How To Apply For Unemployment In Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation handles all unemployment insurance claims in the State of Pennsylvania. Their website provides an unemployment guide, online portal to file for benefits, and links to manage your benefits and file weekly claims. You must have worked in the state to use this resource. Begin by reviewing the sites below:

You can also file your claim using Live Chat. Simply call (888) 313-7284 and you’ll be given a 6-Digit security code to verify your identity when you call. You can file by phone at the same number, but online filing is recommended to avoid long wait times.  

Residency and Filing Requirements

You don’t have to be a Pennsylvania resident to file for unemployment insurance benefits, but you do need to have a work history in the state and be able to provide proof of US Citizenship (social security number) or a resident alien registration number. Unemployment insurance claims cannot be filed from outside the United States. Be prepared to provide:

  • Wage History from the Past Eighteen Months
  • Reasons for Separation from your Former Employer
  • Detailed Contact Information (Including Email)

If you live in another state, but worked in Pennsylvania during your qualifying base period, you are qualified to file for unemployment in Pennsylvania. Military personnel will need their form DD-214 and federal employees must have Standard Form 50 or Standard Form 8.

Filing a Bi-Weekly Claim to Receive Payments

After you’ve completed your initial application and been approved for unemployment insurance benefits payments, you’ll receive a letter in the mail with a four-digit pin number. Use this number to file your bi-weekly claims, which are required for you to continue receiving payments. You can file your bi-weekly claim online or by telephone.

Your bi-weekly claim is a confirmation that you are still fully or partially unemployed, a report of any wages you might have received during the period you’re reporting for, and testimony by you that you’re still willing and able to work. You are required to search for work while on unemployment since the UI fund is designed to give you only partial and temporary financial relief while you’re out of work. Bi-weekly claims should be filed on Saturdays.

Individual Services and Career Planning

Many unemployed workers take advantage of unemployment time to enroll in job training or higher education programs. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has a Career Planning page with links to educational programs, health care resources, open jobs, and volunteer opportunities. You can also access resources for the following:

  • Career Guide
  • High Priority Occupations
  • Occupational Wage Guide
  • Pennsylvania Work Statistics

Serious job seekers should register with PASmart, a statewide employment website launched by the governor’s office to give workers the resources they need to not only find new work, but to improve their knowledge and education level to seek out better, higher-paying jobs in Pennsylvania. The program is billed as a “Statewide Movement for Accountability, Readiness, and Training.” It is a free resource for all Pennsylvania residents.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance Program

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