Pennsylvania Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for Pennsylvania unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed Pennsylvania workers can file an initial claim for unemployment benefits one of two ways:

  1. Online – File your initial unemployment claim online
  2. Telephone – File your unemployment claim through Pennsylvania Teleclaims (PAT) local number (Sunday, 6:00am to 11:00pm, and M - F, 6:00am to 9:00pm)

File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the week you file. Unemployment benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.

  • Name, address & phone
  • SSN & date of birth
  • Drivers license or State issued ID
  • Name, address, phone number, gross earnings, occupation, dates worked, and reason for separation for all employers for the past 18 months
  • If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
  • If you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50 (or W2 or pay stubs)
  • If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type
  • Your Employer Information Form (if you have one)
  • Dependent children names, ages and SSN

After filing your initial unemployment claim, you will receive a Notice of Financial Determination, describing benefits, eligibility and giving additional information.

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Filing Your Bi-Weekly Claim:

Pennsylvania weekly unemployment benefits are based on approximately 50% of your the average weekly earnings, with a minimum of $35/week to a maximum $564 per week. You may also claim a dependent allowance of $5 for one dependent child, $8 for two or more. Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) currently adds an additional $25 per week to your benefit.

Unemployed Pennsylvania workers can file bi-weekly unemployment claims one of three ways:

  1. Online – File your bi-weekly unemployment claim online (Sunday, 6:00am to 11:00pm, and M - F, 6:00am to 9:00pm)
  2. Telephone – File your bi-weekly unemployment claim using by calling your Pennsylvania Teleclaims (PAT) local number (Sunday, 6:00am to 11:00pm, and M - F, 6:00am to 9:00pm)

  • Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday - Call in your bi-weekly claim filing if your Social Security Number ends in an even number
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday - Call in your bi-weekly claim filing if your Social Security Number ends in an odd number

  1. Mail – If you are unable to file online or by telephone, you may apply to file bi-weekly claims by mail.

Beware of the Waiting Week. Your first week of benefits is called a "waiting week" – this means you will not be paid benefits during your first week of eligibility, but you must still file a claim to get credit for waiting.

Expect your first unemployment benefit payment within 4 weeks of your initial filing. If you have applied for direct deposit, it will take an estimated 4 weeks to take effect - prior to this time your benefits will be deposited into a debit card account. Your bi-weekly unemployment benefit payments will be available a few business days after filing.

Unemployment Benefits:

Health care benefits may also be available through the Health Coverage Tax Credit - Check COBRA and The IRS for details.

Pennsylvania workers may be eligible for online career and training assistance at PA CareerLinks.

Filing for extensions:

If an extended benefit period is declared, based on unemployment rates, and it appears that you qualify, you will be notified with instructions to extend your unemployment benefits.

Ending Unemployment:

When you return to work, file for credit for the remaining few days you didn't work, and report wages earned for the week. Then, just stop filing - when you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.


Make sure to keep a copy of your work search record. You may be required to supply copies to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

If you receive a busy signal when you call, try again during a less busy period. Call volumes can be busy Monday - Tuesday. The easiest times to call are late each day, and toward the end of the week.

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I never received my forms for December for unemployment. What do I do? I had called and they said they would be sent out but that was 2 weeks ago.

December 19 2011 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
getter done

I finally got a job. But, I need to know if my old employer does not respond to an inquiry about my discharge, do I get my unemployment approved in PA?

November 03 2011 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i need a job...

October 23 2011 at 7:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am a diabetic and the neuropathy in my legs has gotten worse. As a warehouse machine operator my emoloyer dosen`t think it`s safe for me to operate equipment any longer after over 5 years with the company. Do i qualify to recieve benefits? If so how do i go about applying.

September 14 2011 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply



September 12 2011 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


I was on vacation for two weeks and got home late on a Friday, I tried to call on Saturday to file my bi-weekly claim and there was no answer . What can I do now???

Sylvia Pennington

August 27 2011 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

HI, I have been trying to file my bi-weekly claim and I cannot find my PIN#. Can someone direct me to someone that can help me with this problem? All of these PAT phone numbers are constantly busy! i have been trying for almost 2 weeks . I really need some help ASAP! Thank you, Dale Malone

July 17 2011 at 1:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I need to file my bi-weekly claim and I cannot find my pin #. Who and how do i contact someone who can help me with this, All these phone numbers are constantly busy! Thanks Dale Malone

July 17 2011 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill and Becky

To be eligible, the claimant must inform the employer of his/her health limitations prior to quitting so that the employer can offer suitable work within the claimant's limitations. The claimant must also be able and available for suggested accommodations. If the employer fails to offer suitable work, the claimant may be eligible for UC." quoted from the link below

My employer (manager) actually sent me this link after a phone conversation we had regarding my current working conditions and issues at a job I have been at 8 years as of July 21, I have been in and out of work, in and out of hospitals, rehabilitations and psychiatric hospitals due to being diagnosed with a) alcohol and drug addiction, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, manic depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and ADHD. Long list I know. I have seen therapists, doctors and psychiatrists in the past who attempt to give me the right medications but never seem to work as they had hoped.
I emailed my manager who happens to reside in CA and informed her that the working conditions given a recovering addict and one with mood disorders make it difficult to perform my daily job duties due to the office I work in is over run with drug pushers and constant stress in which I cannot seem to get under control. She responded and advised she would research and forward this information to our Vice President for our department.
Nothing has changed. I was recently offered crack cocaine by a fellow employee. I have requested to my manager that I need to be removed from the bldg and she could not accomodate this request. I have also recently informed my local human resource department that I am having trouble continuing to work for this company given the mental illness's I have and of course the distracting drug issues I am faced with almost daily. They could not help.

I have been hospitaized over 10 times in the last few years and sent inpatient about 6 times due to the mental illness and inability to handle the stress the job.

Please advise as to what my options are. I cannot at this time perform any jobs that may cause stress as with the medications and "coping skills" learned are not working as my medical history will prove

I thank you for your time and would appreciate a timely response if possible due to I am confused as to my options and in dire straights.

Rebecca Cole

June 23 2011 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ruth Crater

I need continuation sheets for Form UC-2A Supplement for my place of employment. Where can I find that?

April 16 2011 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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