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A Quick Guide for
Unemployment Compensation

Online is Quick & Easy

The fastest and easiest way to file an application for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits is through our website, You can file your application directly online anytime day or night. If you provide an email address, we will send you an email message confirming receipt of your application.
It’s important that you file your UC application during the first week you become unemployed or your hours of work are reduced. Waiting to file your claim may jeopardize
your eligibility for benefits.

Information you’ll need when you apply:

  • Social Security number*
  • Home address, mailing address (if different than your home address) and telephone number
  • Email address (if you have one)
  • If not a U.S. citizen or national, your Alien registration number, and the date you were first authorized to work in the United States
  • Name of your last employer or the employer where you’re currently working less than full-time hours.
  • Complete mailing address of your last employer (name, street address, city, state, ZIP code), telephone number and email address
  • Date you started working and the last day you worked for the employer
  • Reason you left employment with that employer, or the reason you are working less hours
  • If you were on active duty in the U.S. military during the last two years, DD Form 214, copy 4
  • If you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months, information from Standard Form 8, Standard Form 50, W-2 and/or pay stubs
  • If you are covered under a Trade Adjustment Assistance, the TA-W petition number
Use the Employer Information Form (UC-1609P) if it has been provided to you by your employer.
* We are required by federal law to obtain your Social Security number. We cannot process your application for UC without it.

Information We Will Send You

After filing an initial application, you will receive information in the mail about your claim within 10-12 days. This may include fact-finding questionnaires to complete if the reason for separation from your employer was other than for lack of work. Failure to return these fact-finding questionnaires timely will delay receipt of your benefits.

Direct Deposit Information:

Direct Deposit is the easiest and most convenient way to receive your money. If you file your UC application online, there will be a place to enter your bank information. If you call the service center to apply, a direct deposit form will be mailed to you to complete and return. You will need:
  • Bank name, street address, city, state and ZIP code
  • Bank telephone number
  • Bank account number
  • Bank account routing number
If you choose not to provide your bank information, you will receive your benefits via a debit card.

Filing an Application by Telephone

You may also file an application for benefits by calling our UC service center. The toll free number for the UC Service Center is 888-313-7284. The UC Service Center hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 8 AM to 4 PM, Wednesday 12 PM to 6 PM and Friday from 8 AM to 12 PM.

Video Services for the Deaf

Videophone services for the deaf are available every Wednesday from noon to 4 PM by calling 717-704-8474 from any videophone. The videophone service may be used to file an application or claims for unemployment benefits, ask questions about your claims or get information about UC programs. If you call any other time, you can leave a sign mail message and we will call you back on Wednesdays between noon and 4 PM. If you need UC services on any other days, you can also call the UC service center, using the Video Relay Service. Your Source for Keeping Your Claim Up-to-Date

Here are some more things that you can do at to keep your claim up-to-date:
  • Reopen your existing UC claim (which is necessary if your biweekly claims were interrupted)
  • View and print the status of each benefit payment you received
Using our "Change Personal Info" button you can also:
  • Change your mailing address, email address and telephone number on your existing claim
  • Change your federal income tax withholding status
  • Start or change direct deposit of your benefits
  • Print a copy of your UC-1099G which you need for your federal income tax return
  • Change your PIN

Biweekly Claims

After you file your application for benefits, you must file claims for weeks that you are totally or partially unemployed. You will file claims at two-week intervals; each biweekly claim covering the preceding two weeks. The easiest way to claim benefits every other week is online at Internet filing is secure, and you have the option of reviewing your answers and changing them if needed, as well as printing a confirmation page for your records. If you provide us with your email address, you will also receive a claim confirmation email.
You can also file for UC benefits every other week through the Pennsylvania Teleclaims, or PAT, system. For the toll free telephone number, see the last page of this pamphlet.
Biweekly claims may be filed online or via PAT Sunday from 6 AM to 11 PM and Monday through Friday from 6 AM to 9 PM.
Additionally, TTY service is available for the hearing impaired. You may file your biweekly claims using TTY service 24 hours a day, 6 days a week (Sunday through Friday). First, you must obtain the TTY biweekly filing instructions and eligibility questions online at, or by contacting the UC service center or local PA Careerlink® office. After you obtain the biweekly questions and follow the instructions, connect to the UC service center TTY by calling 888-334-4046.

Getting Back to Work

We are committed to doing everything possible to help you return to work. Your first step is to register for employment-search services. Go to the Pennsylvania PA CareerLink® website at and click the “Register as a Job Seeker” tab located at the top right-hand side of the screen. Follow the instructions provided to create a Keystone ID (user name) and password using your complete Social Security number. Next, provide the applicable information to complete your “Profile” and “Job Preferences”. Once you have completed the registration process, you will receive a registration confirmation page. Be sure to print this page or write the information down for your records. Do not send the confirmation to the UC service center or Pennsylvania CareerLink® office.
Pa CareerLink® can help you achieve your employment goals. In PA CareerLink® you can create or upload a résumé and make it available to thousands of employers. You can also search the extensive database of job openings and apply for jobs online at no cost to you. Additionally, you can receive personalized job recommendations and gather valuable information on educational, training and rehabilitative services. While in PA CareerLink®, you can locate your local PA CareerLink® office should you need staff assistance with your job search activities. PA CareerLink® offers a wide variety of
employment and training services across the commonwealth..
Our goal is to provide prompt, courteous, quality customer service. If you have questions, our website provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
UC Service Centers Hours of Operation
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 8 AM to 4 PM
Wednesday 12 PM to 6 PM
Friday 8 AM to 12 PM
Toll Free UC Service Center:
Toll Free TTY (Hearing Impaired):
Pennsylvania Teleclaims (PAT) Hours of Operation:
Sunday 6 AM to 11 PM
Monday through Friday 6 AM to 9 PM
Toll Free PAT: 888-255-4728
PAT gratis en Español: 877-888-8104
Videophone Service for American Sign Language Users:
Wednesday from noon to 4 PM at 717-704-8474.
Remember: Always provide timely and accurate information. False statements are punishable pursuant to 18 Pa. C.S. §4904, relating to unsworn falsification to authorities. A person who knowingly makes a false statement or knowingly withholds information to obtain UC benefits commits a criminal offense under section 801 of the UC Law, 43 P.S. §871, and may be subject to a fine, imprisonment, restitution and loss of future benefits.
Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Equal Opportunity Employer/Program
UC-98 REV 02-19