Filing for Unemployment Compensation FAQs
1. I am a Pennsylvania resident laid off from a job in another state, where should I file a claim for unemployment benefits?
Generally, first you should identify the state, or states, where you worked and were paid wages during your base year
If you have earned wages in only one state
during your base year period, you should file for unemployment compensation (UC) with the state where you worked. If you have earned wages in more than one state
during your base year period, you must file a Combined Wage Claim (CWC) by contacting one of the states where you worked and were paid wages during your base year
2. I was laid off last month and didn't file an Application for Benefits right away. Can I get paid for those weeks?
An Application for Benefits
is effective the Sunday that begins the week in which you apply for benefits. The effective date of your Application for Benefits determines your base year and your benefit year.
An application for benefits may be backdated in only a very limited number of circumstances. If you have not already done so, please contact the UC service center
to file an Application for Benefits and provide them the necessary information to make a determination on the missed weeks.
Claims for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania are based on a calendar week; that is, from Sunday through Saturday. The extent of your unemployment, your earnings and your eligibility status during each claim week determines whether you are eligible for benefits for that week and the amount of benefits payable to you.
Generally, claims for unemployment benefits are filed on a biweekly basis. You will file your biweekly claim when both of the weeks you are filing for have ended. Your biweekly claim must be filed during the Sunday through Friday period of the week immediately following the two weeks you are claiming.
The first time for you to file your biweekly claim is when the second week on your claim has ended. You will file your biweekly claim for the first and second weeks of your claim during the third week of your claim.
You may continue receiving UC benefits until you have received your maximum benefit amount or until your benefit ends as long as you continue to meet all eligibility requirements of the Pennsylvania UC Law
3. I received a new full-time job. Do I need to report this to the UC service center?
Notify the UC service center immediately if you return to work. If you return to work full time with your former employer or a new employer, you are no longer eligible for benefits. However, remember to file claims for weeks you were unemployed before you returned to work.
4. When do I receive a personal identification number (PIN), the UCP-1 (UC handbook), and a UC debit card?
You receive a PIN , the UCP-1 handbook and a UC debit card (if financially eligible) at the start of a new UC claim. Call your UC service center if you have lost your pin to have a new one issued. If your UC debit card is lost or compromised, you may request a new one from JP Morgan Chase at 866-586-1706 or online at www.ucard.chase.com
. Reopening your claim or starting an EUC claim does not trigger a new mailing for these items. If you are financially ineligible, you will not receive a debit card.
5. 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.
6. I don't live in Pennsylvania, but worked there, and need to file for unemployment. Where should I file for benefits?
You should file for benefits in the state where the wages were earned.
7. My name has changed. How can I change it on my claim?
Call the UC service center at 888-313-7284 and a representative will assist you.
8. How long does my claim stay open?
When you are granted benefits, your benefit year provides you with a 52-week period beginning with the date of your application for unemployment compensation benefits. If you claim the full amount for each week, you will receive your maximum allowance of benefits. This information can be found on your Financial Determination.
9. Can I re-open my claim myself?
Yes. You can go to Reopen a Claim Instructions
to re-open your claim, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or contact the UC service center at 888-313-7284, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is easier to reach a live agent by calling later in the week.
Please note: If you choose to re-open your claim on line, you will do so by using the “Reopen a Claim” button on the right tabs. The process to re-open a claim is exactly the same as the initial claim process and the entire form must be completed. When you submit the claim, it will be processed as a re-open application, not a new application, as long as you have a current claim in place, i.e. less than one year has passed from your Application for Benefits date. After you hit the submit button, you should print the confirmation page and retain it for your records.
For claims that are being re-opened within one year of their AB date, you will not receive a new handbook, Debit Card or PIN number. If you already had direct deposit established, it will remain active for two years unless there has been 12 months of inactivity. If you received your benefits on your UC Debit Card and no longer have it or it is no longer active, please contact the Debit Card Company at 866 586 1706.
10. Can I cancel my claim after opening it?
Yes. If you have decided that you do not want to claim UC and you have not filed for any weeks, you can request to cancel the claim. This will allow you to file a new claim when it is appropriate for you. If you would like to cancel your current claim, you can mail or fax a signed written request to withdraw the application which explains the reason for the request to the UC service center responsible for your claim (refer to the back of your Unemployment Compensation Handbook for your office).
11. Do I need a PIN number to file for benefits?
Yes. You are required to use your SSN and PIN to access UC services. PINs are system generated (for security purposes) and mailed to you within 7-10 days of filing a claim. If you do not know your current PIN, a new one can only be obtained by contacting the UC service center at 888-313-7284, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is easier to reach a live agent if you call later in the week.
If you know your current PIN but would like to change it, you can go to the home page of www.uc.pa.gov
and on the right, click "Change Personal Information."