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Reopening an Existing Claim

If you opened an unemployment compensation (UC) claim within the past year, stopped filing for those benefits, but now need to file for benefits again, you will simply reopen your existing claim.

It doesn't matter if you're filing with the same employer or a new one, if you're filing for UC benefits within the 12 months that you opened your initial claim, you will reopen it to file for benefits.

Things to remember when reopening an existing claim:

Use your same username and password to log in (do not register for a new account, unless it's your first time logging into the new UC system.  

Claims are always effective on Sundays:  If you reopen your claim Monday-Saturday, the effective date is the preceding Sunday. If you reopen it on a Sunday, the effective date is the same day.   

"Claims weeks" are always Sunday – Saturday: You will be asked questions about specific weeks, which refers to what occurred from Sunday – Saturday.  Your employer's week-to-week schedule may be different, but you must provide us information for Sunday - Saturday for our purposes.  The claim week ending date, or "CWE," is always a Saturday. 

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  • Payments will be made on the same direct deposit or UC-issued debit card as you requested previously.
  • List the most recent day you worked before your hours were reduced or eliminated when asked "What was your last day of work for this employer?"
  • You will not receive a new financial determination or any new mailings. All determinations that you previously received for your claim still apply.
  • You will not receive notice to begin filing your weekly claims for a reopened claim. Please begin filing weekly claims the Sunday you complete the reopen application. 

Common Issues

Reopening your claim a week too early or too late 

  • You must reopen your unemployment claim during the first week when you are fully/partially unemployed and file a new claim once your current claim expires if you're still unemployed. 
EXAMPLE OF BEING TOO EARLY: 
EXAMPLE OF BEING TOO LATE: 
​You normally work Monday-Friday. You are told on Friday not to return to work next week. Do not reopen your claim when you get home. Wait until SUNDAY to open your claim. You have seven days – Sunday through Saturday – to submit your new claim. 

Consequence: Filing early causes the effective date of your reopened claim to be the Sunday of the last week you worked, NOT the first week you were unemployed. This will cause a delay because staff will need to speak with you, and they must adjust the effective date of your reopened claim one week later. 


​You go to work Tuesday and are told to go home; your services are no longer needed. You can reopen your claim right away, or any day through Saturday (four days later). DO NOT wait for Sunday. 


Consequence: Filing late does not prevent you from requesting backdating. However, there is no guarantee the request will be granted. Your reason for filing late must be allowable according to PA regulations in order for you to be paid, so you may be denied benefits for weeks of unemployment that you missed. 



Related information to help you through the rest of your claim 

The weekly certifications that you will file in order to receive payments have similar, strict deadlines when it comes to timing. The system will prevent you from filing weekly claims early.  However, filing late means you run the same risk of benefits not being granted that week. See the File Weekly Certifications guide for steps on how to certify your weeks for claim weeks. 

Ways to Reopen Your Existing Claim:

  • Online: Complete an online application using our secure website 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
    • *Note: The reopening process looks exactly the same as the initial claim process.
    • User Guide
  • Phone: Call the statewide toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284.
    • UC Service Centers - Hours of Operation
      Monday8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      Tuesday8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      Wednesday8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      Thursday8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
      Friday8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • TTY: Services for the deaf and hard of hearing can be reached at 1-888-334-4046.
  • Videophone: Services for individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL) can be reached at 717-704-8474 every Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
 Select the "Reopen an Existing Claim" button to get started!