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Unemployment Compensation & Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Legal Information
Woman with clerical worker

This section of PALawHelp.org has information and resources about Unemployment Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

Know Your Employment Rights!

Information from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia on employment rights including wages, unemployment compensation, family and medical leave, discrimination, workplace injuries, and unions. (January 2014)

Apply for Unemployment Compensation Benefits - Initial Claim

This site from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry allows you to file an initial application or reopen their existing claims for UC benefits via the Internet, telephone or video phone for individuals using American Sign Language.

Filing for Benefits - Unemployment Benefits

Information from the PA Department of Labor & Industry on filing Initial Claims for Unemployment Compensation and on filing a weekly claim; reopening an existing claim. Information is also provided on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

Filing Bi-Weekly Claims for Unemployment Compensation

After filing an application for UC benefits, you must file claims for weeks when you are totally or partially unemployed in order to receive UC. This site from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will allow you to file your claims online.

Filing Claims

Information from UCHelp.org on filing weekly claims for unemployment insurance benefits.

How to File for Unemployment Compensation Benefits Online (Video)

Need to file for unemployment benefits? This video from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will show you everything you need to know and how you can save time in the process!

Appealing an Unemployment Compensation Decision

Information from Neighborhood Legal Services Association on how to appeal a denial of unemployment compensation.

Downloadable Forms from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

Links to downloadable forms from the PA Department of Labor and Industry.

Reopen an Existing Unemployment Compensation Claim

If you established an initial claim for UC benefits within the past year, stopped filing for those benefits and wish to resume filing, you can reopen your claim using the methods listed on this website.

FILE AN INITIAL CLAIM - Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal CARES act, there are federal unemployment programs available to assist in the event you have exhausted regular unemployment or typically ineligible. Here is information from the PA Department of Labor & Industry on applying for regular unemployment benefits and the the special pandemic-related programs, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Benefit Appeals - Important Information for UC Appeal Hearings

Information from the PA Department of Labor & Industry on appeals of unemployment compensation claims.

Extending Your Regular Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Information on extensions enacted to extend regular unemployment compensation benefits.

Guide on Applying for Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment Compensation benefits help you replace your income when you have lost work through no fault of your own. Generally, you must be a W2 worker and have enough work history from the last 18 months to qualify for unemployment compensation benefits. However, after a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, app based gig drivers are also now eligible for state unemployment compensation. This guide explains how to apply for benefits.

How to Appeal a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Determination on the Portal

This two-part video demonstrates how to file a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) through the online PUA Portal and what happens after the appeal is filed through the Portal.

How To Appeal A Regular UC Denial

If you received a Notice of Determination finding you ineligible for UC benefits, you must file an appeal within 15 days of the date the determination was mailed. This section provides guidance on the appeal process.

How to Appeal Unemployment Compensation Denials

Information on how to file an appeal if your application for Unemployment Compensation is denied, including information about denials during the COVID-19 Crisis.

How to Choose your Reason for Separation on the UC Application

When you apply for Unemployment Compensation you have to state a "reason for separation" Here are common scenarios during the coronavirus crisis to help you figure out what to select under "reason for separation".

How to Unfreeze Your PUA Benefits: Use ID.Me (Video)

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claimants: have your benefits stopped or gone ‘In Progress’ because your account was flagged for fraud? Watch this video from Philadelphia Legal Assistance to learn how to unfreeze your benefits using ID.Me, a website where you can verify your identity to the PA government.

Unemployment Compensation Complaint

If you have had problems reaching representatives from Unemployment Compensation (UC), you can submit a complaint using this site.

Waiver of Benefit Overpayment - PUA, PEUC or FPUC

A waiver is available for non-fraud overpayments of benefits for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

Apply for Unemployment Compensation Benefits - Initial Claim

This site from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry allows you to file an initial application or reopen their existing claims for UC benefits via the Internet, telephone or video phone for individuals using American Sign Language.

Filing Bi-Weekly Claims for Unemployment Compensation

After filing an application for UC benefits, you must file claims for weeks when you are totally or partially unemployed in order to receive UC. This site from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will allow you to file your claims online.

Reopen an Existing Unemployment Compensation Claim

If you established an initial claim for UC benefits within the past year, stopped filing for those benefits and wish to resume filing, you can reopen your claim using the methods listed on this website.

Downloadable Forms from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

Links to downloadable forms from the PA Department of Labor and Industry.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Workforce Development System

The Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) is an Internet-based system of services for use by customers and potential customers of the PA CareerLink® offices. CWDS provides online access to job openings; information about employers; services and training opportunities for job seekers; and labor market information. All of this is available by enrolling on-line with CWDS.

Unemployment Compensation Complaint

If you have had problems reaching representatives from Unemployment Compensation (UC), you can submit a complaint using this site.

Waiver of Benefit Overpayment - PUA, PEUC or FPUC

A waiver is available for non-fraud overpayments of benefits for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

Unemployment Compensation

Consumer information pamphlet from the Pennsylvania Bar Association. [PDF] (April 2013)

Unemployment Compensation

Information on Unemployment Compensation benefits from the Erie County Bar Association. (August 2018)

Filing for Benefits - Unemployment Benefits

Information from the PA Department of Labor & Industry on filing Initial Claims for Unemployment Compensation and on filing a weekly claim; reopening an existing claim. Information is also provided on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

Unemployment Benefits - Guide

This guide will help you navigate the process of applying for unemployment compensation and connect you with additional resources available as part of the federal and state response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to File for Unemployment Compensation Benefits Online (Video)

Need to file for unemployment benefits? This video from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will show you everything you need to know and how you can save time in the process!

Downloadable Forms from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

Links to downloadable forms from the PA Department of Labor and Industry.

Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook

This booklet, the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook, will answer many of your questions about the benefits available to you and provide information about your responsibilities as a participant in the program. Read this booklet carefully and retain it for reference for one year. Visit www.uc.pa.gov for additional information, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Reopen an Existing Unemployment Compensation Claim

If you established an initial claim for UC benefits within the past year, stopped filing for those benefits and wish to resume filing, you can reopen your claim using the methods listed on this website.

FILE AN INITIAL CLAIM - Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal CARES act, there are federal unemployment programs available to assist in the event you have exhausted regular unemployment or typically ineligible. Here is information from the PA Department of Labor & Industry on applying for regular unemployment benefits and the the special pandemic-related programs, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Information from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) which provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits, including those who have exhausted all rights to such benefits. PUA benefits are only for individuals who are unemployed due to COVID-19 reasons, it does not cover individuals without an attachment to the labor market or individuals who are unemployed for non-COVID-19 reasons.

Groups Who Should NOT File for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (Video)

This video from the Department of Labor & Industry describes who should not file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Benefit Appeals - Important Information for UC Appeal Hearings

Information from the PA Department of Labor & Industry on appeals of unemployment compensation claims.

COVID-19 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provides unemployment assistance to “covered individuals,” i.e., self-employed, those seeking parttime employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular UC or extended benefits under state or Federal law or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program created by Section 2107 of the CARES Act of 2020. These individuals include certain gig economy workers, clergy, and those working for religious organizations who are not covered by regular UC. This brochure offers detailed information on the program.

Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits

Information on the signs that you may be the victim of identity theft through the filing of fraudulent unemployment claims and what to do to report it.

Learn how to file for unemployment benefits online (Video)

Informative video describing how to file for unemployment compensation benefits online in Pennsylvania.

Office of Unemployment Compensation - PA.gov

Launch page to information on Unemployment Compensation from the PA Department of Labor and Industry

Payment/1099G FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry about Form UC-1099G related to unemployment compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

People should be on the lookout for identity theft involving unemployment benefits

Scammers took advantage of the pandemic by filing fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation using stolen personal information of individuals who had not filed claims. Payments made as a result of these fraudulent claims went to the identity thieves. This Tax Tip from the IRS offers advice on what to do if you receive an incorrect form 1099-G regarding unemployment benefits.

Report Unemployment Fraud

Information on how to report fraud in the UC and PUA Programs.

State Extended Benefits (EB)

Information on eligibility for State Extended Benefits (EB).

Support Withholding from Unemployment Compensation Benefits

A brochure from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry providing information on support withholding from Unemployment Compensation Benefits. [PDF] (June 2015)

Unemployment Compensation FAQs

Frequently asked questions regarding unemployment compensation benefits in Pennsylvania, answered by the PA Department of Labor & Industry.

What's wrong with my UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIM? -- TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE

This troubleshooting guide explains common issues that many claimants may experience with unemployment compensation claims and offers suggested action steps that can help speed up the process or fix the issue.

Immigrant's Eligibility for Unemployment Compensation

Information from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) for immigrant worker advocates. This NELP information thoroughly explains eligibility requirements for immigrant workers in order to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Please consult an attorney to get an evaluation of your claims.

National Employment Law Project

Website of the National Employment Law Project. The Project works to promote policies and programs that create good jobs, strengthen upward mobility, enforce hard-won worker rights, and help unemployed workers regain their economic footing through improved benefits and services.

Understanding & Challenging PUA Monetary Determinations in Pennsylvania

You’ve applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and received your Monetary Determination. This guide from Philadelphia Legal Assistance will explain how your weekly benefit amount (WBA) is calculated for your PUA claim and what you can do if you believe your WBA is incorrect.

COVID-19 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provides unemployment assistance to “covered individuals,” i.e., self-employed, those seeking parttime employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular UC or extended benefits under state or Federal law or the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program created by Section 2107 of the CARES Act of 2020. These individuals include certain gig economy workers, clergy, and those working for religious organizations who are not covered by regular UC. This brochure offers detailed information on the program.

Guide on Applying for Unemployment Compensation

Unemployment Compensation benefits help you replace your income when you have lost work through no fault of your own. Generally, you must be a W2 worker and have enough work history from the last 18 months to qualify for unemployment compensation benefits. However, after a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, app based gig drivers are also now eligible for state unemployment compensation. This guide explains how to apply for benefits.

How to Appeal Unemployment Compensation Denials

Information on how to file an appeal if your application for Unemployment Compensation is denied, including information about denials during the COVID-19 Crisis.

How to Choose your Reason for Separation on the UC Application

When you apply for Unemployment Compensation you have to state a "reason for separation" Here are common scenarios during the coronavirus crisis to help you figure out what to select under "reason for separation".

Immigration and Unemployment Compensation: Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to many comman questions about immigration status and unemployment compensation benefits.

Learn how to file for unemployment benefits online (Video)

Informative video describing how to file for unemployment compensation benefits online in Pennsylvania.

Mistakes and Misinformation from Employers about Unemployment Compensation

There are many misconceptions about unemployment compensation so it is important that workers know their rights and the rules around UC benefits. Many employers are uncertain about information regarding unemployment compensation and may furnish you incorrect information. Here are facts to help you determine if what you are told is correct.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance - Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in Pennsylvania.

Unemployment Compensation and COVID-19

Resources and information from Philadelphia Legal Assistance for Pensylvanians seeking unemployment compensation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unemployment Compensation in Pennsylvania FAQs

Answers to common questions about Unemployment Compensation, including issues arising during the COVID-19 crisis from Philadelphia Legal Assistance.

Waiver of Benefit Overpayment - PUA, PEUC or FPUC

A waiver is available for non-fraud overpayments of benefits for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

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