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UC Benefits & COVID-19 FAQs

As of: March 26, 2020

PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19

Federal CARES Update

The federal CARES Act will provide unemployment benefits to the self-employed and gig workers; provide additional weeks of benefits for those exhausting unemployment compensation; and will increase the total weekly amount paid for claimants.  We will update our website with instructions on accessing these benefits as we receive guidance from the federal government. Please check our site regularly for updated instructions and to find FAQs about unemployment compensation

Self-employed Federal CARES Update

The federal CARES Act will provide unemployment benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, and other individuals who previously were not eligible for unemployment.  Special instructions will be provided to these individuals.  At this time, you should NOT file a claim through the existing online system or phone number if you are not currently eligible for unemployment.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Status of Claims Processing 

  • If you opened your claim between March 15 and March 21: We are working quickly to mail a PIN to you so you can file for benefits starting Sunday, March 29, 2020.  If you do not receive your PIN by Saturday, March 28, please remember that you may file any day through Friday, April 3, 2020.  If you do not receive your PIN in time for you to file by April 3, we will make accommodations for filing and will update these instructions, accordingly.

  • If you opened your claim between March 22 and March 28: Your first day to file will be Sunday, April 5, 2020. We will update these instructions, accordingly, as we monitor our progress with mail processing. 

  • For All New Claims: Mailing PINs is a top priority, so you may not have received your financial determination yet.  When you do receive your financial determination and if you detect an error, you may file an appeal at that time.  We are processing all documents as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience during this evolving situation. 

  • For Reopened Claims: If you reopened your claim since March 13, 2020, you may try filing your biweekly claims and receive a message that your claim is not active.  Please try again each day.  We are working to get claims reactivated as quickly as possible.  If your filing window expires (after Friday) and you still could not successfully file, we will make any older weeks available for filing once we reactivate your claim. 



Beneficios de Desemplo (UC) Y COVID-19 Preguntas Frecuentes

 Picture Library Slideshow Web Part ‭[1]‬


 Accordion ‭[2]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

​Am I eligible for UC if I am out of work because my employer closed (temporarily or otherwise) because of COVID-19?


Click here to read more.

Yes. The fastest and easiest way is to file an initial claim online. After submitting your initial claim, you will receive a confirmation email with important details.

Effective March 16, 2020:

  • Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily suspended for all UC claimants.

  • The Waiting Week requirement is also been temporarily suspended. This means that new claimants who are approved for UC benefits will receive payment for their first week of unemployment.

If approved, your first benefit payment should arrive within two to four weeks of filing your initial application. Payments are issued via a debit card or direct deposit.

You must continue to file your bi-weekly claim as directed in your "Claim Confirmation Letter" that you will receive in the mail, even if you are still waiting for your benefit eligibility to be determined. Familiarize yourself with all requirements to receive benefits from the UC program. 

After receiving your PIN in the mail, you can go online to check the status of your claim and see when to expect your payment. Keep your PIN in a safe, easy-to-remember place.

​Am I eligible for UC if I am quarantined due to COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

​If you are currently employed but have been directed by a healthcare provider, medical professional or public official to isolate or quarantine, you may be eligible for UC. Follow the instructions above to file an initial claim.

You may also be eligible for paid sick leave as provided under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor website.

You should exhaust any paid leave available to you before filing a UC claim.

​Am I eligible for UC if my hours are being reduced because of COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

​You may be eligible and should file an initial claim online.

​I am a part-time employee. Am I eligible for UC benefits if I have to self-isolate/quarantine or am unable to work because I tested positive for COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

Yes, you may be eligible. The fastest and easiest way is to file an initial claim online. After submitting your initial claim online, you will receive a confirmation email with important details.

You may also be eligible for paid sick leave as provided under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor website.

You should exhaust any paid leave available to you before filing a UC claim.

​Am I eligible for UC if I am employed by a school that has been closed by order of the Governor?

Click here to read more.

If you are no longer being paid, including using paid sick leave, you may be eligible for UC.

​Am I eligible for UC if I have paid leave?

Click here to read more.

​If your business is still operating but you are unable to work due to COVID-19, you should exhaust any paid leave available to you before filing a UC claim.  If your business is closed due to COVID-19, talk to your employer about use of paid leave vs. filing for UC.

  • Most paid leave will provide 100 percent of your usual pay, while unemployment benefits typically pay between 50 to 70 percent, depending on your circumstances.

  • Paid leave may be available immediately and allow you to keep receiving a paycheck; it typically takes two to four weeks to receive UC benefits.

  • You may file a UC claim if you know you will exhaust your paid leave. You must report all income received from any source, including paid leave.  

Learn more about financial eligibility here.

​Am I eligible for UC if my employer offers me the ability to telework/telecommute/work from home?

Click here to read more.

​If your employer offers you telework and you are able to perform that work, you are not eligible for UC. However, if the telework your employer offers results in a reduction of hours, you may be eligible for UC benefits. 

​Can I access UC if my child's school has been closed and I stay home with them?

Click here to read more.

No. UC is only paid to employees whose employer has temporarily or permanently closed their business (including businesses that close due to COVID-19). 

If your unable to work because your child’s school or child care is closed due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for paid sick leave or expanded Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) as provided under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor website, which administers both programs.

​Can I file for UC benefits if I was told to stay home because my employer thinks I am a risk of spreading or at risk of contracting COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

If you are not receiving pay or using employer-paid sick leave or time off, you may be eligible for UC benefits. You should file an initial claim online.

You may also be eligible for paid sick leave as provided under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor website.

You should exhaust any paid leave available to you before filing a UC claim.

​What if my employer goes out of business as a result of COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

​If you are out of work due to lack of work, you may be eligible for UC benefits.  See "Am I eligible for UC  if I am out of work because my employer closed (temporarily or otherwise) because of COVID-19?" for more information.

​Have any UC rules changed due to the Governor's emergency declaration regarding COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

​The following rules have been temporarily suspended due to Governor Tom Wolf's emergency declaration to make it easier to file for UC benefits:

  • Work Search and Work Registration requirements are temporarily suspended 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.pa.gov.

  • The Waiting Week is temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Previously, eligible claimants would not receive compensation for the first week of unemployment.  Eligible claimants may now receive benefits for the first week that they are unemployed.


​How am I supposed to meet requirements related to my existing UC claim if I am in isolation or quarantine as a result of COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

​Under Pennsylvania's emergency rules currently in place due to COVID-19, the need for work registration and work search for UC benefit eligibility has been waived. You should continue to file your bi-weekly claims.

​What should I do if I contract COVID-19 at work?

Click here to read more.

​Please see L&I's Workers' Compensation information to learn more. You can also learn more on our Workers' Compensation COVID-19 FAQs.

​How much in benefits will I receive?

Click here to read more.


​How long will it take to receive my benefits?

Click here to read more.

​Eligible claimants typically receive their UC benefits in two to four weeks for their initial claim. Benefit payments are issued via a debit card provided by the UC office or through direct deposit.

I receive most of my income from tips, am I eligible for UC?

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​Yes, you may be eligible for UC. Your weekly benefit amount is based on the total wages, including tips, reported by your employer in the base year (the first four of the last five quarters).

I heard the federal government passed a bill that will give people paid leave.  Should I still file for UC?

Click here to read more.

The federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18, 2020. Individuals whose employers have fewer than 500 employees may be eligible for paid leave through this new law. Learn more at the U.S. Department of Labor website, which administers both programs.

If I am an undocumented immigrant or my work visa has expired, am I eligible for UC benefits?

Click here to read more.

Individuals applying for unemployment compensation benefits must be US citizens or lawful residents of the US, or have work authorizations to work in the US.

If I have concerns about my health, do I have to report to work?

Click here to read more.

It depends upon whether your work is deemed essential or not and your medical risk.  If you are in a population particularly susceptible to COVID-19 and are directed by a medical professional or government official to quarantine or self-isolate, you may be eligible for UC.  You should first work with your employer to use any existing paid leave available.   

Can my employer fire me if I am concerned about COVID-19 and stay home?

Click here to read more.

Depending on your situation, your employer may be able to terminate your employment if you do not report to work as required by the employer.  Employment in Pennsylvania is “at-will,” unless you have a contract with your employer, or you are a member of a union with a collective bargaining agreement. If you are a member of a union, contact your union representative.

Can I pre-apply for UC if I will be experience a layoff or furlough in the next few weeks?

Click here to read more.

No. Individuals should file for UC the first week that their income has reduced. Do not apply in anticipation of a layoff or furlough, because your claim may be denied or delayed.


 Picture Library Slideshow Web Part ‭[2]‬


Beneficios de Desemplo (UC) Y COVID-19 Preguntas Frecuentes

 Accordion ‭[1]‬

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

¿Califico para beneficios del desempleo (UC)  si estoy sin trabajo porque mi empleador cerró (temporalmente o de otro modo) debido a COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

​Sí. La forma más rápida y fácil es presentar una solicitud inicial en línea. Después de presenter su reclamo inicial, recibirá un correo electrónico de confirmación con los detalles importantes.

A partir del 16 de marzo 2020:

  • Los requisitos de búsqueda de trabajo (Work Search) y registro de trabajo (Work Registration) se suspenden temporalmente para todos los solicitantes de UC.
  • El "requisito de la semana de espera - Wait Week" también se ha suspendido temporalmente. Esto significa que los nuevos solicitantes que estén aprobados para beneficios de UC recibirán pago por su primera semana de desempleo.

Si califica, el primer pago de beneficio debe llegar dentro de dos a cuatro semanas de haber presentado su solicitud inicial. Los pagos se emiten a través de una tarjeta de débito o depósito directo.

Usted debe seguir presentado su reclamo quincenal como se indica en su "Solicitud de Carta de Confirmación" que recibirá en el correo, incluso si aún está esperando que se determine su calificación de beneficios. Familiaricese con todos los requisitos para recibir los beneficios del programa de UC. 

Después de recibir el PIN en el correo, puede ir en línea para comprobar el estado de su reclamo y ver cuándo recibirá su pago. Mantenga su PIN en un lugar seguro y fácil de recordar.

¿Califico para UC si estoy en cuarentena debido a COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

Si actualmente está empleado, pero si se le ha ordenado aislarse o estar en cuarentena por un profesional de salud, profesional médico u oficial público,  puede ser que califique para UC. Siga las instrucciones anteriores para presentar un reclamo inicial.

¿Califico para UC si mis horas se reducen debido a COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

Puede ser que califique y debe presentar un reclamo inicial en línea.

Soy un empleado de tiempo parcial. ¿Califico para UC si tengo que auto-aislarme/estoy en cuarentena o no puedo trabajar porque resulte positivo al COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

Sí, puede ser que califique. La forma más rápida y fácil es presentar una solicitud en línea. Después de presentar su reclamo inicial, recibirá un correo electrónico de confirmación con los detalles importantes. 

¿Califico para UC si soy empleado de una escuela que ha sido cerrada por orden del Gobernador?

Click here to read more.

Si no está recibiendo ningún pago, incluidos sus días de permiso remunerado (paid leave), puede calificar para UC.

¿Califico para UC si tengo permiso remunerado (paid leave)?

Click here to read more.

Si su negocio aún está operando pero usted no puede trabajar debido a COVID-19, debe utilizar sus días de permiso remunerado (paid leave) disponibles antes de presentar un reclamo de UC. Si su negocio está cerrado debido a COVID-19, hable con su empleador sobre utilizar el pago de vacaciones en vez de presentar su solicitud de UC.

  • La mayoría de las un permiso remunerado (paid leave) proporcionarán el 100 por ciento de su pago habitual, mientras que los beneficios de desempleo generalmente pagan entre el 50 y el 70 por ciento, según sus circunstancias.

  • Permiso remunerado (paid leave) pueden ser disponibles de inmediato y le permite seguir recibiendo un cheque de pago; Por lo general, se necesitan dos a cuatro semanas para recibir los beneficios de UC.

  • Puede presentar un reclamo de UC si sabe que se agotará su permiso remunerado (paid leave. Debe informar todos los ingresos recibidos de cualquier fuente, incluidas sus permiso remunerado (paid leave).

Obtenga más información sobre la elegibilidad financiera aquí.

¿Califico para UC si mi empleador me ofrece la posibilidad de teletrabajar/trabajar desde casa?

Click here to read more.

Si su empleador le ofrece teletrabajo y usted puede realizar ese trabajo, no califica para UC. Sin embargo, si el teletrabajo que ofrece su empleador resula en una reducción de horas, puede ser que califica para los beneficios de UC.

¿Puedo acceder a UC si la escuela de mi hijo ha sido cerrada y me quedo en casa con ellos?

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No. UC solo se paga a los empleados cuyo empleador ha cerrado su negocio temporal o permanentemente (incluidas las empresas que cierran debido a COVID-19).

¿Puedo solicitar los beneficios de UC si me dijeron que me quedara en casa porque mi empleador cree que soy un riesgo en propagar o de contraer COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

Si no está recibiendo pago o está utilizando días de pago por enfermedad o tiempo libre pagado por el empleador, puede ser que califica para los beneficios de UC. Debe presentar un reclamo inicial en línea.

¿Qué sucede si mi empleador cierra el negocio como resultado de COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

Si no tiene trabajo debido a la falta de trabajo, puede ser elegible para los beneficios de UC. Consulte "¿Soy elegible para UC si estoy sin trabajo porque mi empleador cerró (temporalmente o de otro modo) debido a COVID-19?" para más información.

¿Han cambiado las reglas de UC debido a la declaración de emergencia del Gobernador con respecto a COVID-19?

Click here to read more.

​Las siguientes reglas se han suspendido temporalmente debido a la declaración de emergencia del Gobernador Tom Wolf para facilitar la presentación de beneficios de UC:

  • Busqueda de trabajo y requisitos de inscripción de trabajo se suspenderan temporalmente para todos los solicitantes de UC. Los reclamantes no están obligados a comprobar que han buscado o aplicado a un trabajo para mantener sus beneficios de UC. Los reclamantes tampoco estan obligados a registrarse en PACareerLink.pa.gov.

  • El requisito de la semana de espera también se ha suspendido temporalmente. Esto significa que los nuevos solicitantes que estén aprobados para beneficios de UC recibirán pago por su primera semana de desempleo.

¿Cómo se supone que debo cumplir con los requisitos relacionados con mi reclamo UC existente si estoy en aislamiento o en cuarentena como resultado de COVID-19?

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Según las reglas de emergencia de Pensilvania actualmente vigentes debido a COVID-19, se ha suspenderan temporalmente la necesidad de registro de trabajo y búsqueda de trabajo para los que califcan para los beneficios de UC. Debe continuar presentando sus reclamos quincenales.

¿Qué debo hacer si contrato COVID-19 en el trabajo?

Click here to read more.

​Consulte la información de Compensación de trabajadores de L&I para obtener más información. También puede obtener más información en nuestras preguntas frecuentes COVID-19 sobre compensación laboral.

¿Cuánto recibiré en beneficios?

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Los beneficios se basan en sus ganancias durante el año base (los primeros cuatro de los últimos cinco trimestres completados). También debe tener más de 18 semanas de crédito (semanas durante las cuales ganó $ 116 o más) en su año base para ser elegible.

Haga clic aquí para averiguar cómo calcular su tasa de beneficio semanal

¿Cuánto tiempo se llevará para recibir mis beneficios?

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Los que califican generalmente reciben sus beneficios de UC entre dos a cuatro semanas por su reclamo inicial. Los pagos de beneficios se emiten a través de una tarjeta de débito proporcionada por la oficina de UC o mediante depósito directo.

Recibo la mayor parte de mis ingresos de propinas, ¿Califico para beneficios de UC?

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Si, puede que califique para UC. El monto de su beneficio semanal se basa en el salario total, incluidas las propinas, informadas por su empleador en el año base (los primeros cuatro de los últimos cinco trimestres).

Escuché que el gobierno federal aprobó una ley que otorgará a todos sus permiso remunerado (paid leave). ¿Debo solicitar la UC?

Click here to read more.

El gobierno federal aprobó la Families First Coronavirus Response Act el 18 de marzo de 2020. Las personas pueden ser elegibles para un permiso remunerado (paid leave) a través de esta nueva ley, pero Pensilvania aún no ha recibido orientación sobre cómo funciona. Compartiremos detalles sobre lo que esto significa para Pensilvania tan pronto como haya disponible orientación y detalles adicionales.