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File a Biweekly Claim or Weekly Certification

Reminder: 

  • Eligibility for regular UC must be Identified before filing for PUA. If you are eligible for regular state UC (in PA or any other state); then you cannot claim PUA. 
  • Filing for the same claim weeks on more than one program is considered fraud.

​Lost Wages Assistance

On Sept. 9, 2020 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) notified L&I that the last week for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program is Sept. 5, 2020 due to the fund's depletion. This is not an L&I decision. No additional payments will be allowed after Sept. 5, 2020.

The federal Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) Program provided Pennsylvania $2.8 billion to give an extra $300 a week in additional funds to individuals that are unemployed (or partially unemployed) because of COVID-19 from August 1 through September 5.

LWA Program Eligibility

  • You must be fully or partially unemployed due to COVID-19, and
  • You must have a weekly benefit rate (+ dependent allowance, if applicable) totaling $100 or more, and
  • You must receive a payment each week from one of the qualifying programs:
        • Unemployment Compensation
        • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
        • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
        • State Extended Benefits
        • Shared-Work
        • Trade Readjustment Allowances

The LWA certification will be available when you’re due to file your biweekly claim, or it will be available if you are no longer filing.  Complete your LWA certification using your UC PIN by selecting “Complete LWA Certificationin the same application you file your UC biweekly claims.

  • You will certify only ONCE for the LWA program. Complete your LWA Certification as soon as possible as funds are limited and not guaranteed.
  • LWA benefits are payable retroactive to the week ending August 1, 2020 and will be available for claim weeks ending August 1, August 8, August 15, August 22, August 29 and September 5.
  • LWA will run for six weeks and will end on September 5, 2020.

​Unemployment Compensation

After filing your initial application for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, you will receive a Claims Confirmation letter in the mail. This letter will provide

  • Your 4-digit PIN necessary to file your biweekly claim, and
  • the date you will file your first biweekly claim -- generally the second Sunday after completing your initial application for benefits.

You will file a biweekly claim for two weeks at a time, certifying your eligibility for each week separately. For UC purposes, a week is a calendar week that begins Sunday and ends Saturday. 

For those impacted by COVID-19, if you are offered work by your employer and refuse to accept it, without good cause, you may no longer be eligible for UC. Learn more in the "My employer offered me my job back, but I would make more staying on Unemployment.  Can I do this?" FAQ on our UC Benefits FAQ page.

​Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

  • If you have filed for PEUC, you will receive a PEUC Financial Determination letter in the mail. Once your receive your determination, use your previously provided UC PIN to begin biweekly filing in the same system as regular UC.
  • If you were automatically enrolled in PEUC (still within your regular unemployment benefit year), you will also use your same UC PIN and continue your biweekly filing.
  • If you no longer have your previous UC PIN, please request a new PIN through our online form.


​Extended Benefits (EB)

The EB program is available to provide up to 13 additional weeks of payments to people who exhaust their regular UC and federal PEUC.
  • EB is not available until you have exhausted your PEUC benefits.
  • The EB weekly benefit rate is the same as your UC claim, including depended allowances.
  • The total amount of EB that you may receive is 50 percent the amount of regular UC you were able to receive -- you were eligible for 26 weeks of regular UC, you may be eligible for 13 weeks of EB.
  • After the balance of your PEUC claim hits $0, your EB claim will set-up automatically.
  • You must complete your weekly certification in order to claim EB for weeks you are totally or partially unemployed.
  • Each EB online certification corresponds to one specific week, as indicated on the web form.

​Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

  • Unlike regular unemployment benefits, you need to file your PUA certifications WEEKLY to get paid.
  • An unemployment week is Sunday through Saturday.
  • The first day you can file your weekly claim is on Sunday.
  • You don’t have to file on Sunday – you can file your weekly claim any day Sunday through Friday.
  • After the first payment, you will receive weekly PUA payments typically within three business days after filing your weekly certification.
Refer to the PUA System Guide, the PUA Claimant Assistance Guide, or we’ve created two helpful screenshot guides to help you through the process:


 

Quick Tips on Filing Biweekly Claims

To be unemployed, you must have a loss in both work hours and pay or "earnings."

​Did You Work?
​Answer Yes if you worked at all during the week or if your employer paid you (regular wages, supplemental payments or any type of paid leave including vacation pay, sick leave or Paid Time Off (PTO)), to be off work for the COVID emergency. You must report your earnings. ​

When you answer Yes, the next question will be:

You worked; (if you worked your normal full-time hours or will be paid the equivalent of your normal full-time hours due to the COVID emergency, you are not entitled to benefits for the week.) Did you work your normal full-time hours, or will you be paid wages equal to your normal full-time wages?

To avoid claim delays, properly report your earnings.

  • Earnings include your gross earnings from any work performed, as well as full or partial salary, even if actual work was not performed. 
  • Potential earnings are any earnings you could have made, but you turned down the work.
  • Vacation pay: Answer No to the question “Did you or will you receive vacation pay?” if your vacation pay is related to COVID-19. If your vacation pay is related to COVID-19, you will report it by answering YES to “Did you Work?” and reporting that vacation pay as earnings.

Were you able and available for work? 


Being confined to home does not necessarily mean you are not available to accept work. If you plan on returning to your employer after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, or you could work from home if requested, you are Available.  You are Able to work if you are mentally and physically capable of performing a job for which a labor market exists.

 


NOTE: THE DEPARTMENT CANNOT PAY YOU FOR WEEKS UNLESS A TIMELY BIWEEKLY CLAIM HAS BEEN FILED.

The best way to file your biweekly claim is online from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

You also can file by phone by using the PA Teleclaims (PAT) system. Call 888-255-4728 (TTY services for the deaf and hard of hearing: 888-334-4046), from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 Accordion



Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version

Filing Biweekly Claims by TTY

Receiving Benefit Payments

Waiting Week

Compensable Week

Earnings

Partial Benefit Credit – Working Part-time

Holiday Pay

Vacation Pay

Supplemental Unemployment Benefits

Federal CARES Program


Have you lost your health insurance? Visit PA Insurance Department's Health Insurance Options webpage for information on options available to you and your family.