably resolve the issue.

  35. megan says:

    If I get put on bed rest due to pregnancy complications will I be eligbke for partial unemployment?

    1. Adrian says:

      You may not qualify.

  36. Janell says:

    In 2012 my employer due to financial reasons closed the office on Fridays promising as things got better we would return to full-time….didn’t happen. He was the Chief Administrator for the doctor. He died suddenly and the doctor recently closed Mondays. We work Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. Are we entitled to benefits to make up for this financial loss?

    1. Adrian says:

      Please check with your employer if they paid specific taxes that contributed towards UI funds administered by the labor dept in your state.

  37. joe says:

    My company sold 3 stores to a new owner and mine was one of them. I am the store manager working on a base salary with commission, receiving benefits for family of 4. The new company has been quick to make promises that the insurance will be offered at the same cost to me but they have offered me my base salary with no sales incentives or commissions. I have been working during the negotiations but they have not increased their offer and it will be $16,000 less a year than I was making. Am I forced to take their offer or am I eligible for unemployment. AT that rate I would lose money going to work with childcare and other things. Thank you

    1. Adrian says:

      Well,it depends.Whilst I understand the urge for you to move out,you must try well to negotiate better terms. UI is extended to those who are unemployed due to no fault of their own.It can be tricky for you.

  38. Ryan Nicole Mascelli says:

    I am temporarily laid off from work due to complications from pregnancy. Will i be able to get unemployment benefits?

  39. Yolanda says:

    How often are unemployment checks mailed out?

  40. Yolanda El says:

    My job is closing Dec.31,2013 when can I open a claim and where is the Unemployment office for North Philadelphia? I will not have a computer when they close. Thanks.

  41. Donald Karwoski says:

    I am retired from a State job, I receive a pension from the State. I also receive Social Security. I was hired as a Borough Coordinator Part Time. This position was recently eliminated. Am I now entitled to unemployment from the borough. I am 72 years old

    1. kathy says:

      As a Borough Coordinator, were deductions made for unemployment? If so, you are eligible to apply – age and social security have no bearing – you must actively seek and be able to work.

  42. leroy H James says:

    I am still working but very little hours on Tuesday I drove 30 miles to Bristol worked 1 1/2 houres and was told there is not more work so we must leave.

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