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Pennsylvania UC Law establishes various requirements for eligibility for UC benefits. Among them are the following:
You must have sufficient qualifying wages and a minimum of 18
credit weeks in your
You must have a qualifying separation. And, you must be able and available to accept suitable work and not refuse work when offered.
UC eligibility cannot be predetermined. Your eligibility will be based on the information provided by you and your employer(s) after you file an
Application for Benefits.
To make a decision on your eligibility for UC benefits, you and your employer will be given the opportunity to present information on the reason for your separation. If you fail to respond to requests for information, the department will make an eligibility determination based on information provided by your employer. After the department has completed fact finding, a Notice of Determination will be mailed to both parties.
A claimant is ineligible for UC benefits for any week of unemployment during which the claimant is incarcerated after a conviction. If the claimant is incarcerated after a conviction for any part of a week, he/she is ineligible for the entire week. For purposes of UC eligibility, a claimant is still "incarcerated" even if on work release, in a half-way house or in a rehabilitation facility as a condition of his/her sentence. Also, a "conviction" includes pleading guilty or no contest to the criminal charge(s).
If a claimant is incarcerated but not yet convicted, the claimant is ineligible for UC benefits if incarcerated for a majority of the week (i.e., the claimant is not able and available for suitable work).
A financial determination is issued for all claims. The financial determination will indicate if the claimant is financially eligible. Once financial eligibility is met, you must then meet all other UC requirements in order to be eligible to receive benefits, including a valid separation from your former employer.
If you filed on the internet, you should receive an email confirmation after you file your claim. In the first week you will receive three mailings: Notice of Financial Determination (UC-44F), UC Claim Confirmation Letter (UC-360) and the PA UC Handbook (UCP-1). If you don’t receive these mailings, download and complete the
fax cover sheet, and fax it to the UC service centers at 717-525-5160. A UC service center representative will call to assist you.
Check your claim status.
Note: A determination regarding your separation from employment could take 4-6 weeks, so continue to file your biweekly claims during that time.
The first week of the benefit year that you are unemployed and otherwise eligible for benefits is called the "waiting week." In order to make it easier to file for UC benefits, the waiting week requirement is temporarily suspended for all UC claimants. Previously, eligible claimants would not receive compensation for the waiting week. You will see this term on our websites, however, for the duration of the pandemic emergency declaration, it is now a paid compensable week.
You should have received a Notice of Determination from the UC service center stating you are eligible for benefits. If you need a copy of this form, please download the
fax cover sheet, complete and fax your request to the UC service center at 717-525-5160, send an email to
UCP-UC-NEWS@pa.gov, or call the UC service center at 888-313-7284.
You can easily view and print your
benefit payment history Wednesdays through Fridays. Most public service agencies accept this printout for eligibility purposes.
Generally, claimants are not eligible for UC benefits while out of the country because they are out of their local labor market. However, there are a few exceptions. If you were out of the country during any part of a week, please indicate that fact when filing your biweekly claims. Fact finding will need to be conducted to determine your eligibility.
A credit week is any week within the base year that you earned at least $116.00.
You need to have a minimum of 18 credit weeks in your base year to be eligible for any amount of benefits.
UCP-41 provides information about other issues that may affect eligibility for unemployment compensation (UC).