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 If taxes were not automatically withdrawn from your unemployment benefits check you could end up being liable for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in taxes.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.

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.