Benefit payments are issued by direct deposit or debit card.
After you have filed an initial application, the first week of the benefit year for which you are unemployed and eligible for benefits is called the "waiting week." Benefits are not payable for the waiting week, but you must file a weekly certification for that week in order to be paid benefits for any claims weeks after your waiting week.
For the duration of the pandemic emergency declaration, the waiting week requirement was temporarily suspended for all UC claimants and that week became a paid compensable week. As of September 5, 2021, the unpaid waiting week is reinstated.
If you file a new UC claim as of 9/5/21 or later, you will have to serve an unpaid waiting week.
If you reopen an existing UC claim effective 9/5/21 or later, on which you have received no payments yet, you will have to serve an unpaid waiting week.
PEUC claimants moving to UC will have to serve an unpaid waiting week if the first eligible claim week is 9/11/21.
The date of each Saturday is called the compensable week ending (CWE) date. Your earnings and eligibility during each week determine whether you are entitled to benefits for that week and any amount of benefits payable to you.
For each week that you are claiming benefits, you must report all work and gross wages earned during that week, regardless of when they are paid. Earnings can be anything you receive for work you do, including:
- Credit on purchases,
- Meal allowances,
- Military Reserve or National Guard Pay for federal active duty and the two-week training camp, and
- Any other kind of payment you receive in exchange for work or service you perform.
You must also report any hours of work you missed when work was available to you and provide the gross wages you could have earned for the hours absent. You may be disqualified for benefits or prosecuted under the Pennsylvania UC Law if you fail to report all work and earnings, and any hours of work that you missed.
You may work part-time and possibly receive an unemployment benefit for the week. Payment amount is determined using your "partial benefit credit," (PBC) which is 30% of your weekly benefit rate (WBR). Your WBR and your PBC are added together, and then any earnings you report are subtracted from that total. You are paid the difference, but you cannot be paid more than your weekly benefit rate for any week.
Check out our Partial Benefit Credit Calculator to estimate your payment for the week.
Holiday pay must be reported for the week in which the holiday occurs, regardless of when paid. Holiday pay is always deductible using the same partial benefit credit formula described for receiving partial benefit credit.
It is your responsibility to report all vacation pay. If you receive vacation pay and you are in temporary layoff status with an expected date of recall, your vacation pay will be deducted from your benefits using the same partial benefit credit formula described for receiving partial benefit credit. However, if your layoff is permanent or indefinite, vacation payments will not be deducted from your weekly benefits.
Employers and unions in certain industries have set up plans to pay supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB) to employees who are laid off. These benefits are paid from a privately-operated fund.
Learn more information about SUB.
The federal CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for Pennsylvanians. For specific details and information about the programs available to you and which you should apply for, visit our Federal CARES Act page. Note: Filing for the same claim weeks on more than one program is considered fraud.