Filing Interstate Unemployment Compensation in Pennsylvania

If in case you have worked in more than one state during base period then you would be eligible to claim the interstate unemployment compensation, in addition you need to fulfill certain PA unemployment claims eligibility criteria. Generally base period is calculated as the first four months of the past five calendar quarters.

Interstate Unemployment Benefits

In order to be entitled to claim an inter state unemployment compensation in Pennsylvania:

  • It is essential to have worked in the state Pennsylvania along with at least one other state.
  • You can also file the unemployment claim in Pennsylvania though you are not a resident of Pennsylvania but have worked in that state.

Claims for UI Interstate Benefits

Claims for benefits or waiting-period credit shall be filed by interstate claimants on uniform interstate claim forms and in accordance with uniform procedures developed pursuant to the interstate benefit payment plan.

Claims shall be filed in accordance with the type of week in the agent state. Adjustments required to fit the type of week used shall be made by the liable state on the basis of consecutive claims filed.

Commuter Claim

Commuter is considered for a person who lives in one State but goes to another State to work.

You will be eligible for the Commuter claim if you have frequently traveled across the state to work. You will be considered as a resident of the State where you worked, in case of a commuter claim.

To obtain the benefit for your commuter claim will be determined based on the status of the state where you worked and not the state where you lived.

Process of Claiming the Compensation

  • Pile Up the details of your work experience of past 18 months, which consists the details of contact address, phone number and the duration period worked.
  • Call the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Service Centre over phone on 888-313-7284 between 7 am to 8.30 pm on weekdays and on Sundays between 7 am to 2.30 pm.
  • Provide the details of your name, work history, contact details, along with your date of birth, Social security number and tell about the *combined wage claim* (since you worked for more than one state) to executive representative.
  • Once the above claiming process is done over phone, with the period of 30 days you are expected to know if you are approved for the benefit or not. If accepted your weekly benefit will also be intimated to you by mail.
  • Complete your weekly claim forms as they are sent to you. Repeat this every week until you get an appropriate job.

To file an application for unemployment benefits, you will be asked to provide:

  • Social security number
  • PA Department of Transportation photo ID
  • Alien registration number (for non-United States citizens)
  • The name and address of last employer (full or part-time)
  • Most recent pay stub

Combined Wage Claim and Inter-State Claim

If an individual has worked in more than one state, he may combine all of the wages earned in his base period either to qualify monetarily for benefits or to increase the amount of benefits to which he would be entitled.

Based on the interstate claim, your benefits are determined on the state you filed against, also known as “paying state.” This should also be the state where you live.

You are entitled to the amount of benefits available to workers in the paying state, even though your benefits are based in part on earnings from work in another state.

Interstate Claim of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program provides four tiers of unemployment extensions to applicants who have filed an interstate claim and has a different option to claim the benefit

By Mail

  1. Visit the website of Pennsylvania labor office. Download and print the EUC extension application.
  2. Fill the form legibly. Sign and mention date the bottom.
  3. Mail the form to the address mentioned on the form.



  1. Access Pennsylvania’s labor office website. Make use of your current username and PIN to log in.
  2. Find the way to the online benefit extension application. Complete the application and check the box indicating that the answers you presented are accurate to the best of your knowledge.
  3. Click “Submit to send your application to Pennsylvania.

By Phone

  1. Call Pennsylvania’s claims line. Log into the system with your Social Security number and PIN.
  2. Respond each of the questions that automated system asks you. Use the keypad as directed when confirming all of your answers are correct to the best of your knowledge.
  3. Press the proper key to submit your claim to the state.

PA Unemployment FAQs

1. What is Unemployment Compensation and what are the eligibility criteria?

2. How to apply for Unemployment Compensation benefits in the state?

3. What is Pennsylvania Unemployment Tax Rate?

4. What are the necessary requirements while filing the initial claim?

5. What are the Unemployment Compensation payment procedures?

6. Is it possible to get benefits if you are fired from a company?

7. If you quit the job on your own are you eligible for the benefits claim?

8. How to file the Interstate Unemployment Compensation in Pennsylvania?

9. What is the eligibility to obtain Extended Benefit?

10. What is the process to claim Extended Benefit?

1. What is Unemployment Compensation and what are the eligibility criteria to obtain?

Unemployment Compensation (UC) is the temporary income that offers earnings in case if you have lost your job for no faults of yours. The amount you receive will be for a limited period till the time you look for another suitable job. To be eligible for benefits, you need to fulfill the criteria of PA unemployment eligibility, an individual must be an employee who has executed the service expected by the UC Law and he should be eligible to work.

Video on PA Unemployment Eligibility –

In case if you are a part time worker then you may be eligible for partial benefit. But as expected from the laws defined by Pennsylvania you should be available to work and actively searching for job.

2. How to apply for Unemployment Compensation benefits in the state Pennsylvania?

It is very essential to be familiar with how and when you must file the claim for Unemployment Compensation Benefits. Initial Unemployment Compensation applications for claiming the benefits are filed through online via Internet or through telephonic sources Pennsylvania Tele-claims (PAT) of US service centers. You may visit the Pennsylvania Unemployment online site which is the best way to file your Unemployment Claim that is available 24 hours a day and seven day a week.

To file the claim over phone you can call to the

Toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284

For TTY services for the deaf and hard of hearing: you may call on 1-888-334-4046

You may call between 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, The best times to call are later in the day and later in the week.

Watch this video on how to contact PA Unemployment office –

3. What is Pennsylvania Unemployment Tax Rate?

Generally tax contribution rate notice will be forwarded to employers through mail at the end of each calendar year that includes the effective tax rate for the upcoming calendar year. The percentage determines the taxable wage paid (upto a maximum of $8,000 for each employee) to find out the exact amount of employer’s contribution due.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation taxes are pay $8,000 of wages for each employee. Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation tax are experienced-rated with such rates ranging from 2.21 percent to 10.5 percent. A new employer will pay contributions at 3.75 percent for non-construction employees and 10.4 percent for construction employees on up to the first $8,000 in taxable wages paid to each employee for the calendar year. This rate remains in effect for approximately two years. After two years, the employer should have sufficient experience to be entitled to a calculated rate for future year.

4. What are the necessary requirements while filing the initial claim?

While Filing PA Initial Claim, first and foremost thing that you need to consider in order to obtain Unemployment Benefit is to be ready with all below stated check lists, details for your reference:

  • Your name, social security number, addresses and telephone number.
  • In case if you are claiming file for dependents then you need to have their names, birth dates and social security numbers.
  • Complete payroll address, reason for separation for each employer you worked for last 18 months before filing the claims.

Video on Filing requirements –

5. What are the Unemployment Compensation payment procedures?

There are two types of payment options while receiving the Unemployment Compensation Benefits. The claimant can receive the payment to his existing savings or checking account. Once the amount is processed you can access the cash with your accessible ATM card.

The second option is by direct deposit which is the easiest and convenient way to get your money transferred hence you need to provide the details of:

  1. Bank name, street address, city, state and Zip Code.
  2. Bank telephone number
  3. Bank account number
  4. Bank account routing number

6. Is it possible to get the unemployment compensation benefit if you are fired from a company?

If you were fired from the company on the basis that the job was not suitable for your position and if you were terminated on the reason that the company has reduced the production and cutting off the employees then you may be qualified for unemployment benefits.

If you are fired on the basis of misconduct behavior then you may not be eligible for the unemployment compensation. Misconducts in behavior are treated over violation of company policies or rules, falsifying records or any other serious misbehavior related to your employment.

7. If you have resigned the job on your own are you eligible for the benefit claim?

In most of the cases if you have quit the job on your own then you will not eligible for the compensation. But in some rare cases you can still collect the benefit on the reasons like if you would have left the job for good cause.

Self resigning would also assist you in claiming benefits. The situations include the reasons like unsafe working conditions, not being paid, unexpected change in your job duties, discrimination, health and safety risks over the job or some types of family emergency reasons.

8. How to file the Interstate Unemployment Compensation in Pennsylvania?

If in case you have worked in more than one state in the duration of base period then you would be eligible to claim the PA interstate unemployment compensation. Generally base period is calculated as the first four months of the past five calendar quarters.

In order to be entitled to claim an interstate unemployment compensation in Pennsylvania:

  • It is essential to have worked in the state Pennsylvania along with at least one other state.
  • You can also file the unemployment claim in Pennsylvania though you are not a resident of Pennsylvania but have worked that state.

9. What is the eligibility to obtain Extended Benefit?

Extended Benefits (EB) are the added Unemployment Compensation (UC) provided to unemployed who have exhausted his/her regular Pennsylvania Unemployment benefits during periods of high unemployment.

Additionally, there may be added benefits funding by the Federal government, that Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits.

Unemployment Compensation benefits will be payable to the qualified individual.  While considering Pennsylvania Extended Benefit Period the compensation will be paid for the extensive weeks. The eligibility is applicable to the claimants who meet the Extended Benefits standards and criteria including additional eligibility provision that is not applicable Unemployment Compensation.

10. What is the process to claim Extended Benefit?

As a claimant if you are eligible and receiving the maximum benefit under Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), it notifies those who have received their entire regular benefits that they may be eligible for Extended Benefits. Once you receive the notification from the Financial Determination through mail you can process for the claim.

You should receive the notification from your Financial Determination within ten days of your Emergency Unemployment Compensation payment if not you may contact to UC Service Center over the toll free number 1-888-313-7284 and clarify whether you are eligible for claiming or not.

Conflict Over Unemployment Money in Pennsylvania

Nearly 17,000 laid-offs Pennsylvanians will run out of unemployment benefits for the reason that that state House has yet to approve a bill extending them. The legislation was given approval by the state Senate to offer 13 weeks of additional benefits. The federally funded benefits were agreed by Congress last year. It is necessary for the state to tweak its existing laws so that about $30 million can continue to flow through the end of April.

Some House Republicans feel that approval of the bills should be tied for improving the long-term solvency of PA unemployment compensation system which is currently $3 billion in debt to Washington. The bill that makes the tweaks to state law is put for a vote by the House Labor and Industry Committee and the proposal is expected to come before the full chamber. Rep. Ron Miller, R-York, panel’s chairman tells that he wants to send the bill to the floor and to government. According to experts, if changes are not made then the bill needs to go back to the Senate for further action. But it’s certain whether that will occur.

That’s because the state’s present jobless compensation is a mess. According to David Taylor, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, there are lot of structural troubles throughout the system.

Lawmakers approved and Tom Corbett signed a similar extension last summer.  Series of reforms was attached to bill. Moreover, a long sought change requiring benefit recipients to seek for work at the time of receiving unemployment assistance was also attached.

Currently, the business leaders are seeking for language that would limit benefits for residents who willingly quit their jobs. Moreover, they also want the people to use severance packages before they begin receiving public benefits. Taylor said that he is concerned towards jobless residents who for the time being might lose benefits while interest groups and lawmakers work out their differences. As per him, if the conversation is let off, there is no way to get them back and address it again.

In case the bill is changed, it would have to go back to the Senate which is in session only now and then will not return to session until March because of annual budget hearings. Miller says that he wants to get the bill through the Senate and onto Corbett’s desk without any alterations. Meanwhile, the Senate is watching the House and waiting.

Sen. John Gordner, R-Columbia, the chairman of the Senate Labor says that they are bringing the issue forward and it should be moved on its own. He also said that in case of any problem, unemployed Pennsylvanians could be retroactively paid benefits.

Lawmakers have to pass the legislation until Feb 4, which is expected to be taken up by the Senate. But the Senate and the House are in session only for three days, meaning any concerns will have to be Tom Corbett’s desk before the time limit.

Laid-off Rate Remains Steady in Erie County of Pennsylvania

A tide of good news rode in Pennsylvania, with the laid-off rate dipping in 55 to 67 countries in December. Unluckily, Erie County missed that wave. The seasonally adjusted unemployment in Erie County held stable at 7.8 percent in December, whereas in neighboring Crawford, the jobless rate dropped two tenths of a percentage point to 7.5 percent. An assessment between December 2010 and December 2011 illustrates that the laid-off rate improved by 1.1 percentage points. Actually that places Erie County in a three-way tie along with Reading and Williamsport for most improved among the state’s 14 metropolitan statistical areas. However that step up does not put Erie County at anyplace near the head of the class. Among the state’s metro areas, State College recorded the lowest unemployment rate of just 5.1 percent, while Cameron County has the highest at 11.5 percent. Overall the Pennsylvania unemployment claims rate remains high among neighboring states.

In a total of 3000, the numbers of the laid-offs in Crawford County dropped by 500 people. The County saw much improvement over the past 12 months with the jobless rate dropping from 9.0 percent to 7.5 percent.

Jim  Kurre, professor of economics at Penn State Behrend and director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie said that Erie County’s unemployment rate, which was in the past higher than the national average has presently been lower than the national rate for each of the past 21 months. That’s a good news. Other positive signs involve a reduction in the number of citizens counted as unemployed. The number has declined over the past year from 11,900 to 10,400 in Erie County.

Erie County saw substantial gains in manufacturing employment as it added 300 jobs in April and 1300 over the past year. Figures show that the manufacturing employment has stabilized in Erie and Crawford countries over the past year. In Erie County, manufacturers lost 100 jobs in December but employment is has gone up 500 from a year ago while in Crawford County, manufacturing employment held stagnant at 6800, unchanged from a year earlier. GE Transportation, Erie County’s major employer, accounts for about 1000 of the new jobs added over the past year.

While the number of construction jobs has reduced in Erie County, employment in the hospitality and leisure sector declined less than usual. In total 600 jobs were added in this sector which accounted for 13,100 jobs in April. The number of people functioning in that sector in December was 12,800, down from 13,000 in October. Crawford County added 300 jobs for a total of 2,800.

A broad employment sector that involves mining and lodging added nearly 400 jobs in April for a total of 3,800. According to Jim Kurre, the numbers are not encouraging as if we look at the raw numbers, we observe an addition of 1200 new jobs but that’s only good for those 1200 people.  As per him, this 1,200 is not quite as much of an increase as the sector usually adds almost 1,500 jobs.

Seasonally unemployment rate remains above the long-term unemployment rate of 6.3 percent for Erie County and is 5.9 percent for United States. This fact illustrates that the positive news is balanced.

Like the weather, jobs numbers can change considerably. This is the reason, much of a drop-off have not been seen as in the past because of milder winter.

Failure to Extend Unemployment Benefits will Harm Economy and Jobs

Emergency benefits for the unemployed who have been out of work for at least six months expired on December 1st, leaving millions of laid-offs without a safety net. The time has come to tell the Congress to not leave the unemployed and help them now. Congress must continue these benefits since they pump demand into the economy and help laid-offs and their families. This is a better way to help out the workers pull through the Great Recession.

Unemployment rate mounted to 9.8 percent and Congress is still discussing whether or not to lengthen emergency benefits for the unemployed! The benefits assist to create jobs and improve the economy, but Congress is keen to give expensive and large tax cuts to the wealthy when these tax cuts do not generate jobs and rather increase the deficit by TRILLONS of dollars!

PA unemployment situation is not getting better by any means. Unemployed workers in Philadelphia have begun to bring attention to the dilemma of the laid-offs in their city. Many unemployed workers along with jobs activists and faith leaders attended a vigil to bring attention to the need for Congress to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Nearly 83,000 unemployed workers lost their benefits in December without an extension of them, leaving many families without a way to live on during the holiday season.

Many workers in Pennsylvania exhaust regular UI benefits, which they can get for up to 26 weeks through their state unemployment insurance program. The unemployed workers in the city badly need EUC benefits in order to pay their bills and put food on their families’ tables. Without the extended benefits, many laid-off workers will not have money that is needed for them and their families.

Due to prolonged joblessness in the recession, Congress agreed to accept a compromise two-month extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits for laid-off workers! Failing to extend the emergency benefits will not only ruin the 15 million people who don’t have jobs at present, but will also kneecap the ones who are still working, at least for the time being. While the citizens are thankful that extended benefits will continue for millions of Americans who depend on them, the nation is still in a desperate need of JOB CREATION!

Moreover, Congress also used the Recovery Act to give up to 34 additional weeks of benefits for the long-term unemployed in high-unemployment regions. This program is federally funded and is called Emergency Unemployment Compensation. These benefits will also provide vital assistance to laid-off workers and their families while they find a new job.

Opponents of unemployment insurance feel that the benefits are just huge welfare program that permits people to receive income without having to look for a job. Yes, unemployment compensation makes workers less desperate to find a job but it doesn’t alter the number of jobs available.

The UI benefits are not responsible for the increase in the period of unemployment or in the high unemployment rates. So, continuing these benefits would not be odd by any means. Over the past four decades, during every recession, Congress has provided emergency unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed.

Hence, ending long-term emergency benefits means that thousands of laid-off workers are likely to be cut off from their only means of support and thrown into poverty. It won’t create a single job, but at least it will not punish workers and their families for no fault of their own.

Now the economy needs only growth and if Congress fails to extend the benefits, it will pull $65 billion out of the economy and decrease GDP growth by about $130 billion. It has the chance to show the voters it heard loud and clear and can do the correct thing for jobs and the economy.

In short, there is no need for Congress to hesitate on the issue. They must continue the unemployment compensation benefits before they runs out.

PA Unemployment FAQs

Here are the most commonly asked questions about Pennsylvania unemployment compensation. Check out PA unemployment claims guide to understand the filing process and eligibility criteria.

Are the Benefits Taxable in Pennsylvania?

Unemployment Insurance benefits are subject to federal and state income taxes.

For unemployed workers who received unemployment insurance benefits, the IRS will tax all benefits after the first $2400. If taxes were not automatically withdrawn from your unemployment benefits check you could end up being liable for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in taxes.

If you are searching for a job, gather all of your job search related receipts. You may be able to deduct expenses for items such as parking fees, resume services and even long distance phone calls and travel expenses related to searching for work.

Working Part-time and Collecting Unemployment in PA

You can work part-time and get unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania. In most cases, you are allowed to earn up to half of your weekly unemployment check while getting unemployment compensation. So, you are getting a $500 a week unemployment check, you can get up to $250 a week at a part time job without losing your benefits. Please contact PA Unemployment Office to get more details

Extended Unemployment Benefits

You can receive benefits extension, but there are some restrictions. You should contact the employment agency to determine the eligibility.

Severance Pay and Unemployment Benefits

You must report all payments received when filing your claim. Service Center will determine your weekly benefits. When a claimant receives or will receive a payment for any period after his last day of work, the UC Service Center must determine the nature of the payment. A payment that is considered to be severance, separation or salary continuation is not deductible from UC benefits, because these payments are not remuneration for services performed while UC benefits are being claimed.

Getting training while receiving PA unemployment compensation

The unemployment office will not pay for job training while claiming unemployment compensation benefits. Unemployment compensation does not pay training costs or tuition. Training opportunities may be available through Pennsylvania’s CareerLink system. You may visit their Web site at

Attending college while receiving PA unemployment compensation

The PA State Labour Law does not disqualify you from receiving benefits just because you are a full or part-time student. You will be eligible for any claim week that you are in training approved by the Secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry and are otherwise eligible.

How to Contact PA Unemployment Office

During the application time for jobless benefits, you may need to make contact with your local office quite a few times. This can be in response to a request for extra paperwork, as you have a simple question or because you have not been obtaining the promised benefits.

Watch this video which has vital information on contacting PA unemployment office –

What method of contact is better depends mostly on your reason for contacting it.

Unemployment compensation (UC) services are offered by telephone through local call centers and online. You may call the Unemployment compensation service center at 888-313-7284. A listing of local phone numbers, mailing addresses and fax numbers for the UC service centers is obtainable on the state map of services near you.

Select any county from the record and scroll down to: UC Benefit Services.

Be all set for long waits as lots of people attempt to do the same thing that you are. Remain patient and you will get through to someone who can assist you. Even if it’s annoying to wait so long, be polite to the person you get connected to and you will get a lot more assistance than if you are rude.

Whenever you call the PA unemployment phone number, ensure you have Social Security number, dates of employment and a paper to take down relevant notes.

UC Service Centers

In case you have filed an application for UC benefits within the last year, and have a specific question about your claim or your eligibility, call the UC service center.

Local and Toll-Free Service Center Phone Numbers:

UC Service Center Statewide Toll-Free Number 888-313-7284
TTY Services for Deaf andHard-of-Hearing Toll-Free 888-334-4046
Videophone Service for ASL Users-Wednesdays, noon-4 p.m. 717-704-8474
Allentown 610-821-6735
Altoona 814-941-6801
Duquesne 412-267-1315
Erie 814-871-4311
Indiana 724-599-1250
Lancaster 717-299-7711
Scranton 570-565-3048

Every UC service center is open from 8:a.m to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Mondays are usually a heavy call day. Individuals who wish to apply or claim UC benefits are encourages filing online or calling the UC service center later in the day and later in the week, preferably, when call volume is lighter.

In times of high call volume, a call back system may be in place. If you would like a return call, you must enter your Social Security number along with the telephone number where you can be reached. Calls are returned from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The UC service center telephone system uses line blocking or caller ID block.

Callers who have unidentified call rejection activated on their telephone must disable this service to get calls from the UC service center.

By making a choice on the area map, you can obtain a list of these offices and other services available in your area.

If you have not filed an application for UC benefits within the past year, and have common questions about UC or questions about your UC-1099G (Statement for Recipients of PA UC Payments) provided for income tax purposes, call 717-783-3140 to (TTY for deaf or hard of hearing at 800-577-7216) the service center Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pennsylvania Teleclaims-PAT Directory

Pennsylvania Teleclaims, or PAT, is an automatic self-service system employed by persons with access to a touch-tone telephone to

  • file biweekly UC claims
  • access specific benefit payment information
  • learn about the commonwealth’s UC program, without the involvement of an agent.

These services are accessible on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

PAT Local and Toll-Free Numbers:

PAT Toll-free 888-255-4728
PAT Toll-free TTY 800-778-4728
Español- PAT 877-888-8104
Allentown 610-821-6659
Altoona 814-941-6849
Duquesne 412-267-1494
Erie 814-878-5700
Indiana 724-599-1004
Lancaster 717-299-7560
ScrantonScranton TTY 570-562-4800570-562-4871
HarrisburgHarrisburg en Espanol 717-231-4055717-231-405

PA Unemployment Situation

“Virtue, Liberty, and Independence” is the motto of PA State. This beautiful state, located in the North-eastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States, got its name from William Penn who was the founder of the state.

With industries of steel, mining, chemicals, manufacturing of processed foods, computer and electronic equipment dominating its economy, Pennsylvania had always been a greater source of employment. But the state has been hit roughly by the recession, recording the highest rise in unemployment in the last twenty five years.

By Feb 2008, PA unemployment rate was 7.6 percent and by June 2008, it had risen to 9.5 percent. The recession initially hit construction and manufacturing hardest, but the continued elevated job losses indicated that the recession had started affecting nearly every part of the economy.

Pennsylvania had maintained low reserves for years and therefore had to face the wrath of the recession period very soon. The fund was insolvent in March 2009. To make that up, the state increased the average tax on employers from $384 to $432 per worker and reduced benefits by 2.3 percent.

In October 2009, about ten thousand jobs were added that brought relief to many of the Pennsylvanians but the economic condition of the state on the whole did not seem to improve. Since July 2007, the state had not added so many jobs in a month so this addition was expected to bring a positive influence on the unemployment problem. But according to the records, it did not bring about any change in the unemployment rate. It was also indicated that the manufacturing industry might see more job losses. However, the addition of jobs definitely helped to balance the economic situation in the state as well as the country.

By Dec 2009, the unemployment rate was 8.9%. And according to reports, the state has already borrowed almost $2.2 billion from the federal government. Pennsylvania stood fourth amongst the most bankrupted states.

The unemployment situation began to improve by 2010. By a combination of government action and the improvement in consumer sentiment, the economy started growing. The rate remained just below 10, but the trend appears to have shifted downwards.