Am I eligible to receive benefits?
You must be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own, and you must have earned sufficient wages in your base period (the first 4 of the last 5 completed calendar quarters before the start date of your claim, or alternatively the last 4 quarters). Also, you must be able and available for full-time work.
How do I apply for benefits in Pennsylvania?
How much will I receive?
You weekly benefit rate will be determined based upon your wages in your base year. The quarter in which you were paid the most money will determine your weekly benefit rate. Your weekly benefit rate should equal about one-half of your full-time weekly wage.
How long will I receive these benefits?
Your maximum benefit amount is determined by the number of credit weeks (a calendar week in your base year when you earned wages of $50 or more) in your base year. If you have 18 or more credit weeks, your maximum benefit amount is 26 times your weekly benefit rate. If you have 16 or 17 credit weeks, your maximum benefit amount is 16 times your weekly benefit rate. If you have less than 16 credit weeks, you are not financially eligible for benefits.
After I start receiving benefits, what do I have to do to remain eligible?
You must continually file for benefits, either weekly or bi-weekly (every two weeks), and you must continue to be able and available for full-time work. You may file online or by telephone. Also, you must register with the Pennsylvania Careerlink System, and you must actively seek employment after your second consecutive week of benefits, while keeping a record of your work search activities.
To be actively seeking work in Pennsylvania, during your third consecutive week of your benefit year until your eighth consecutive week, you must apply to at least two positions that are similar in scope to your normal wages and employment position and are within a generally acceptable commuting distance in your area and participate in one work search activity each week. You must keep a record of job applications and work search activities using the Work Search Record.
I was turned down for benefits. How do I appeal this decision?
You must appeal within 15 days of the mailing date of the decision for denial. You can submit an appeal letter via mail or email. Also, you must keep filing your weekly claims regularly because you will only be paid for weeks you filed if you win your appeal.
For more information on Pennsylvania’s unemployment insurance laws: