Pennsylvania Unemployment Calculator
Calculate your PA unemployment benefits by filling quarterly wages earned below:
We created this tool to help you calculate your unemployment benefits. This information is provided as an estimate and is not a guarantee of payment.
Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits Calculator
The most recent figures for Pennsylvania show an unemployment rate of 5.7%.
How To Calculate Your Unemployment Benefits in Pennsylvania
If you’re applying for unemployment insurance benefits in the state of Pennsylvania, you can calculate your benefits so you know how much compensation to expect. As long as you’re unemployed through no fault of your own, you meet minimum earnings requirements and you’re actively seeking employment while able and available to work, your chances of being approved for benefits are good.
This is assuming you worked for an employer who paid appropriate payroll tax and state unemployment tax. Having an appropriate estimate of your UI benefits amount can help you ensure that you’re receiving an appropriate level of compensation. This knowledge can help you not only to advocate for yourself if your weekly benefit amount is too low, but it can also help you guard against accidental overpayments that could be construed as unemployment fraud.
Use our PA unemployment calculator at the top of this page to determine your weekly benefit rate and the amount of compensation you should expect to receive for each week that you submit a claim.
What Is a Weekly Benefit Rate?
Your weekly benefit rate (WBR) is the amount of unemployment compensation you should expect to receive for each week you qualify for UI benefits. Your WBR will be calculated using your base period of employment, which is generally defined as the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the date on which you submitted your initial claim for PA unemployment benefits. Be sure to use your gross wages instead of your net income to make this calculation – the quarter in which you earned the highest income is called your High Quarter and is used to calculate your weekly benefit rate.
In addition, you must have earned enough qualifying wages from your employer throughout your base period – your wages shouldn’t have been concentrated within your highest quarter. To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania, at least 37% of your total qualifying wages must have been earned outside of your identified highest quarter. So, for example, if your highest quarter earnings totaled $9,800, then you must have earned a total qualifying wage of $15,575 within your base period. If your highest quarter earnings are $5,000, your total qualifying wages should total $7,956.
A good rule of thumb is that your unemployment benefit should equal approximately half of your regular paycheck when working. If your Notice of Final Determination shows a weekly benefit amount lower than half of your regular income, and your rate is lower than the highest benefit amount listed on the Rate and Amount of UC Benefits chart, you may not be receiving the full compensation amount you qualify for. In this case, you should file an appeal and request a redetermination from the Pennsylvania UC Service Center.
In the state of Pennsylvania, unemployment compensation is capped at a weekly maximum of $572, unless you have dependents, in which case the cap is lifted to $580. Unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania generally are available to unemployed workers for a maximum of 26 weeks.
Once the Pennsylvania UC office has determined your PA unemployment eligibility and your WBR is calculated, you also may receive additional compensation for any dependents. For example, you may qualify for an additional $5 per week for a dependent spouse and $3 per week for a dependent child.
If you have no dependent spouse, but more than one dependent child, you may receive $5 per week for your first dependent child, plus $3 per week for a second dependent child. No matter the combination of dependents in your household, you cannot receive more than $8 per week in additional compensation for dependents.
The Pennsylvania UC office defines a dependent as someone for whom you were either solely or chiefly financially responsible at the time of submitting your initial unemployment claim. For unemployment benefits purposes, a dependent spouse is a lawful husband or wife living within the same household. A dependent child is any unmarried child, stepchild, or adopted child who is younger than age 18.
A dependent child is also defined as any unmarried child 18 years or older who is unable to work because of a disability. It’s important to note that a person’s dependent status for unemployment compensation purposes is not necessarily the same as the person’s status for tax purposes. Dependent status for unemployment compensation also is unaffected by whether the person is attending school.
If both spouses within a household file unemployment claims within the same benefit year, they both cannot claim the same children as dependents. However, each spouse may claim up to two different children. For example, in a family with four children and two unemployed parents, each parent could claim two of the qualifying children as dependents.
Calculating Your Partial Benefit Credit in Pennsylvania
If you’re working part-time in Pennsylvania, you still may collect some level of unemployment benefits. This situation simply means that you’ll collect a partial, rather than a full, benefit amount for the weeks you submit a claim. To calculate a partial benefits payment, you can use the partial benefit amount, which is equal to 30 percent of your weekly benefit rate. Add these two numbers together, and any earnings you report for a weekly certification period will be deducted from that total. You’ll be paid the difference, as long as the difference does not exceed your weekly benefit rate for any given week.
Keep in mind that this calculation gives you an initial estimate only and does not account for any other deductions that may be appropriate in your case – these may include federal income tax withholding, state benefit reduction, overpayment deduction, or child support.
If this calculation gives you a payment for the week of zero, that simply means you are not considered eligible for unemployment benefits for that week because you earned too much in wages. For clerical purposes, you are not considered unemployed during weeks that you earn too much in part-time work to receive a benefit check. If you earn too much in a given week but still wish to claim benefits for future weeks, you will first need to reopen your claim in order to complete a weekly certification.
PA Unemployment Payment Schedule
Once you have outlined and shared the requisite details with your UC then you should know how quickly you would have funds to meet your daily expenses. This is especially true if you are in need of a cushion when you are between jobs. Here’s how the payment schedule works:
First Benefit Payment
Once you are eligible for benefits, you can file biweekly claims and receive your first benefit payment within four weeks from the time that you filed your application. Since the time you filed your application, your first payment would be only for one week after the waiting week.
Schedule of Benefits
Usually, benefits are paid biweekly and within four days after the biweekly claim is filed. At times, this can take up to 10 days before you receive your payment. Payments may be delayed if the eligibility issue is not resolved. Your benefits can be paid through your debit card or by a direct deposit. Just remember that you can also file your current application and still receive your previous UC benefits. When required, you can switch from a direct deposit to a debit card based on your preferred method of payment. Since it may take a while for direct deposit options, you can avail financial assistance through your debit card.
Procuring your benefits information
There are two methods of getting information about your benefits. Your recent payment information can be accessed on the Benefit Payment Information page or by calling 888-255-4728. Additionally, your payment history can be sort by visiting the Benefit Payment Information page or calling the UC service center at 717-525-5160. By calling this number, you can receive two free faxes of your UC details after which they would be chargeable to your account.
Unemployment Payment Chart
With respect to the PA UC Law, the application for benefits would be based on financial and benefit eligibility which will enable you to re-qualify for these benefits after filing the application. This will allow you to earn sufficient wages and help you remain financially eligible. Additionally, the nature of the job is considered and the reason behind why you have separated from your employer would be reviewed here. In order to ensure that you receive these payments, you should be eligible to find a job that would get you back on track.
Similarly, this payment chart attracts a rate of compensation based on the Highest Quarterly Wage that you were previously earning. The figures below provide an outline of the payment chart as follows for the Highest Quarterly Wage:
- $1,688 – $2,512
- $2,513 – $4,387
- $4,388 – $6,262
- $6,263 – $8,137
- $8,138 – $10,012
- $10,013 – $11,887
- $11,888 – $13,737
- $13,738 or more
To elaborate on the first category, this table outlines the first category:
Highest Quarterly Wage: $1,688 – $2,512
Highest Quarterly Wage
Rate of Compensation
|1688 – 1712||$68||$2,718|
|1713 – 1737||$69||$2,758|
|1738 – 1762||$70||$2,797|
|1763 – 1787||$71||$2,837|
|1788 – 1812||$72||$2,877|
|1813 – 1837||$73||$2,916|
|1838 – 1862||$74||$2,956|
|1863 – 1887||$75||$2,996|
|1888 – 1912||$76||$3,035|
|1913 – 1937||$77||$3,075|
|1938 – 1962||$78||$3,115|
|1963 – 1987||$79||$3,154|
|1998 – 2012||$80||$3,194|
|2013 – 2037||$81||$3,234|
|2038 – 2062||$82||$3,274|
|2063 – 2087||$83||$3,313|
|2088 – 2112||$84||$3,353|
|2113 – 2137||$85||$3,393|
|2138 – 2162||$86||$3,432|
|2163 – 2187||$87||$3,472|
|2188 – 2212||$88||$3,512|
|2213 – 2237||$89||$3,551|
|2238 – 2262||$90||$3,591|
|2263 – 2287||$91||$3,631|
|2288 – 2312||$92||$3,670|
|2313 – 2337||$93||$3,710|
|2338 – 2362||$94||$3,750|
|2363 – 2387||$95||$3,789|
|2388 – 2412||$96||$3,829|
|2413 – 2437||$97||$3,869|
|2438 – 2462||$98||$3,908|
|2463 – 2487||$98||$3,948|
|2488 – 2512||$99||$3,988|
Unemployment Payment Delay
Since there are several unemployed that claim benefits from the PA UC, there are chances where you may receive a delay in payment. This can be resolved by reviewing your payment options based on the Direct Deposit, UC Debit Card and determining your Benefit Payment Information to review if you have received for entitlement. You can also review if you have received your payment from the Benefit Payment Information page and by checking your Payment History. If this fails to help you check if you have received your payment then you can check your claims and benefit status. You can also call 888-255-4728 to rectify payment details at the earliest from Monday to Friday between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
PA Unemployment Compensation Tax
The Unemployment Compensation (UC) protects all from job loss by ensuring that they receive a temporary income support to those that are unemployed through no fault of their own. These benefits are payable to those that can actively seek new employment. You must qualify for UC benefits under Pennsylvania UC Law and previously employed by an employer that elected to contribute towards the UC Fund. Employer contributions are the main sources of UC benefit payments. You are applicable to pay federal employer taxes that are collected under FUTA.
Tax Rate Breakup
Your employer would have been mailed a contribution rate notice containing information about the rate for the specified Calendar period. They may appeal within 90 days of the rate notice. Under a Contribution Rate Notice (Form UC-657) that is mailed to the employers at the end of each year, the rate will be mentioned for the following year. This is applicable for taxable wages that are paid to employer contributions due. The rate notice will provide employers with details of the factors that comprise the total rate. These rates are mentioned as follows:
- New Employer Rates – Businesses that pay wages for the first time are assigned as a new employer and the contribution rate of 3.5 per for new employers is applicable for Non-Construction and 9.7 for new employers of Construction firms.
- Standard Rates: Those employers that have a sporadic employment history are assigned to the Standard Contribution Rate. A standard rate will be assigned to employers with zero or positive reserve account balances and a higher standard rate is assigned to employers with a negative account balance. On the lower rate, employers would be charged 6% and the highest being over 11%.
- Computed Rate: Once an employer has provided covered employment and paid wages for two complete calendar years then the employer falls under the experienced-based rate. There are several variations in the contribution rates assigned to employers based on the assessment of unemployment risk of the employers. The Office of the UC Tax Services reviews the compensation history and the rate at each calendar year through June 30 of the earlier year. Hence, an employer with a high rate of unemployment will have a higher contribution rate and similarly, employers with stable and lower unemployment will receive a lower rate. The contribution rate is based on six components namely; Reserve Ratio Factor, Benefit Ratio Factor, State Adjustment Factor, Surcharge Adjustment, Additional Contributions Factor and Interest Factor.
- Delinquency Rate: Those employers that pay 3 percent higher than the rate are assigned to Delinquency Contribution Rate. This is assigned if they fail to file all required registration documents, file all quarterly UC tax returns and pay all contributions, interest or penalties that are due in the second quarter of the year for which the rates are calculated. This rate is assigned to delinquent employers as solvency measures applicable to that particular year. Hence, this delinquency rate is the sum of the Basic Rate (Reserve Ratio Factor + Benefit Ratio Factor + State Adjustment Factor) + 3 percent (3%) + the Solvency Measures (Surcharge Adjustment + Additional Contributions + Interest Factor).
If there is an appeal against the UC Tax rate, then your employer can do so by accessing www.uctax.pa.gov or filing a written appeal with 90 days since the mailing date of the rate notice.
Need Help? Contact a Pennsylvania UC Office
If you get stuck anywhere in the process as you apply for PA unemployment benefits, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Representatives from the Pennsylvania Unemployment Commission stand ready across the state to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
Recently Asked Questions
How long will I receive benefits?
The state of Pennsylvania permits an individual to obtain unemployment for a maximum of 26 weeks, or half the benefit the benefit year.
The calculation is normally which us smaller: 26xWBA or 1/3 BPW. WBA is the Weekly Benefit Amount, so 26xWBA would be the regular week program. 1/3 BPW refers to the Base Period Wages, so if a person did not succeed to earn more than 3 times the standard benefit amount, they will be suitable for fewer weeks of coverage.
How much weekly benefit will I receive?
You can calculate your unemployment benefits by using the calculator at the top of this page. Your weekly benefit amount and the number of weeks of entitlement to benefits are based on the wages you were paid and amount of time you worked during your base period. The weekly benefit amount is calculated by dividing the sum of the wages earned during the highest quarter of the base period by 26, rounded down to the next lower whole dollar. The result cannot exceed the utmost weekly benefit permitted by rule.
I was told by my employer that I may be laid off intermittently during the next several months. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?
To be eligible for UC benefits, you must meet certain requirements-
- You must be financially eligible.
- You must have a qualifying separation from employment.
- You must continuously maintain your eligibility for benefits, by satisfying the UC laws.
If your hours of work have been reduced or you otherwise continue to work less than your normal full-time work week, you may be eligible for partial benefits.
What happens after I’ve applied for UI benefits?
You will receive a total of three mailers 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 PA UC Handbook which is sent to you within a span of 10 days after you’ve applied for UI Benefits.
What are the registration requirements after I file my application for benefits?
You must register for employment search services with the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system within 30 days after you file your application for benefits. If you are not already registered, create a Keystone ID and Password, using your complete Social Security number. Use your Keystone ID and Password to login and to update relevant information.
I am currently in another state, do the registration requirements affect me?
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 Pennsylvania CareerLink® system by the same deadline.
How do I request to receive my benefits by debit card?
You do not need to sign up to receive your payments via debit card. If you do not have direct deposit, a debit card will be mailed to you automatically after you have been determined financially eligible for benefits.
If I run out of unemployment compensation benefits, would I qualify for extended benefits?
No, Pennsylvania is not currently in an Extended Benefit period. Extended benefits are only applicable during an Extended Benefit period. Under the Extended Benefit period, it is payable only if the qualified individual has exhausted the regular benefits under the Pennsylvania UC Law.
What is the PAT number and what are its operational hours for filing a teleclaim?
PAT Toll-Free number is 888-255-4728 and the operational hours are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Friday. If the number is busy, hang up and try again after sometime.
Will receiving a pension make me ineligible for UC benefits?
When filing for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, you are required to report all pensions, including retirement, retired pay, annuities or other similar periodic payments and lump-sum pension payments. Pension and retirement payments are deducted from UC benefits if a base year employer maintained or contributed to the pension plan and if the base year employment affected your eligibility for, or increased the amount of, the pension. If the base year employer alone contributed to the pension, 100 percent of the prorated, weekly amount of the pension is deductible. If you contributed in any amount to the pension, 50 percent of the prorated, weekly pension amount is deductible. Pensions are deductible from weekly benefits on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The partial benefit credit is not applicable.
A lump-sum pension payment is not deducted from UC, unless you had the option of taking a monthly pension. In addition, a lump-sum pension is not deductible if you “roll over” the lump sum into an eligible retirement plan such as an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) within 60 days of receipt.
Social Security and Railroad Retirement pensions are not deducted from UC benefit payments.
May I collect UC benefits while attending school?
You may not be eligible for UC benefits if you quit your job to enroll in an academic credit training program. There is no requirement that you must be available for full-time or permanent work. Your work history can be full-time, part-time, or seasonal. However, you must not refuse suitable work when offered. You may also be ineligible if you refuse a referral to a job opportunity.
What is the PREP and RESEA program and why must I attend?
The Profile Reemployment Program (PREP) and Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program are Pennsylvania’s version of the federally mandated Worker Profiling and Reemployment Service system. PREP and RESEA are designed to identify claimants who are most likely to exhaust unemployment compensation (UC) benefits and may need assistance to find a new job.
You may be ineligible for benefits for any week in which you fail to participate in reemployment services to which you have been referred through PREP and RESEA. If selected, you must participate in these mandatory programs unless there is justifiable reason for your failure to participate.