Filing your unemployment application in Pennsylvania is not a straight forward process. Set aside some time to understand the process before you apply for PA unemployment benefits. This guide explains the eligibility criteria, and the process to file for unemployment compensation.
Eligibility Criteria for Claiming PA Unemployment Benefits
In general, you cannot get benefits if you have quit the job voluntarily. In other words, you must have been unemployed by no fault of your own. If you had to quit your job due to unfavourable conditions, you might qualify, but the state unemployment office will make a determination on case by case basis.
To get benefits, you must also be actively looking for work. If you are disabled you may not be eligible. Check if you can get disability insurance in that situation. Additionally, your previous job must have earned income sufficient to cover your living expenditure. So that means part-time work conditions do not meet the requirements.
You should file your application with PA Unemployment Insurance agency as soon as possible. While the State allows you to file a claim by telephone, the preferred method is over the Internet which gets you faster response and less wait time. When you file a claim, you will have to give important details, such as residence address, employment history etc. Make sure you give thorough and true information. Otherwise your claims may get delayed unnecessarily.
Watch this video to know if you are eligible to obtain unemployment benefits
Details needed to file for PA unemployment benefits
- Previous Job Information such as name and address of the employer. In general, you need 18 months of history. It would be helpful if you have your tax filings handy. An estimate of date-time and interval of each job is desirable as well. Generally, employers do not provide this info to states.
- Personal details such as name, social security number, phone, mailing address etc.
- Motive for leaving the job – voluntary or involuntary and how you left the job. Any papers if available will be convenient.
- Your financial institution’s Routing Transit Number and your Account Number if choosing Direct Deposit of your benefit money,
- If you are not a US national, you will need your Alien Registration Credentials provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This includes your alien registration type and number, country of origin, and your Employment Authorization or Permanent Residency papers if authorized to work in the USA.
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You are only allowed file your claim with the state where you have worked. If you have worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in various states, the state unemployment agency where you now live can offer information regarding filing your claims with other states.
Filing Your Claims at PA Unemployment Office
Once you have collected all the details, you need to contact the employment office to file your application. You can do so either by phone or online. Filing the claims via internet is the fastest and more efficient method. Visit State website at www.dli.state.pa.us to file online.
If you prefer to file over phone, check PA Unemployment Office page to get the contact numbers
Watch this video on how to contact PA unemployment office -
Unemployment offices may take 2-4 weeks to process your claim. Many States demand one-week waiting period. Therefore, the second week claimed is the first week of payment.
Federal and state laws require that certain kind of information be provided upon request for statistical and Unemployment Insurance program improvement purposes. The information you give to the Unemployment Insurance Agency relating to your claim for unemployment remuneration is kept private and will be used only by public officials performing their duties.
After you file your application, you will get an acknowledgement from the State agency. Now, you will start receiving weekly benefits. Remember you have to claim your benefits every week and make them aware that you are still unemployed.
What to do after you file you unemployment application?
After you have applied for the benefits, loosen up and think about the next steps. The payback you get will not be adequate to cover your living costs, so you should find employment straight away. Review your resume and give it a modern look. Develop your business skills or learn about new craft. Check which line of business is adding up new jobs and where the innovation is occurring.
As soon as you settle on the kind of next job you wish for, make a better use of new tools available for job searching. Networking sites such as Linkedin will help greatly with job hunting these days. Create your personal network now! You never know at the time will you need them and now is the best time to widen your network. Post your resume to various job websites such as Career Builder etc. It is also a good idea to explore unconventional places to find work. Places like Craigs list may hold gems of opportunities, who knows?