PA Unemployment: Filing for Unemployment in Pennsylvania

If you live in Pennsylvania and lost your job, you can apply for unemployment insurance. If you are eligible, you will receive temporary wage replacement income and job training services. In this article we will explain how to request the unemployment in pennsylvania and everything you need to know to be able to enjoy this benefit.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Office of Unemployment Compensation o Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Office of Unemployment Compensation (in English), is the agency in charge of administering unemployment compensation in this state.

To find the unemployment office closest to your home, we recommend you consult our article: Unemployment offices in Pennsylvania.

Unemployment PA: Filing for Unemployment in Pennsylvania

Unemployment Insurance in Pennsylvania: Eligibility

To be eligible to receive the unemployment insurance in Pennsylvania, In addition to being a resident of this state, you must:

  • be unemployed
  • Have worked in Pennsylvania in the last 12 months
  • Have earned a minimum amount of salary (according to the guidelines established in Pennsylvania)
  • Be actively seeking employment

PA Unemployment: Unemployment Benefits in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State Unemployment Insurance programs provide benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and meet the eligibility requirements under Pennsylvania law.

1. Regular Unemployment Compensation (UC)

The Unemployment Compensation (UC) program provides temporary support to those who lose their job through no fault of their own or who work fewer hours than their full schedule.

If you qualify for this benefit, you will receive money (for a limited time) to cover your expenses while you find a new job. To be eligible, you must have provided services covered by the Pennsylvania UC Law.

Note: All applications are reviewed in detail. Fraudulent applications may result in fines or penalties for the applicant.

2. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or PEUC program it can be applied for by the unemployed whose regular benefits have expired or will expire soon.

The federal PEUC program provides 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefit on or after July 6, 2019.

People who are currently receiving regular unemployment benefits do not need to apply for PEUC. Once they receive their regular UC benefit balance, they will be automatically enrolled in this program.

You can get all the information about PEUC by following this link.

3. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

If you are not eligible for regular unemployment compensation, extended benefits, or have exhausted all rights to those benefits, you can get up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

You should apply for PUA if you are not eligible for regular UC because you have lost income due to COVID-19, Y:

  • Are you self-employed, or
  • You are looking for part-time work, or
  • You don’t have enough work history, or
  • You have exhausted all rights to regular UC or extended benefits.

IMPORTANT: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is intended only for people who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Extended State Benefits (EB)

Extended benefits are additional weeks of unemployment compensation that can be obtained when certain adverse economic conditions arise in Pennsylvania. When the aforementioned adverse conditions occur throughout the State, the Department of Labor and Industry must declare an ‘extended benefit’ period.

Extended benefits are only paid during the ‘extended benefit’ period to those who qualify and only after all regular benefits under Pennsylvania’s UC Law have been exhausted.

How to File for Unemployment in Pennsylvania

To perform the initial application for UC benefits You must have the following data:

Personal information

  • Home address and mailing address
  • Phone number
  • SSN
  • E-mail
  • Personal Identification Number – PIN (optional)
  • Bank details for direct deposit (optional): bank, address, account number and routing number.

In some cases they may request more information. If you wish, you can consult the entire list of requirements (in English) from the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Employer Information

  • Name
  • Full address
  • Phone number
  • PA UC account number (if you know it)
  • Work time period (first and last day)
  • Reason why you stopped working
  • Information about your pension or severance package (if applicable)

Methods for applying for UC benefits

1. Online

You can file your claim on the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Office website 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

2. By phone

You can also apply through the unemployment compensation toll-free number 1-888-313-7284.

3. By post

You may choose to submit your paper application to a UC service center.

4. Video phone service

Videophone service is available every Wednesday from noon to 4 pm for people who use American Sign Language (ASL). The number to call is 717-704-8474.

How to Reopen an Existing Claim at the Pennsylvania Unemployment Office

You must reopen an existing application for unemployment benefits if:

  • You applied for unemployment benefits within the past year and then stopped applying for UC benefits because you found work. In this case, if you become unemployed again, you must reopen your claim during the first week you became unemployed again.
  • You applied for benefits, but stopped filing claims because you were sick, hospitalized, or unable to work. In this case, you should reopen your claim as soon as you are able and available to work again.

To make “reopen” applications, you can use the same methods outlined above for submitting an initial application for UC benefits.

How to claim weeks of unemployment in Pennsylvania

After you have made your initial claim or reopened an existing claim for UC benefits, you must file a claim for each week you are totally or partially unemployed.

A week for UC ends begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. The compensable weekend day (CWE) is always Saturday.

Typically, you will file claims for two weeks at a time. This is known as a “bi-weekly claim.” Remember that although you will apply for two weeks at a time, you will certify your eligibility for each week separately. For example, if you are on vacation and you are not available one week, you will be available the next week.

The fortnightly presentation can be made by the following methods:

1. Online

The best way to file the biweekly claim is online. The hours in which you must do it are from 6 am to 11 pm (on Sundays) and from 6 am to 9 pm (from Monday to Friday).

2. By Phone

You can use the PA Teleclaims (PAT) automated system by calling 888-255-4728, 6 am to 11 pm (Sundays) and 6 am to 9 pm (Monday through Friday).

3.TTY Services

You can also file your claims using the TTY service 24 hours a day, 6 days a week (Sunday through Friday). When you connect to the UC Service Center (888) 334-4046, you must provide your name, social security number, and application or question.

If you are eligible for benefits, you will receive your first benefit payment within four weeks from the date of your application, as long as you file your biweekly claims on time.

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