Job Assistance and Training in Pennsylvania

Along with drawing Unemployment Insurance benefits in Pennsylvania, jobless workers can also utilise an array of programs and courses administered by the Department of Workforce Development in the state. In the state, Commonwealth Workforce Development System or CWDS as popularly known extends comprehensive career assistance services which includes

  • Job Search Services
  • Training for Improving Job Skills
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services

These programs are designed to help both unemployed and new workers to seek jobs, nurture their skills and get access to market information with a view to confidently apply for jobs and attend interviews. Let us explore the channels administered by the state in this regard.


Pennsylvania Job Gateway is an online portal that not only helps you to look up for jobs and meet prospective employers in the state, but also hosts a range of career resources and tools laid out to help you in your quest for job search. Simply register and start using the services. Creating a CDWS profile ensures that you can request for staff assisted services, sign up for events and use other tools.

One – Stop Services

This umbrella services gateway is a list of all departments and services available through the Commonwealth Workforce Development System(CWDS) such as Veteran services, Unemployment Compensation, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis etc. One Stop Services provides information about various agencies, their functions, contact information and services locations.

Search and Attend Events

The CWDS conducts various workshops and events in many fields such as vocational courses, skills training etc. You can not only look up for events happening in your area or county, but also find details of the event and register for them.

PA Career Coach

This web portal/tool will help you if you’re looking for a change in career or staring at setting up one as a fresher by means of reference to industry wise data in wages, employment, education and training etc. This site contains localised content to help you gauge the opportunities available in the state of Pennsylvania.

List of Certified Training Programs

This easy-to-use tool hosts details of all certified TAA/WIA training programs under a single roof. It contains various search references which helps in narrowing down easily on the desired training program. It also provides details of the available training programs/courses offered in your area. No registration is required to use this facility.

Labor Market Information

Your one stop shop for all the data and stats that extend in depth analysis on labor market information. It also contains charts, presentations, news and facts sheet that will help you in understanding the latest trends in the market.

All the services above comply with Jobs for Veterans Act by extending friendly and priority services to Veterans.

If you became unemployed recently and looking forward to claiming unemployment insurance benefits in the state of Pennsylvania, use the Benefits Calculator to estimate the monetary benefits. Unemployment compensation is extended for up to 26 weeks upon losing job due to involuntary reasons such as lay offs etc.

The weekly benefits is a derivative of your wages earned in the last 4 calendar quarters.

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.

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.