PA Unemployment Compensation Guide

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 to file for unemployment compensation.

  1. Your Eligibility
  2. PA Compensation Amount
  3. Apply for Benefits
  4. Benefits Extension
  5. Benefits Calculator

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 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.

Want to know more about claiming? Watch this video -

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 procedures your claim. many States demand a 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?

52 thoughts on “PA Unemployment Compensation Guide

  1. anne marie francois

    I am unemployment since april 15, 2010, I applied for benefit, on juin, 26,2010 my claim was denied
    since that no income to pay my bill what to do now. Please give me an answer. thank you.

    Reply
  2. deobrah fisher

    I received notice that I will be laid off at end of month since there is no work available. Can I start process now or do I need to wait until end of the month?

    Reply
    1. Will S

      Hi Deborah. Unfortunately, you will have to wait until your employment ends. After that you can began the process of opening a new claim (if this is your first time to file) and then you have a waiting week once you file your first claim. In other words, out of your first 2-week benefit filing, you will only receive one week of benefits. Then, every 2 weeks when you file, you will receive 2 full weeks of benefits. The Department of Labor will send you your handbook and Notice of Determination of Benefits outlining what your weekly benefit will be, and how long you can collect. The amount of weekly benefit is based on your last 5 quarters of earnings. The highest quarter will be selected. Hope this is helpful.

      Reply
  3. R.Marshall

    Due to outsoursing I will become a displaced worker in Sept. 2011, I am of age to take retirement but cannot file for SS until January due to income.
    Can I apply for unemployment for the 4 months between. Are there restrictions on collecting unemploymet and a pension. Thank you for your time

    Reply
  4. Jeanette Gorman

    Hello I would like to know if you apply for a partial unemployment check what it goes by the money you make or the hours. And if i were to apply where would i apply just a regular unemloyment application.

    Thanks
    Jeanette Gorman

    Reply
  5. Dan

    I filed christmas week 2010, it’s now Feb 28 and when i call they tell me it’s still in
    determining status. I work a part time second job, i have been for more than 6 months however its not enough to pay rent alone. I have never applied for unemployment before, i guess my employer that let me go is doing their best to keep me from being approved. Is there ANYTHING i can do to help myself while i still wait AND ARE there only certian things that will keep a person from getting benifits or is it a case by case thing, i live on my own and im worried. Unsatisfactory performance was the reason for letting me go.

    Reply
  6. joshua tellman

    i am wondering if i would be eligible for un-employment benefits if i was to quit my job because i was moving to north carolina or how that could work for me.

    Reply
  7. Kathleen Sopko

    I am inquiring, when a person files unemployment compensation, how many weeks do they look back to determine benefit amounts. Is it a year and they take the highest quarter?

    Reply
  8. justin dehner

    i was layed off from my job in july, however, they hold my job for 2 years. meaning if business picks up they have to bring me back before they hire a new person. when i got layed off i started a new job, but its only a temporary job. i dont want to go back to my old job in hopes that my new job will turn in to perament job, which there is a 50/50 chance that that could happen. the new job would be better pay, with really good benifits. so my question is my old job wants me to come back now, i am working as a temporary now and would have to quit the old job if they call me back and i cant come back. if i quit, old job, and my new temp job doesnt turn into permanant, when the temp position runs out can i draw unemployment ??

    Reply
  9. Elizabeth Moya

    I am needing a statement from unemployment on when my last date of work was. Which was in April of 2009. This if information for medicines, I am currently uninsured, and need this information to submit to company that is going to help with medicine. My date of birth is december 22, 1961, thank you. Address is 538 Laurel Street, Reading, Pennsylvania, 19602. Please let me know if correctly sent

    Reply
  10. David S. Chase

    I have recently been able to get a job after receiving unemployment benefits. However, it is for only 27 hours per week. I do not know what constitutes “full-time” employment. Is it 40 hours?
    Am I eligible for any partial benefits?
    David Chase

    Reply
  11. james ruby

    i am returning to pa. to seek employ. i have lived in south carolina for several years and layed off this year i am presently receiving unemploy. comp from south carolina. how can i receive in pa until i secure a job

    Reply
  12. James E Lender

    If i work a 40 hr week. cut back to 36 hrs. can i still collect a partal check. What is the cut off for hours?

    Reply
  13. Joseph Drahus

    My employment at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was terminated due to the fact I accumulated ten points in a calender year. By this point system I would receive a point each time that I was late for work. When I knew that I was going to be late five minutes or more I would call to notify my supervisor. There was never a time that I would be more than fifteen minutes late for my shift. There would be several times however I would be stopped perhaps by a guest needing assistance which would also make me late which would also go against my point total. Within the values of the company it was more important to direct the guest to where he or she needed to be rather than being rude and unresponsive to the guests questions. Also, you need to take into account that there were also times where traffic would prevent me from making it to work on time. When I refer to traffic I not only mean from my home to the casino but also the traffic in the casino area. Depending on the special promotions, private events etc. taking place on the days of my scheduled shifts. As a result, Mohegan did in the end follow through with their policy and suspend me due to receiving ten points. The company then fired me two days later. I now was left with no job after the four years I had worked there with superior service to the company and it’s guests. I believe it’s unjust and unfair for the company to be able to fire me in such a manner and now I am unemployed without any income coming in. It was unfortunate for me the employee to be subject to a policy which I have no say and discretion, is used with some employees and not with others, all at the supervisors discretion. The policy was not enforced uniformly. I could accept this decision if I were an employee who wasn’t dedicated and worked hard the entire time I was on duty. If I were asked to stay late I did, if volunteers were needed to come in to cover parties, special events or non-covered shifts I volunteered. There were times that I went weeks working 7 days a week without a day off. It seems to me, that is what makes an employee a good employee, and a company that is successful. I feel that if exceptions were made for other employees than I feel that I should have been given the same opportunity, considering my level of proven dedication and work ethic.

    Reply
    1. Bill

      Hi Joe. If there was any documented written handbook or policy that states what you have described about being late ten times, and you were fired, it’s going to be an uphill battle to try to get any type of benefits. If there was something discriminatory about the way you were fired, and you can prove it with documentation, you may have a chance of getting benefits – but very doubtful. The Department of Labor is very stringent on what the company documents. Good Luck?

      Reply
      1. SB

        Actually, with unemployment, they look at the very last event that occurred prior to discharge. Fight it, especially if it was a good excuse. I just came from a meeting in Harrisburg about unemployment and have been doing claims from the employer’s prospective for 9 years.

        Reply
  14. kevin stanek

    i have a question on flat rate work. i’m at work 80-84 hours per pay period and only getting paid for 50-70 hours per pay period. it doesn’t seem fair that i’m spending all my time there and not getting paid. can i file for unemployment for the hours i’m not getting paid or should my employer be paying me something for those hours? when i’m not working on cars i’m doing things like cleaning up the shop, fixing the furance, running for parts, etc. i really need an answer to this queston. i can’t spend all those hours at work for nothing, how do they expect us to live????? please answer this question for me and my coworkers. we have looked everwhere for this answer and can’t find it. if you need to contact me for more info let me know via email and i will return your call.

    Reply
  15. Tyree D. Watkins

    I am very frustrated with the PA Unemployment Compensation system. I have been calling religiously every day to file for extended benefits and I just get a busy signal. This has gone on for weeks with every number I have called and obtained. I have even gone as far as calling the Federal Information line and the U.S. Dept of Labor and I still have no results. This is ridiculous! How am I supposed to live when I’m receiving no money and can’t even get in touch with anyone. What am i supposed to do? This is outrageous and I am very upset right now!!!

    Reply
    1. Bill

      There is a number on the unemployment website. The best thing to do is be on the phone with that number dialed at 7am. You will have less than a 10 minute wait. Keep in mind, there are millions filing for benefits. If you have access to the internet, file your extension request on line.

      Reply
  16. James Buhman

    I worked full time at DSC Logistics for 12.75 yrs. July 31, 2011 I retired at 62. I stared work at Bell Hardware August 21, 2011 for 35.5 hrs. a week. Am I eligable to collect with this background of work history if the situation arives?

    Reply
  17. richard keller

    I started work for L.P.S. in Jan 2011 initially there took taxes out. then in september they decided to make everyone 1099. Business is slow, straite commission I was warned that I might be replaced. since I have a good quater of taxable income for 2011 can I and at what point should I be speaking to the compansation department. thaks

    Reply
  18. rob rogers

    I moved to PA from WI last Fall when my wife tranfered here for her new job. I was working full time in WI. I started working here part time when I arrived in September.
    I was told I may be able to file for partial unemployment for the difference in what I earned there to what I earn here. I am and have been looking for full time work in the feild I was trained in and, at least, other part time work to suppliment.
    Could you let me know if this is possible?
    Thanks for your time.

    Reply
  19. margaret m. guinan

    I never received my mail in forms for job searches. I am hoping due to the fact these never were sent to me it wll not keep me from claiming the past 2 weeks. I have completed job searches but I dont have form to mail them in.
    Sincerely,
    Margaret Guinan

    Reply
  20. Anthony Hernandez

    Just want to know I filed on feb 2 have the card and everything else but I still haven’t received unemployment claims yet…am I still going to receive it?

    Reply
  21. Haydn McLean

    I have been informed that I am eligible to receive either a hard copy or email copy of my unemployment payments. However, I have been unable to locate where I sign up to make that determination. Where do I go for that?

    Reply
  22. [email protected]

    I had to quit work Feb.20,2012. To take care of my husband with terminal laryngeal Cancer.
    Would I be able to collect unemployment, or where else could I go for financial help?
    Debra Kern

    Reply
  23. Clarissa Parris

    Hi i have not beena able to contact anyone at the uc office to ask questions about my no receiving my weekly extension claim forms for the months of march and april i was able to find out where there office is located. i guess i have to go down to the office to get any help but in he mean time my bills are piling up and hings are getting hut of and repossessed. i am not at all computer savvy so hopefully this comment gets to the right people and i can get some help.

    Reply
  24. steven hartford

    how long does it take to get first payment after your first claim called in? called in on 4/22/12. when should i expect deposit on my debit card. need to know if i should sell some more belongings to get by. thank you for any assistance.

    Reply
  25. heather partner

    I am almost done with my 26 weeks of unemployment I haven’t been able to find a job.. How do I go about filing for an extention?

    Reply
    1. Aileen Dever

      I just revived the same message I called just now for my benifeits I now need to call for an extension on ties

      Reply
  26. william smith

    I was self employed for 3 years , now I have being employed in any company for 9 months and the company is letting me go. can l claim or qualify for unemployment?

    Reply
  27. emarsh

    My company is relocating about 20 miles away. The employees will be offered to continue employment, if they want to travel to the new location. Are the employees eligible for unemployment compensation, if they choose not to travel to the new location?

    Reply
  28. JOHN

    i was making 1200.00 dollars a week and now i am unemployed collecting the max . how much money can i make at a part time job before i am pentalized ?

    Reply
  29. Stephanie

    My question is: I’m back on unemployment after a temp job, got my first payment 2 weeks later. So, after claiming the next 2 weeks, how come I have not received my next payment?

    Reply
  30. Michelle VanGuilder

    my question is how come the website for pa unemployment says they were cutting back from 13 weeks to 6 for eb benifits and i only recieved one i have no type of income and can get find a job what should i do about whats being done and also i never recieved a notice that my benifits were going to be stopped i dont know what to do ..

    Reply
  31. Susan

    My story, one of harassment and being bullied by Boss, am I eligible for UE?

    October of 2011, I accepted a part time position with a fairly new company; in a administrative position, which I agreed to in writing. This included, but was not limited to; setting up the office, creating files, answering phones, processing all work orders, and tracking rents, and communication with the owner; marketing the vacant residential properties and working with the vendors to service 80 residential properties in and around the Philadelphia area. I am a licensed PA Real Estate Broker which also enabled me to create and execute rental agreements and collect rents, and deposits from tenants. I worked closely with the Property Manager, (name withheld), and together we gave 100% to keep the business running as well as we could with such a small staff.

    I became a full time employee in January of 2012. Still working in an administrative position.

    April 2012, property manager, decided to move on to selling Real Estate Full time. After 3 weeks of not having another full time employee in the office, the corporate office hired a Property Manager who only lasted for 1 month. I was the sole full time employee. Property manager offered information on a consultant basis only.

    Approximately the 1st week in May, after being the soul employee doing my best to keep the business running after 3 weeks without a manager, the corporate office hired another Property Manager to begin the 2nd week in May. I was told by corporate and the owner, that this new person had a lot of experience with the company and would train me on the software programs, and be the acting Property Manager and would bring us vendors to address all tenant maintenance requests. I was told by the owner, that I should continue to do what I was doing and that nothing would change regarding my position in an administrative role, I would only assist the new Property Manger. Also because the new Property Manger did not have a Real Estate Sales license I would have to sign all documents.

    May 2011; Due to lack of payments (paid from corporate office out of owner portfolios), to the sum of 20,000, our current main general contractor had stopped working with us, and I was receiving daily calls regarding past due invoices, with threats of taking legal action. Hence, I was now without a Property Manager along with an on call contractor to service the properties. This was very stressful.

    May (approximately the 14th) new manager arrived, relocating from out of state. He informed me that he would resolve the outstanding payments past due, and make sure they would get paid, and not to get involved. He also said he would just observe for a while and not change any procedures until he was sure what actions to take. In the mean time I was still without help, a general contractor , and did not receive any on the job training on the “Property ware” software as promised.

    After 2 weeks, May 28th, I was told by new manager that the position I currently held was not going to be available, and what he needed was a full time Property Manger that would include all administrative tasks that I was now performing on a daily basis. I was told I was to be the Property Manager moving forward and that I was told I would have to show all properties in and around the Philly area, do inspections and virtually run the office. His title was the General Manager and he was to focus on training other offices and making sure the office was running to his standards. My reaction was; I accepted an offer to be in an administrative role for the business which did not include traveling into Philly, showing properties, and doing all inspections. I asked him, pleaded, to create a position within the company so I could keep my job. He said there were no other positions.

    From that day forward, daily I was approached regarding my new role as the Property Manager and that I would eventually have to sign an agreement which detailed my new job description. I asked if I did not sign this “agreement” what would happen. He said if I did not sign this agreement I would have to quit or eventually be fired for not dong the required tasks required of Property Manager. He also said, either way I would not be eligible for unemployment, that he knew his way around unemployment. Why this was said, I am not sure, but again, very upsetting. I said I was not comfortable signing any such agreement and went home every day wondering if I would have a job the next day. The stress brought on migraines, which landed me in emergency one day, and I began treatment for migraines and was diagnosed by my doctor doctor with Adrenal Burn out, caused by stress.

    June 21st, I arrived at work at 11:15, after sitting at a vacant rental property from 7-11 waiting for Peco to show up and turn on the Gas. (this is a property manager responsibility). New manager approached me and said he had decided to hire 2 people to assist him; an assistant to answer phones and do administrative tasks, and another to do outside sales. I asked if I could take this administrative position, and he denied my request saying, I was the Property Manager, and this was not an option. I then asked if he had something for me to sign to accept my “Property Management Requirements and Job Description” and if my pay would change. He said he had nothing for me to sign and my pay was to stay the same. I asked if I could work the part time position and help him transition a new person into the management position since I had the most knowledge of the inner office workings at this time, and was the only licensed Real Estate agent, he denied my request.

    June 21st, same day I went to lunch and experienced a severe anxiety attack. I called my doctor to schedule me in the same day. I then called the office and let new manager know I was very upset about the feeling of being forced into a management position and was having an severe anxiety attack and that I was going to see my doctor to address the anxiety attack. He said do not come back without a doctors note. I went home to take a Migraine med since I was experiencing the onset of a Migraine. Once home, I was unable to drive and called my doctor to reschedule. I was able to see the doctor on June 28th.

    June 21st, once I was able to see and think clearly and function after taking medication from the migraine, I called unemployment immediately to share the daily “harassment” I was receiving from my boss and was afraid to return to work. I decided for health reasons it was best I seek another job and terminated my employment with Real Property Management on that day. I sent an email to inform manager I would not be returning.

    There are currently 3 positions being advertised on Craig’s list for positions to fill, positions I had asked to fill to stay employed. Assistant to Property Manager . I honestly feel I was being pushed out of my position for reasons I am not aware of.

    Jobless in PA.

    Reply
  32. Karl J

    I got unemployment benefits for 6 months then i was informed that i had a nonfault overpayment. I appealed this. my question is, how can the employer come back after 6 months and dispute my unemployment. when i filed i was under the impression that the employer was informed and had their chance to dispute, and now months later they are telling me i should not have been getting benefits. I was fired for calling off of work for a family medical emergency. I followed company procedure by calling off, and i have a witness to this fact.

    Reply
  33. Margaret T. McGrath

    My job at Tastykake in Philadelphia was “eliminated” on August 5, 2011. My boss & I were the only two people in the company that handled all the Sales Drivers, etc. I am supposedly entitled to 77 weeks of unemployment. Some of the people who were left go before me collected 99 weeks. I don’t think this is fair. Also, all you hear is HOW THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HAS DROPPED! Are people that stupid that they do not recognize the fact that a lot of people are coming off their benefits; therefore, they are not longer counted. You would think that some politician would get on the TV and recognize this fact!

    Reply
  34. Annette Perez

    My question is I live in pa my fiancée lives in new jersey. I have been at my job for 6 years. If I move to new jersey after I get married will I qualify for unemployment? And should I file???

    Reply
  35. Ryan

    I live in pennsylvania. I am employed by a company based in Illinois with shops in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. The company has no work for me in Pennsylvania and they are trying to send me to Oklahoma for work. Can i file for unemployment in pennsylvania?

    Reply
  36. pregnantandunemployed

    My job recently forced me to go on leave because I am pregnant and they can not , or will not accommodate my lifting restrictions. I am very early in my pregnancy and my doctor doesn’t want me lifting more than 30 pounds and job basically told me if i cant lift up to 75 pounds then I cant work. Short term disability will not pay me because my doctor didn’t put me out. My question is, will I qualify for unemployment???

    Reply
  37. lili

    i was unemployment for a month and found a job then quit two months later becayse thr managers were pervs the unemployment worker said i could not file.so i foumd a job a daycare and got fired for no reason .i did call in twice but i was mahorly sick at the hospital with proof..can i file for unemployment again and receive the money i havent collected from wen i first filed.its hard finding a job

    Reply
  38. Lisa

    OK, I received one benefit week and $10 for my second week. Still no job despite searching. How do I file for and extension and what makes me eligible? I am out of funds and on the verge of eviction as of today. I had not anticipated the payments t0 stop without a letter from your office.
    Now what?

    Reply
  39. Paul

    My employment was terminated do to my FMLA running out. After I had surgery I was unable to return to work so when my FMLA ran out my employer let me get my long term disability. Now that it has run out can I get unemployment

    Reply
  40. walt stan

    Hi, I have about a month left on my unemployment am I eligible for a extended time to collect , if so how long and how do I apply? Thank you.

    Reply
  41. Crait

    If you are working full time, you are not eligible for unemployment in PA. Unemployment is for people who are UNemployed or WORKING PART TIME.

    Reply

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