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Visit our How to File page to learn more about filing for Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits or watch our video tutorial.
Generally, first you should identify the state, or states, where you worked and were paid wages during your
If you have earned wages in
only one state during your base year period, you should file for unemployment compensation (UC) with the state where you worked. If you have earned wages in
more than one state during your base year period, you must file a Combined Wage Claim (CWC) by contacting one of the states where you worked and were paid wages during your
More information is available on other state's unemployment services.
If you need assistance in determining the state where you should file your UC claim, you should contact the
UC service center by phone at 888-313-7284.
An Application for Benefits is effective the Sunday that begins the week in which you apply for benefits. If you have not already done so, please contact the
UC service center to request backdating of your application to the week in which you were laid off. The service center will make a determination on your request to backdate your application for benefits and claim(s) for missed weeks. You can also email
email@example.com to request backdating.
Email Backdating Request:
Include "Back Date Request" in the subject line of the email
Provide exact date and any relevant information about your separation for the additional weeks you wish to claim.
Send only one email request as they will be processed as fast as possible and multiple requests will only delay our ability to process in a timely manner.
An application for benefits may be backdate in only a very limited number of circumstances. Generally, backdating is permitted only where the individual did not file timely claims, through no fault of his/her own.
No, if you are collecting severance pay, or are going to be collecting severance pay, file your application as soon as you become unemployed. The answers you provide in your application regarding severance pay will help determine the impact severance pay may, or may not, have on your eligibility for benefits. Before a determination can be issued, additional information will also be requested from you and/or your employer. See the
Severance Pay Deductions FAQs page for further information.
UC service center immediately if you return to work. If you return to work full time with your former employer or a new employer, you are no longer eligible for benefits. However, remember to file claims for weeks you were unemployed before you returned to work.
You receive the UCP-1 handbook and a UC debit card (if financially eligible) at the start of a new UC claim. If your UC debit card is lost or compromised, you may request a new one from US Bank at 888-233-5916 or online at
www.usbankreliacard.com. Reopening your claim or starting an EUC claim does not trigger a new mailing for these items. If you are financially ineligible, you will not receive a debit card.
You should file for benefits in the state where the wages were earned.
Call the UC service center at 888-313-7284 and a representative will assist you.
When you are granted benefits, your benefit year provides you with a 52-week period beginning with the date of your application for unemployment compensation benefits. If you claim the full amount for each week, you will receive your maximum allowance of benefits in 18-26 weeks. If you receive partial benefits due to part-time earnings, the duration of your claim can extend beyond 26 weeks. Benefits end when your balance is exhausted, or your benefit year ends, whichever happens first. This information can be found in your Financial Determination.
If your benefit year ends, and you worked during your 52-week benefit year, you can reapply. Your financial eligibility will be redetermined.
Yes. You can go to
Reopen a Claim Instructions to re-open your claim, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or
contact the UC service center.
Please note: If you choose to re-open your claim on line, you will do so by using the “Reopen a Claim” button on the right tabs. The process to re-open a claim is exactly the same as the initial claim process and the entire form must be completed. When you submit the claim, it will be processed as a re-open application, not a new application, as long as you have a current claim in place, i.e. less than one year has passed from your Application for Benefits date. After you hit the submit button, you should print the confirmation page and retain it for your records.
For claims that are being re-opened within one year of their AB date, you will not receive a new handbook, Debit Card or PIN number. If you already had direct deposit established, it will remain active for two years unless there has been 12 months of inactivity. If you received your benefits on your UC Debit Card and no longer have it or it is no longer active, please contact the Debit Card Company at 866-586-1706.
Yes. If you have decided that you do not want to claim UC and you have not filed for any weeks, you can request to cancel the claim. You may also cancel a claim within 15 days after receiving your first payment by repaying the benefits you received. If you established a claim from more than just Pennsylvania wages, you can request a cancellation, however, the request will need to be made within the appeal period of your financial determination. This will allow you to file a new claim when it is appropriate. If you would like to cancel your current claim, you can click on the Unemployment Services panel after you have logged in to your UC Benefits Dashboard.
Go to the bottom of the Unemployment Services panel and click on "More Unemployment Services."
Next, click on the "Withdraw Your Claim" link.
The following screen will pop up and you can download the "Claim Withdrawal Request Form."
The form will need to be completed and mailed to the Mail Processing Unit at 651 Boas Street, Room 500, Harrisburg, PA 17121. If the cancelation request meets the qualification requirements established by Pennsylvania UC law, the cancellation request will be processed once received but only if the repayment of any benefits received is paid by cashier’s check or money order. If a payment is made by personal check, the cancellation may be delayed for up to 90 days so that the check clears.
Every naturalized or authorized worker MUST
email or mail legible images of the front and back of their Social Security Card and front and back images of the
Employment (Work) Authorization, within 14 calendar days to be eligible to receive benefits.
If sending the documents via email, please send to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject as: First & Last Name.
If mailing, please mail to:
651 Boas Street
Central Office, Room 625
Attn: Jen M.
Harrisburg, PA 17121
Severance pay received by a claimant that exceeds 40 percent of Pennsylvania's average annual wage* is deducted from the claimant's UC if the claimant's
application for benefits (AB) date is on or after Jan. 1, 2012, and the severance pay agreement between the employer and the claimant is entered into on or after Jan. 1, 2012. The deductible portion of a claimant's severance pay is allocated to the weeks immediately following the claimant's separation based on the claimant's full-time weekly wage. Severance pay means one or more payments made by an employer to an employee on account of separation from the service of the employer.
A claimant receives $42,000 in severance pay. Forty percent of Pennsylvania's average annual wage ($50,699.48 for 2017) is $20,280.00. Therefore, $20,280.00 is subtracted from $42,000 equaling $21,720, which is the amount of the claimant's severance pay that is deductible. The claimant was earning $1,200 a week at the time of his separation. Accordingly, the deductible amount of severance pay is allocated at $1,200 per week to the first 18 weeks the claimant is unemployed. Because $1,200 exceeds the maximum weekly UC benefit rate, the claimant would not receive any benefits for this 18-week period. The 19th week would be calculated by taking the remaining severance pay amount of $120.00 to determine eligibility.
This example is to calculate severance pay received in 2017. Please note that the average annual wage is subject to change each year which will change the calculation.
*The average annual wage, for unemployment compensation purposes, is based on the most recent three fiscal years, or 36 months of data. Effective with claim week ending Jan. 7, 2017, the severance pay calculations will change in accordance with the new average annual wage.
When filing for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, you are required to report all pensions, including retirement, retired pay, annuities or other similar periodic payments and lump-sum pension payments. See
Pensions on the Potential Reductions page for further information.
In order to receive benefits, an individual must meet the financial eligibility requirements of the PA UC Law; be unemployed through no fault of his/her own; and be able and available for work. See
Am I eligible for UC? for further information.
The PA UC Law does not disqualify you for benefits simply because you are a full or part-time student. Additionally, you will not be ineligible for any claim week that you are in training approved by the secretary of the Department of Labor & Industry and are otherwise eligible.
You may not be eligible for UC benefits if you quit your job to enroll in an academic credit training program. There is no requirement that you must be available for full-time or permanent work. Your work history can be full-time, part-time, or seasonal. However, you must not refuse suitable work when offered. You may also be ineligible if you refuse a referral to a job opportunity. See
A recall date is a definite return-to-work date provided by an employer, usually at the time of your separation. A recall date can be provided by your employer, either verbally or in writing.
When you apply for UC benefits, you will be asked if you have a recall date. If you have a recall date, provide that date and indicate if the notice was given to you in writing. If applicable, you will provide this information during your initial or a reopening application.
Responses to the questions are required, however, if you choose to be proactive you can upload your recall notice to your dashboard.
- Login to your benefits portal and navigate to "Unemployment Services" from the homepage
- Choose "Provide Additional Documentation" then "Upload a Document" to keep your recall notice on file.
These details are important because a recall date, even a verbal date, means you will be exempt from participation in Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA). You may also qualify for an exemption from work search and work registration requirements if you have a written recall date. These exemptions expire on the specific recall date.
If an employer needs to extend your recall date, the employer can provide a new recall notice. To maintain certain exemptions, any changes must be provided to you in writing, and you must notify the UC Service Center of those changes. You must keep a copy of all recall notices from your employer.
Effective September 9, 2022, you can only file online for weekly benefits from within the United States or Canada.
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 weekly claims. Fact-finding will need to be conducted to determine your eligibility.