To find out all about Coronavirus-related unemployment benefits     
FileUnemployment

Pennsylvania – All You Need To Know When You’re Unemployed

Updated : September 23rd, 2020

Pennsylvania UC (Unemployment Compensation) program is handled by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, which aims to provide a cushion, only if you qualify for the unemployment benefits. This enables a sense of relief to all of you who were at a constant risk of being completely stalled in your day-to-day activities because of unemployment and unpaid bills.

Therefore, filing for UI claims gives a fighting chance of being employed elsewhere without losing out much in life, and within the given time frame. So pull up your socks and do the needful!

Unemployment Insurance In PA
How to get unemployment compensation in PA?

How To File An Initial Claim In PA?

Keep the following information ready before filing an initial claim:

  • The Social Security number and your PIN (received in the mail)
  • The PA Driver’s license number, if you have one
  • The Employer Information Form, if you have one. Or else, just the name and address of your employer(s)
  • The most recent pay stub which helps in determining your benefits
  • The gross amount earned for the work performed during a week. Also, if you were absent from work for a week, then the gross amount you would have earned for the week
  • The gross amount of vacation pay, if any, for the away week

You can file your applications or reopen your existing UI claim for UC benefits by the following methods:

  • Online: You can fill an online application, which is accessible 24X7
  • Telephone: You can call the statewide unemployment compensation toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284 (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 p.m. at 717-704-8474. (*Sign language is the ONLY means of communication provided in this service)

Here’s a list from where you can apply for UI Benefits to the corresponding offices:
Based on the County in which you live, you can send your application to the following office addresses-

If you reside in these Counties: Then Application should be mailed to:
Berks, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton Allentown UC Service Center 160 W. Hamilton St., Ste 500 Allentown, PA 18101-1994
Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon Lancaster UC Service Center 36 East Grant Ave. Lancaster, PA 17602
Bucks, Crawford, Erie, Forest, McKean, Philadelphia, Venango, Warren Erie UC Service Center 1316 State St. Erie, PA 16501-1978
Adams, Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Cumberland, Dauphin, Elk, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Potter, York Altoona UC Service Center 1101 Green Ave. Altoona, PA 16601-3483
Bradford, Carbon, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, Wyoming Scranton UC Service Center 30 Stauffer Industrial Park Taylor, PA 18517-9625
Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Franklin, Fulton, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Westmoreland Indiana UC Service Center 630 Kolter Dr. Indiana, PA 15701-3570
Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington Duquesne UC Service Center 14 N. Linden St. Duquesne, PA 15110-1067

When once you have applied for the UI benefits, the concerned Department of Labor and Industry will send you three mailers within a span of 10 days.

The first mailer will have An official Notice of Financial Determination with your data, read all the instructions on the reverse of the notice for filing an appeal if any of the mentioned data is found to be false.

In the second mailer, you will be receiving a Claim Confirmation Letter (which is form UC-360). It confirms that your application has been processed at the department. You’ll be provided with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to file for departmental internet claim and to use PA Teleclaims (PAT) for filing a claim over a telephone. When and how to file for claims for weekly benefits, will be mentioned in the letter you would have received along with the form.

The third mailer contains the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook, which should answer most of your doubts. It also contains various responsibilities of a person enrolled in this program and generally delves out all the relevant information on how to deal with all kinds of stuff when you’re unemployed. So read the UC Handbook received in your mail thoroughly and understand its contents.

Fileunemployment.org has built a free and unique tool to calculate your approximate benefits if you’re entitled to it. It’s always good to know how much you’re eligible beforehand so that you can accordingly prepare your budget, to run through thick and thin of your unemployment period. Well, mostly thin in this case.

How To Qualify For Unemployment Insurance In PA?

Qualifying for benefits involves these 3 steps in the state of Pennsylvania:

  1. You must be financially eligible.
  2. You must have a qualifying separation from employment.
  3. You must continuously maintain your eligibility for benefits, by satisfying the UC laws.

Step 1: Financial Eligibility For UI Claims

If you have garnered enough wages and that too for enough number of work weeks, then you’re financially eligible to claim for unemployment benefits. If this initial condition is satisfied, then you’ll receive a Notice of Financial Determination, also called form UC-44F, which mostly explains about the probable amount of benefits you may end up receiving on a weekly basis. Read the Notice and any other supporting documentation which might have come along with the form to learn about your financial eligibility for easy UI claims.

Step 2: Qualifying Separation For UI Claims

You must be laid off or working reduced number of hours with no fault of yours to qualify for unemployment benefits.

The following circumstances DO NOT qualify for your benefits in UI claims:

  1. You voluntarily quit your job, without substantial reason.
  2. You’re suspended from your job because of Wilful Misconduct.
  3. You’ve actively participated in work stoppage determined to be a strike.

A representative from the department will be contacting you and your previous employer to know the reasons for your present unemployment. And if the reasons for your employment are in contention either from you or your employer then you’ll be provided a chance to explain your side of the story so that there is clarity among all the concerned parties regarding the reasons for your unemployment. Say, something like a questionnaire may have to be filled and returned so that the representative is able to resolve all the issues raised, based on your response. However, if benefits are still denied, you can always appeal against the decision.

It could so happen that you could already be receiving the benefits and then a review can also take place later on. You’ll be served with the Advance Notice form, which will give you a chance to give all the necessary information about your eligibility to continue to receive UC benefits unless a written ineligibility has been issued against your favor.

Part-Time Work

Part-time employees could also be eligible for benefits if the following circumstances are true:

  1. Your regular work hours are reduced.
  2. You have obtained partial employment elsewhere with fewer work hours after being separated from your job.
  3. You are separated from one job but continue to be employed by another employer on a part-time basis.

You’re not eligible for benefits if you’re working your normal hours of work per week with your regular employer or company.

Step 3: Maintaining Your Eligibility For UI Claims

Maintaining your eligibility on a continuous basis is pivotal since your benefits are available to you on a weekly basis. Failing to adhere to certain factors will make you lose your UC benefits. So here’s a heads up for you:

  1. Filing your Biweekly Claim
  2. Work registration requirements
  3. Work search requirements
  4. Able and Available requirement

How To File A Biweekly Claim In PA?

Whenever you are either partially or fully unemployed, you are required to file a claim each week. The claim week ending date shall always be a Saturday and is called as a CWE Date because the regular calendar for a week begins on Sunday and ends on a Saturday.

Generally, you must file for two weeks at once and is called a biweekly claim. However, you need to certify that you’re eligible for the benefits each week separately.

PA Unemployment Compensation program you need to know about!
Tips to claim UI benefits in PA

Filing over the Internet: You can directly access the Pennsylvania biweekly claims section online on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. This is the recommended way of filing.

Filing by Telephone (PAT): You can also file a UI claim via Telephone. The toll-free numbers are 888-255-4728 and 877-888-8104 (Spanish).

Filing by TTY: You can opt for TTY message services 24 hours a day, from Sunday to Friday for filing your biweekly claims at 888-334-4046.

Videophone Service: American Sign Language (ASL) videophone service is available for individual workers every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474. This Videophone service is strictly for sign language only.

Work Registration Requirements

You shouldn’t let go of your steam thinking that the government is paying for your survival, you must follow the rules, you must protect the system, remember that!

You must register yourself within 30 days after filing for UI benefits for the employment-search services offered through JobGateway® and if you experience difficulties in registering or face issues such as partial registration, etc, then contact your local Pennsylvania CareerLink® office.

Work Search Requirements

From the beginning of the third week from your Benefit year, you’re supposed to apply for two jobs and participate in one job search program weekly. And you have to maintain a weekly report which lists the search requirements carried out by you.

You have seven types of work searching activity:

  • Attend job fairs
  • Search for posted positions on JobGateway®
  • Create or post your resume on JobGateway®
  • Contact your former colleagues and enquire about employment opportunities available
  • Participate in a program offered by CareerLink®
  • Take up Civil Service test or pre-employment tests
  • Sign up with an employment agency or a school placement service

Ability And Availability For Work

This section is self-explanatory. All you need is to be able to work, available to work and willing to return to work which could either be your old job or a new one.

You’ll be disqualified, if:

  • You’re incapable of performing any work due to physical limitations
  • You’re outside your labor market or country on a vacation (Contact your UC service center before leaving the country)
  • You do not have a way to reach work in a timely manner
  • You’re imprisoned
  • You do not have a childcare facility for your baby

How Are Benefits Paid In PA?

Your first benefit payment will be received within four weeks after filing your initial biweekly claim application. The benefits are paid every other week, usually within four days of filing your biweekly claim, but it may take up to ten days to receive the benefit payments in some cases. The benefit payment is either a direct deposit or paid through your debit card. Refer more for Claims Confirmation Letter on choosing which option to use.

Your Recent Payment Information and Payment History can be obtained by either logging in to your account or by calling PAT at 888-255-8728 on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. You can also fax a request for obtaining two free copies to the UC service center at 717-525-5160, you’ll be charged for additional copies.

Your Benefits Appeal Right In PA

Under Article V of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, the Department of Labor & Industry promptly examine each application for benefits and determines whether your application is accepted. The law also provides for an appeal process to allow claimants to object to an unemployment compensation determination in order to ensure that every individual is given an opportunity for a fair hearing.

There are three levels for a claimant to appeal for UI claim denial:

  • UC Service Center Determination: Within 15 days of the mailing date of the determination, you may appeal a UC Service Center determination to a Referee.
  • UC Referee Decision: Within 15 days of the mailing date of the Referee decision, you may appeal a Referee’s decision to the Board.
  • UC Board Of Review Decision: Within 30 days of the mailing date of the Board decision, you may appeal a UC Board of Review decision to a Commonwealth Court.

Stay Away From Frauds

If you fail to report payments or end up deceiving the authorities about your eligibility, then you should expect to be caught. Giving false information to the Department of Labor & Industry or withholding information to obtain UC Benefits may be charged and criminally prosecuted under various existing Pennsylvania laws like:

  • Unsworn falsification to authorities
  • Theft by deception and
  • False statements or representations to obtain or increase compensation

If you are prosecuted you may be subject to a fine, imprisonment, restitution, summons of federal tax refunds and loss of future UI benefits.

You Are Employed, What Next?

If you return to full-time work then notify the UC Service Center about it immediately. After intimating the information, you’re no longer unemployed and thus, you’re not eligible for your weekly UI Benefits.

If you intend to start a spin-off venture on your own, then you’re considered to be Self-employed, so you will no longer be eligible for UI benefits, even if your business isn’t making a profit. But, UI benefits can be still claimed if your business is a “sideline” activity matching the following criteria:

  • You are able and available for full-time work
  • You do not engage in your business the whole time
  • Your business is not the primary source of your livelihood

Keep It Working, Pennsylvania!

You now know what all goes into the filing of claims for UI Benefits in the state of PA. We invite you to actively participate in our community for making a difference and connecting with dozens of other people who are sailing in the same boat as yours. Know that it’s never too late to change and you can always enhance your knowledge base from our forum. Believe that this current situation is beatable and that you can make it as good as anybody else. Good luck and Godspeed!

Related Tags : ,

Did you find this article helpful?   YES | NO   image

  1. So I have been getting ue for 6 months and on Oct 21 I had a fact finding issue found and cleared after taking a month, I got put on hold I got nothing no benefits nothing because I am on hold until cleared up and it was another month later in my favor, I’ve been without payment since Oct 21 since then I have been on HOLD, I am beyond pissed, I call every Fri I see the letter I received saying its in my favor that says I am Monetary Eligible-yet I still have 6 payments on hold. I call DEO and I talk, I beg and I get told “we are working on it”, the letter is in my favor I am poor not rich I am poor Why how do you people get away with this

  2. Hello

    I’m 59 years old and was laid off in March 2020 due to Covid.
    In June 2020 I was advised my job was eliminated and there is no chance of me
    Being brought back. I’m collecting UI since March.

    Pondering the thought of taking my early retirement pension as I can’t survive on
    UI any longer. My pension is of course reduced due to my age. Full pension is age 62.

    If I apply for early reduced pension in this situation, does my UI benefit get decreased? I’m in New York.
    I’m still looking for full time work. No luck.

    Thank you so much
    Lorraine

  3. i was just layed off from my job, i did collect benefits in pa. my job is seasonal igot unemployment payments in jan. to april i had 26 weeks of unemployment , but only used about 13 weeks, and was called back to work. i received 2 weeks of 600 dollars of stimlus money. my question is now that i reopened my 2020 claim . i,m i still elegibe for any more stimlus payments along with my regular unemployment payments.

  4. I am 65 yrs old in California and being layed off in Dec 2020. If I apply for unemployment benefits and collect a company pension, will the pension reduce the unemployment benefits ? If you answer call unemployment what is the department or do you have a phone number for a help line. I have called and get automated questions that do not apply to my situation.
    Cannot get to a live person.

  5. Several years ago I was part of a reduction in force and was early-retired for pension purposes. I count on this small pension ($2K/mo) to supplement my employment which has been inconsistent this past two years. I am filing for UI in IL and I qualify for it, but they are saying my pension reduces my UI benefit to zero. Is that right?

    1. Mike,

      That is partially right. The pension will have an impact on UI benefits. Please check for relevant info on the Unemployment Office’s website.

  6. I have $219.00 left on my UE and still no work due to covid-19 will i be able to get a extension on my UE and will it cover the last two weeks. I request payment tomorrow.

      1. My benefits have expired, still.unemployed due to over 65, wdiebrtes, high blood pressure and have one kidney, Can I get PUA , Cares Act for any assistance

  7. im working at a place i have been layed off from a lot in my career.i got 30 yrs in there so i can retire now but need another job to make it hoping to stay working and get more hours.If i take a new job and get layed off there I will BE DRAWING 1400 A MONTH FROM THE JOB I WORKED 30 YRS would i be able to draw unemployment if the new job lays me off and would it be reduced because of my retirement money of 1400 month.

  8. My bf was laid off in April he got the the 600 to start with now he is only getting the unemployment and no extra when we hear ppl getting 3 checks totaling 40k that might be lies but still that is bullshit.

  9. I Sharon Bland or Sharon Scott or Sharon Ann Mccraw
    Use my phone to claim two of my boyfriends and my own benefits. Is that ok ?

  10. I’m getting pua on employment and it was supposed to be backdated to May 27th when I wasn’t ableable to start my new job and somehow it’s August 24th they said it would be backdated been sending messages and pua people keep saying they have emailed you guys too but nobody gets back to me who do I need to contact about this thank you

  11. I check my checking account balance every week but I cannot tell if I am getting my 300.00 extra unemployment. Also. How can I tell if I got my back time unemployment .

    1. Thelma,

      I did not understand what you meant. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for precise answers to all your questions.

  12. I have exhausted my UI and all extensions. Not eligible for Fed Ed. Does EDD open a PUA claim for me. Or do I have to aoole for it. Its been past 30 days since receiving my Fed Ed denial letter.

  13. i have been unemployed for the whole year almost and since i have been trying to distance myself to better my all around health, it took me this long to file for benefits, i was hoping to get back pay all the way to the beginning.

    1. Zach,

      To qualify, the claimant is required to have sufficient earnings/employment during the “Base Period”. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website for more.

  14. Thank you o much for investigating this. When I received an overpayment statement and my benefits where stopped I felt my heart drop to my stomach. Already being evicted by a slumlord and now no income, i had to start working when i feel very at risk for getting the virus because of pre-existing conditions and the reason for filing in the first place. i am a cosmetologist and considered non-essential. I feel utterley hopeless and helpless in this situation.

  15. I cannot contact anyone in the unemployment offices because the phone hangs up on me in all cases after listening over and over the recorded message. I have called three numbers .

    I have received pandemic unemployment since March 31st. There was a pending adjudication but I never received any questions, letters nor emails about it and I was approved and paid. Now…this is what the website says:
    7 of 7 entries
    Issue Identification Number Employer Name Issue Type Status Date Mailed Level
    0002 7693 59-01
    PUA Pending 11/16/2020 Adjudication
    0002 4773 71-01
    Program Integrity Mailed 11/6/2020 Adjudicati
    Claimant Inbox
    Select the Search button to display your action items. To narrow your search, input issue date range below and select the Search button.
    Issue Date: From: To: 11/6/2020 to 11/16/2020
    Inbox
    • Below are the items that require your attention and that you need to take action on for your claim.
    • Select the Document ID
    I need this money to survive as others do while I am trying to re-establish any contract freelance work I am capable of doing….I report my small jobs as I get them but they do not come close to equaling my unemployment as of yet. Please tell me where I can go to find out what is needed here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer a simple Math question: *

https://fileunemployment.org