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Eligibility FAQs

  1. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?
  2. Am I eligible to receive UC benefits while incarcerated, on work release, in a half-way house or in a rehabilitation facility?
  3. I received my financial determination. Does this mean I will be getting unemployment compensation?
  4. How can I check the status of my initial claim?
  5. What is the waiting week?
  6. I need a letter stating that I've been granted benefits. How can I get this?
  7. I need a printout of my payment history. How can I get this?
  8. Am I eligible to receive benefits while traveling out of the country?
  9. What are credit weeks?
  10. How do credit weeks affect my claim?
FAQ Topics
 
1. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits?
 
The Pennsylvania UC Law establishes various requirements for eligibility for UC benefits. Among them are the following:
 
You must have sufficient qualifying wages and a minimum of 18 credit weeks in your base year.
 
You must have a qualifying separation. And, you must be able and available to accept suitable work and not refuse work when offered.
 
UC eligibility cannot be predetermined. Your eligibility will be based on the information provided by you and your employer(s) after you file an Application for Benefits.
 
2. Am I eligible to receive UC benefits while incarcerated, on work release, in a half-way house or in a rehabilitation facility?
 
A claimant is ineligible for UC benefits for any week of unemployment during which the claimant is incarcerated after a conviction. If the claimant is incarcerated after a conviction for any part of a week, he/she is ineligible for the entire week. For purposes of UC eligibility, a claimant is still "incarcerated" even if on work release, in a half-way house or in a rehabilitation facility as a condition of his/her sentence. Also, a "conviction" includes pleading guilty or no contest to the criminal charge(s).
 
If a claimant is incarcerated but not yet convicted, the claimant is ineligible for UC benefits if incarcerated for a majority of the week (i.e., the claimant is not able and available for suitable work).
 
3. I received my financial determination. Does this mean I will be getting unemployment compensation?
 
A financial determination is issued for all claims. The financial determination will indicate if the claimant is financially eligible. Once financial eligibility is met, you must then meet all other UC requirements in order to be eligible to receive benefits, including a valid separation from your former employer.
 
4. How can I check the status of my initial claim?
 
If you filed on the internet, you should receive an email confirmation after you file your claim. In the first week you will receive three mailings: Notice of Financial Determination (UC-44F), UC Claim Confirmation Letter (UC-360) and the PA UC Handbook (UCP-1). If you don’t receive these mailings, download and complete the fax cover sheet, and fax it to the UC service centers at 717-525-5160. A UC service center representative will call to assist you. Check your claim status.
 
Note: A determination regarding your separation from employment could take 4-6 weeks, so continue to file your biweekly claims during that time.
 
 
5. What is the waiting week?
 
The first week of the benefit year that you are unemployed and otherwise eligible for benefits is called the "waiting week." UC benefits are not payable for the waiting week. However, you must file a claim for the waiting week in order to receive credit for serving it. Since you must file biweekly and because of the waiting week, your first UC payment may be for only one week.
 
6. I need a letter stating that I've been granted benefits. How can I get this?
 
You should have received a Notice of Determination from the UC service center stating you are eligible for benefits. If you need a copy of this form, please download the fax cover sheet, complete and fax your request to the UC service center at 717-525-5160, send an email to UCP-UC-NEWS@pa.gov, or call the UC service center at 888-313-7284.
 
7. I need a printout of my payment history. How can I get this?
 
You can easily view and print your benefit payment history Wednesdays through Fridays. Most public service agencies accept this printout for eligibility purposes.
 
8. Am I eligible to receive benefits while traveling out of the country?
 
Generally, claimants are not eligible for UC benefits while out of the country because they are out of their local labor market. However, there are a few exceptions. If you were out of the country during any part of a week, please indicate that fact when filing your biweekly claims. Fact finding will need to be conducted to determine your eligibility.
 
9. What are credit weeks?
 
A credit week is any week within the base year that you earned at least $100.00.
 
10. How do credit weeks affect my claim?
 
You need to have a minimum of 18 credit weeks in your base year to be eligible for any amount of benefits.
 
The UCP-41 provides information about other issues that may affect eligibility for unemployment compensation (UC).
 
 
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The information provided on this site does not constitute a determination of eligibility
to receive unemployment compensation.
 
PA Department of Labor and Industry