Extended Benefits (EB) Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are extended benefits?
A. Extended Benefits (EB) are additional unemployment compensation (UC) benefits payable to qualified workers when an "Extended Benefit Period" occurs in Pennsylvania. EB is payable only for weeks of unemployment during an EB period, and is available only to claimants who meet the EB eligibility criteria, including additional eligibility provisions that do not apply to regular UC.
Q. When does an EB period begin and end?
A. An EB period begins in Pennsylvania with the third week after the unemployment rate reaches a certain level prescribed by law. An EB period ends with the third week after the unemployment rate declines to a certain level prescribed by law. However, an EB period must last at least 13 consecutive weeks. A subsequent EB period may not begin before the 14th week after the end of a prior EB period. PA is not currently in an EB period.
Q. Am I eligible for EB?
A. When Pennsylvania is in an EB period, you may be eligible for EB if:
You are totally or partially unemployed.
The total amount of wages in the base year of your most recent UC claim equals or exceeds one and one-half (1 ½) times the amount of wages in the calendar quarter of your base year when you were paid the most wages.
You received the maximum amount of regular UC you were eligible to receive on your most recent UC claim, or your most recent UC benefit year has ended.
You have received the maximum amount of EUC that you were eligible to receive.
You are ineligible for any other UC benefits, including EUC, under any state or federal law, and you are not claiming benefits under the UC law of Canada or the Virgin Islands.
You satisfy requirements of the Pennsylvania UC Law that apply to regular UC, such as, you must be able and available for work and you must not be disqualified for willful misconduct or voluntarily leaving work.
You actively seek work during each week that you claim EB.
You do not refuse an offer of suitable work or fail to apply for suitable work to which you are referred by the PA CareerLink®.
Q. What are the EB active work search requirements?
A. You must make a systematic and sustained effort to obtain work during each week that you claim EB. This means that you must conduct at least two work search activities per week on separate days.
Note: There are many ways to search for work. You may contact the person authorized to hire for a potential employer or follow the job application process specified by the employer. You may attend a job fair or utilize the reemployment services available at the PA CareerLink®. You may contact your union hiring hall or do what is customary in your community and labor market to find work. You should not restrict yourself to only one type of work search activity.
You must provide tangible evidence of your efforts to find work during each week that you claim EB. This means that you must identify your work search activities, the dates and methods of your activities, the kind of work you sought and the results. You must provide this information on the reverse of your EB claim form. You should keep an accurate and up-to-date record of your work search activities, because you may be requested to verify your efforts to find work.
Note: Individuals enrolled in training under the Trade Act or training approved by the PA CareerLink® are not required to search for work.
Q. What work must I apply for and accept?
A. If you don't expect to find work in your customary occupation within four weeks, don't have a definite offer of employment in your customary occupation with a specific starting date, and don't have a specific recall date from your employer, you must apply for and accept any work that is within your capabilities if: (1) the work pays at least the higher of the state or federal minimum wage; (2) the work pays more than your EB weekly benefit amount plus the amount of any Supplemental Unemployment Benefits you receive; and (3) the work is listed with the PA CareerLink® or offered to you in writing by the employer. If you reasonably expect to find work in your customary occupation within four weeks, have a definite offer of employment in your customary occupation with a specific starting date, or have a specific recall date from your employer, you must apply for and accept work that is suitable for claimants receiving regular UC.
Q. Does EB have special disqualifications?
A. If you are disqualified from receiving EB because you did not apply for or accept suitable work, or did not actively seek work, the disqualification remains in effect until you have been employed in each of four subsequent weeks and earned remuneration of not less than four times your EB weekly benefit amount.
If you do not actively seek work during a week, and want to avoid a disqualification for that week and subsequent weeks until you re-qualify for benefits, you may choose not to claim EB for that week and resume claiming EB for weeks during which you actively seek work.
Q. How much EB will I receive for a week when I am totally unemployed?
A. When Pennsylvania is in an EB period, your EB weekly benefit amount is the same as the weekly benefit amount on your most recent, regular UC claim, including any dependents' allowance.
Q. What is the total amount of EB that I may receive?
A. The answer depends on the type of EB you are receiving.
The total amount of regular EB that you may receive is 50 percent of the amount of regular UC you were financially eligible to receive on your most recent claim. If you were financially eligible for 26 weeks of regular UC, you may be financially eligible for 13 weeks of regular EB, and if you were financially eligible for 16 weeks of regular UC, you may be financially eligible for 8 weeks of regular EB. However, EB may only be paid for weeks ending during an EB period.
High Unemployment Period (HUP) EB
During a High Unemployment Period, or HUP, additional weeks of Extended Benefits are available for a limited time depending upon Pennsylvania's total unemployment rate. A maximum of 7 weeks of HUP EB is payable. The payment of these additional benefits is contingent upon an individual continuing to meet the regular EB eligibility requirements. You will be notified when Pennsylvania is in a HUP.
Q. How does EB affect TRA?
A. Your weekly TRA benefits must be suspended until you exhaust all of your EB entitlement. You cannot collect Basic, Additional or Remedial TRA benefits for a week of unemployment if you are eligible to receive EB for that week. You must claim EB instead of TRA. When you have exhausted EB or your UC benefit year ends, the status of your TRA will be reevaluated. If you are NOT eligible for regular UC, EUC, or EB, the suspension of your TRA will end and your eligibility to begin or resume TRA will be determined. There may be delays in your payments as the department makes the necessary transitions among the different types of claims.
Q. How do I file claims for EB?
A. PA Teleclaims (PAT) and the Internet claim filing system are not available for EB. You must file a paper EB claim form for each week that you wish to claim EB. Complete the claim form accurately and thoroughly, and follow the mailing instructions. If you worked or missed work during a week you are claiming, report both the work and missed work on the claim form and disclose all earnings for the week, including holiday and vacation pay.
Q. How will I be paid?
A. EB is paid either by direct deposit or debit card. The payment method that was used for your most recent UC or EUC claim will carry over to your EB claim.
If you receive payment by debit card, and want to switch to direct deposit, you must submit a direct deposit form. You will need your debit card to access EB benefits that are issued before direct deposit is activated. If you no longer have your debit card, call debit card customer service toll-free at 877-406-8257. If you receive payment by direct deposit, and want to switch to debit card, you must submit a form to stop direct deposit.
You may submit requests to start, stop or change direct deposit online
, or you may request a direct deposit form by calling the UC Service Center at 888-313-7284.
Q. What if I live in another state that is not in an EB period?
A. If you are a resident of another state for which an EB period is not in effect, you may only receive EB for two weeks of total or partial unemployment.
Q. Can you help me find a job?
A. PA CareerLink® can be an asset in achieving your employment goals. PA CareerLink® offers a wide variety of employment and training services across the commonwealth. You may do your own employment search or be assisted by trained staff to aid in your search. You can make your resume available to employers while you gather valuable information on educational, training and related services.
Q. What are my appeal rights?
A. Whenever you receive a determination for EB, you have the same right to appeal as you did under the regular UC program. Your appeal rights are explained in your Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook.