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Filing An Initial Claim

Unemployed workers may file their applications or reopen their existing claims for UC benefits by the following methods:
  • Online: An online application can be filed using our secure website 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
  • Telephone: Call the statewide unemployment compensation toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284 (TTY services for the deaf and hard of hearing 1-888-334-4046).
  • Paper Form: A paper application can be downloaded and mailed or faxed to a UC service center.

What's Needed to File for Benefits

To file an application for benefits, you will need the following:
  • Your Social Security number;
  • Your PA driver’s license number (if you have one);
  • Your alien registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen);
  • Name and address of employer(s);
  • Your Employer Information Form (if you have one);
  • Your mailing address;
  • Dates of employment and reasons for leaving;
  • Your most recent pay stub (optional, but helpful);
  • Your PIN (if you have one).
file a claim
If the Worker... The Worker will need...
Worked in another state in the last 18 months All employer names and mailing addresses
Worked for the Federal Government in the last 18 months Information from Standard Form 8, Standard Form 50, W-2's and/or pay stubs
Was in the military in the last 18 months DD 214, Member Copy 4
Is covered under a TAA or NAFTA-TAA Certification The TA-W or NAFTA-TAA petition number

To Receive Partial Benefits

A worker may be eligible for partial benefits if the worker:
  • has received a reduction in regular hours of work because of lack of work;
  • is separated from a job and has obtained other employment working less than full time and earning less than before; or
  • is separated from one job, but continues to have part-time employment with another employer(s).

Subsequent Claims

A worker may be eligible to collect UC benefits on a subsequent claim if the worker:
  • is still unemployed at the end of a benefit year;
  • meets the base-year and eligibility requirements; and
  • has earned at least six times the weekly benefit rate of the first application for benefits (AB) date during the period between the first AB date and the second AB date.
The work between the first and second AB dates may be in full-time, part-time, temporary, or casual employment or in employment not covered by the UC Law.

Wages in Other States

If a worker has wages in another state, the worker may be able to establish a claim against that state after the maximum entitlement to Pennsylvania UC benefits has been exhausted.

Receiving First Benefit Payment

Workers eligible for benefits should receive their first benefit payment within four weeks after applying for benefits.
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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