If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
This guide will help you navigate the process of applying for unemployment compensation and connect you with additional resources available as part of the federal and state response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a historic surge of people are seeking unemployment compensation. We’ve made progress in meeting this unprecedented demand for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania but know more must be done. We understand this is frustrating and hear your complaints. Please know we are working as diligently as we can to process requests.
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Since mid-March, nearly 1.9 million Pennsylvanians have filed for regular unemployment compensation. New federal laws also made big changes to increase payments for many people and made other workers eligible for unemployment benefits for the first time.
Before the pandemic, Pennsylvania had low unemployment with a near-record number of people working and the UC office was appropriately staffed for those conditions.
If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation benefits.
The following changes to UC have been made to help Pennsylvanians during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- The Waiting Week is suspended. Previously, claimants were not eligible for benefits during their first week of unemployment (the “waiting week”). This has been suspended; eligible claimants may receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.
- Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily waived for all UC claimants. Claimants are not required to prove they have applied or searched for a new job to maintain their UC benefits. Claimants are also not required to register with PACareerLink.gov.
- People who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation (UC) and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) may now qualify for 13 additional weeks of payments through the state’s Unemployment Compensation Extended Benefits program.
Please note: federal programs that offer benefits like training, education, skill building and fund benefits, including the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act still require claimants to register with PACareerLink.pa.gov to be eligible for the federal benefits. Not registering will not impact an individual’s unemployment benefits; however, it may prevent them from being eligible for other federal benefit opportunities.
Unemployment benefits are calculated as a percentage of your average pay over a recent 52-week period. Here’s how you can calculate your weekly benefit rate.
If you are eligible for benefits, you should receive your first benefit payment within four weeks after the effective date of your application, provided you file your biweekly claims on time.
Moving forward, you’ll receive payment within two to three days after filing your biweekly claim.
Keep this letter in a safe place. It will have your four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you will need to access your account AND file your biweekly claims.Claim confirmation letters are typically received within 7-10 business days via U.S. Postal Service.
Keep this letter in a safe place. It states your financial eligibility.Financial determination letters are typically received within 10-15 business days via U.S. Postal Service.
Your financial determination letter will tell you:
- Your application for benefits date (AB date) AND the date your claim expires.
- Your weekly benefit amount and eligible weeks AND how they were calculated.
- How much you will receive if you are totally unemployed and how to estimate your partial benefits for part-time work.
- Home address and mailing address (if different).
- Telephone number.
- Valid email.
- Personal Identification Number (optional). If you have previously filed a UC claim using your previous PIN can prevent you from having to re-enter information.
- Direct deposit bank information (optional): Bank name, address, account number, and routing number.
In some cases, additional information is needed. For a complete list, view our requirements checklist.
- Frequently Asked Questions – A resource to help answer any questions you may have about filing or receiving unemployment compensation benefits, including eligibility, how your weekly benefit is calculated and more.
- Self-service Step-by-step Instructions – These step-by-step guides and instructions will guide you through many UC online services, including how to file an initial claim, how to file a biweekly claim, and more.
- 第一代苹果手机Online Assistant: Filing an Initial Claim – This step-by-step guide will walk you through filing your initial UC claim online, helping you ensure it is processed quickly and correctly. Not sure how to use the guide? Take a quick tour via PDF or video.
If you fall into one of the categories listed below, you should file an application to reopen an existing application for benefits.
- You established an application for benefits within the past year, and then gained employment and stopped filing for UC benefits. If you become unemployed again, you should reopen your application for benefits during the first week that you are unemployed again.
- You established an application for benefits, but you stopped filing claims because you were ill, hospitalized, or otherwise unable to work. You should reopen your claim as soon as you are able and available for work again.
“Reopen” applications can be filed using the same methods listed above for filing an initial application for UC benefits.
If you are employed in Pennsylvania and are unable to work because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for regular unemployment compensation benefits.
In addition to regular unemployment compensation benefits, which provide roughly half of an individual’s full-time weekly income up to $572 per week, the federal CARES Act expanded UC benefits through several new programs:
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expands benefits to gig-economy workers, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals who are otherwise ineligible for UC.
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides an additional 13 weeks of UC benefits to individuals who exhaust their regular 26 weeks of benefits, for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.
- Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) is a temporary federal program that provides an additional $300 per week for eligible UC claimants. Beginning, Thursday, September 14, 2020 individuals who apply and qualify will begin receiving their payments.
If you have an issue with your claim, there are several ways to contact UC staff.
第一代苹果手机Virtual assistant第一代苹果手机 – Call 877-978-1295 to have our UC virtual assistant powered by Watson answer your frequently asked questions any time, 24/7. Please note that this system does not connect to our UC Customer Service Center staff and only provides virtual assistance.
第一代苹果手机LiveChat第一代苹果手机 – Call 888-313-7284 for a secure 6-digit LiveChat code to reach UC staff Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
第一代苹果手机Email第一代苹果手机 – For claims questions, email email@example.com and include your full name as it appears on your claim (including suffix used) and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Get email wait response times here. We respond to emails in the order we receive them, so sending duplicates will not result in a quicker response and will actually cause delays for everyone.
第一代苹果手机General contact form第一代苹果手机 – To make a general comment on UC services, or if you have questions not covered by information on the UC website, use this form.
第一代苹果手机Pennsylvania Teleclaims (PAT)第一代苹果手机 – This automated self-service system can be used to file biweekly UC claims, access specific benefit payment information, or learn about UC without needing to talk to a person. You can also use PAT to request/change federal withholding tax, get UC-1099G information, and change your PIN. For English, call 888-255-4728. For Spanish, call 877-888-8104.
第一代苹果手机TTY Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing第一代苹果手机 – Call 888-334-4046 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
第一代苹果手机Videophone service for ASL users第一代苹果手机 – Call 717-704-8474 Wednesdays from Noon to 4:00 PM. Sign language is the ONLY means of communication provided at this number.
第一代苹果手机UC Service Call Center第一代苹果手机 – If you have tried other methods to find your answer without success, try the UC Service Call Center phone – Call 888-313-7284 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM to reach UC staff. The best time to try calling the UC service center is Thursdays and Fridays. 第一代苹果手机Be prepared for heavy call volumes, busy signals, and potential delays in getting through.第一代苹果手机