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Introduction

The Pennsylvania UC program is administered by the department and provides temporary wage replacement income to qualified workers.

This booklet, the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook, will answer many of your questions about the benefits available to you and provide information about your responsibilities as a participant in the program. Read this booklet carefully and retain it for reference for one year.* Visit www.uc.pa.gov for additional information, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

You will also receive a Claim Confirmation Letter (Form UC-360) from the department. It confirms that your application for benefits has been processed. It contains your personal identification number (PIN) to access the department's Internet claims filing system and to use PA Teleclaims (PAT), the department's system for filing claims by telephone. This letter also instructs you when to file claims for benefits for weeks that you are totally or partially unemployed. Read your Claim Confirmation Letter and accompanying information carefully.

* This booklet is not an official statement of the Law. Statements in this handbook are intended for informational purposes only. If there is a conflict between information in this booklet and the provisions of the Law, the Law controls.

flowchart of process of qualifying for benefits 

WARNING

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (UC) FRAUD IS A SERIOUS OFFENSE.

If you give false information to the Department of Labor & Industry (department) or withhold information to obtain UC, you may be criminally prosecuted under various provisions of Pennsylvania law: 18 Pa.C.S. §4904 (unsworn falsification to authorities), 18 Pa.C.S. §3922 (theft by deception) and 43 P.S. §871 (false statements or representations to obtain or increase compensation). If you are prosecuted, you may be subject to a fine, imprisonment, restitution, garnishment of federal tax refunds and loss of future benefits.

You may be committing fraud if you lie about the reason you were separated from employment, return to a full-time job or start your own business without telling the department, work part time and do not report your wages for the week when they were earned, claim benefits when you are not able to work or available for work or allow another person to claim benefits for you.

The department's fraud investigation division is committed to the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of those who commit, or attempt to commit, UC fraud. The department employs multiple detection systems to identify claimants who work while claiming benefits and do not report their wages. If you fail to report wages or otherwise lie about your eligibility, you should expect to be caught.

Unemployment Compensation (UC) fraud is not only a crime, it raises the cost of UC for all Pennsylvania employers and employees. UC is a protection for you now and in the future. Do not jeopardize this protection by committing fraud.

To report fraud, please visit our page, Reporting Fraud in Pennsylvania and click on the "Report Fraud" button.

UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION

It is important that you receive and read all correspondence about your UC claim.

If your mailing address, telephone number or email address change, inform the UC service center and the PA CareerLink® system (www.pacareerlink.pa.gov) immediately, even if you are not filing for benefits at that time. Keeping the UC service center aware of your current contact information will ensure that you receive correspondence from the department.

We also encourage you to report any address changes to the United States Postal Service (USPS). When your UC information is mailed to you, the USPS National Change of Address database may be used to validate your address before delivering the mail. If the USPS has a different address, your UC information may be delivered to the address maintained by the USPS National Change of Address data base rather than the address you gave us.


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Qualifying For Benefits