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Am I Eligible for UC?

Unemployment compensation (UC) is money paid to workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Any unemployed person may file a claim for UC benefits. Your eligibility is based on the information provided by you and your employer(s) after you file an application for UC benefits. Following your application for benefits, there are three basic steps to determining eligibility for UC benefits:

Financial Eligibility

The first step is determining whether you are financially eligible for UC benefits. In other words, the Department determines whether you earned sufficient wages and worked enough weeks (credit weeks) in a job that is covered by the PA UC Law. The PA UC Law defines what work is considered employment and what work is not considered employment. For instance, self-employment is excluded under the PA UC Law, so any wages you may have earned in your base year from your self-employment are not considered and cannot be used to determine your financial eligibility. The UC Law additionally excludes twenty-one other types of jobs that are not considered employment, such as certain types of agricultural/farm work, and domestic services performed in a private home. Because these jobs are not considered employment, the Department cannot use those types of wages when determining your financial eligibility.

Everyone is encouraged to apply for UC when they experience unemployment. Never assume your financial eligibility status. After the Department reviews the wages reported by your employer(s) and makes a decision on your financial eligibility, you will receive a notice of financial determination indicating whether or not you are financially eligible. ​

Benefit Eligibility

If you have been determined to be financially eligible, the second step involves the nature of your job loss or separation. In other words, are you out of work through no fault of your own? This decision is based on the information you supply when you file for benefits, and information collected from your former employer.

Maintaining Eligibility and Requalifying for Benefits

The third qualifier to receiving UC benefits involves meeting various tests on a week-to-week basis. For example, you must be able and available to accept suitable work, not refuse work when offered without good cause and participate in reemployment services if required. You'll also have to register for employment-search services at PA CareerLink® within 30 days after filing an application for benefits and actively seek work during each week that you claim UC benefits.

Other Important Eligibility Considerations

Overpayment of Benefits

Receiving UC benefits to which you are not entitled may result in reducing or removing future benefit entitlement until repaid.

The information provided on this site does not constitute a determination of eligibility to receive unemployment compensation.