Pennsylvania Unemployment

Pennsylvania State Seal

Do I qualify for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania?

You may be entitled to benefits if you meet these eligibility requirements:

  • You are unemployed through no fault of your own or due to a work stoppage that is the result of a lockout.
  • You have filed an initial application for UC benefits.
  • You performed services covered by the UC Law for an employer that is required by the UC Law or elects to pay into the UC Fund.
  • You earned enough wages to qualify and have sufficient credit weeks. A credit week is any calendar week in the base year for which you earned $50 or more.
  • You are registered for work with the Pennsylvania CareerLink.
  • You are able to work and available for suitable work.
  • You are unemployed for a waiting period of one week after filing the initial application for benefits.

Find Out If You Are Eligible For Unemployment   Click this link to find out: Am I Eligible To Collect Unemployment Benefits?

Have Your Benefits Run Out?   Click this link to find out how to get an unemployment extension: Unemployment Extension

Have A Specific Question?  Click this link to get answers to all your Pennsylvania unemployment questions:  Pennsylvania Unemployment FAQ

How do I file for Pennsylvania unemployment benefits?

To file an application for unemployment benefits, you will be asked to provide:

  • social security number
  • PA Department of Transportation photo ID
  • alien registration number (for non-United States citizens)
  • the name and address of last employer (full or part-time)
  • most recent pay stub

Unemployed workers may file their applications or reopen their existing claims for UC benefits at or by calling the UC Service Centers network, 1-888-313-7284, or by downloading a paper Initial Claim form or Reopen Claim form from Re-employment opportunities and job search assistance are offered in local PA CareerLink offices.

Contact Information


Email Contact

Phone Number


If you have filed an application for UC benefits within the last year, and have a specific question about your claim or your eligibility, call the UC Service center:

  • 1-888-313-7284
  • 1-888-334-4046 TTY (deaf or hard of hearing)

UC Service Center telephone services are available from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. each work day and Sundays 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you have not filed an application for UC benefits within the last year, and have general questions about UC or you have questions about your UC-1099G (Statement for Recipients of PA UC Payments) provided for income tax purposes, browse through our Web site or call the Claims Information Center:

  • (717) 783-3140
  • 1-800-577-7216 TTY (deaf or hard of hearing)

Claims Information Center telephone services are available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each work day.

Still Have Questions? 

Click this link to get answers to all your Pennsylvania unemployment questions:  Pennsylvania Unemployment FAQ 

Maybe We Can Help: 

If you can't find the answer to your question, you can fill out the comment form below and I will answer your question ASAP, or you can ask the The Unemployment Expert or you can post your question in the Unemployment Forum


# eva w. 2010-09-10 12:31
My situation is i was approved for benefits for a claim that was filed and it ran out and now I'm eligable for a new uc claim from the same company. but I have not worked at such company since intial claim was paid , I have now been waiting for a decision on said claim for 10 weeks. I dont u nderstand why there has to be a decision on a claim for which the uc already paid me from this company.and I would also like to know the if there is a standard time limited on rendering a decision on a claim? thank you !
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# John W 2010-11-21 07:40
UC IS SAYING IM NOT ELIGABLE I WAS Layed off from july 08 to june 2010 and i worked at another company from july to nov 19 and earned almost 2 quarters, what should i do?
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# juanita 2010-12-21 17:49
i would like a copy of my uc 1099 or all of my payments year to date for tax purpose
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# Robin 2011-01-18 17:46
I have TWICE been promised a call back from Unemployment by the end of the next business day. The first call was still not returned THREE DAYS LATER. I finally got a person on the phone after being on hold for an hour and gave her the information for the few hours I worked the previous two weeks. SHE CANCELED MY CLAIM!!!! I called again the next day and scheduled a return call. I called today and the call I made last week that was supposed to be returned (the second) was canceled. Your people are messing with our livilihood and it is unacceptable.
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# Clara 2011-02-20 20:36
I work out of a home office in Arizona and was employed for an office out of Pennsylvania. I was recently laid off; where do I apply for unemployment: in Pennsylvania where my employer's office was or in Arizona where I live? Thank you.
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# AJ 2011-05-10 11:43
for EUC on a joint interstate claim- PA/NJ. If an individual works in NJ and then leaves the NJ job for employment in PA and the PA job terminates the job after several months, once the regular unemployment is absolved which state pays EUC? and where can I find the literature to support your answer?
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# Kim 2011-06-02 11:35
Do I qualify for unemployment if I was employed through a Grant and the grant expired?

I was NOT a 1099 employee. In other words, both my employer and I paid unemployment taxes.
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# Gary 2011-08-06 00:47
My benefits under my original claim ran out, but the servicecenter established a new claim based on more recent income. The payments were the same, and I questioned the service center about that, since I expected the payments to be smaller. I also was not required to forego a payment for the original week on the new claim. Six weeks later, I got a letter saying that I had been overpaid, and needed to pay back the overpayment. Now I have not received a benefit payment for the last 9 weeks of unemployment. I have inquired about this two times, and was told that there was an "internal overpayment" that occurred because the new claim was from a different fund than the original, and money evidently needed to be transferred between accounts (or something like that). In any case none of this was due to anything I did wrong. I am still showing a balance in available benefits. How long is it going to take for the unemployment service to rectify their mistake? I wonder how many others are effected by this problem.
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# Barbara Soltis 2011-08-20 10:11
Today is sunday and i tried to file for my bi-weekly unenployment via internet ans also by phone, i'am unable to file either way. why? Is there a problem with the system. This hasen't been a problem before. Thank you so much. Barbara Soltis
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# jacqueline 2011-09-16 12:39
I apllied for UB received letter stating the info such as you qualify when to call and so on. So I filed as said on date it is now 12 days out. When I do call you are on hold for hrs and they say its still being determined Dont they realize people are waiting for there money whats the hold up why can they hold this for so long without an answer the system is so screwed up
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# BM 2011-11-29 12:40
I have been working at a full-time job for over a year starting in the late summer of 2010. I have been recently asked to certify as having a credential that I do not have. I was hired despite not having the credential and did not present myself as having it. I have at least 2 items to prove this and as such I informed the employer that I cannot make the recent certification request. If this situation makes me ineligible for my job, will I be eligible for unemployment?
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# Larry S. 2011-12-08 13:37
Hello and good afternoon. I received a letter from the PA Unemployment Compensation Dept. explaining to me that I qualify for the HUP benefits that went into effect the week ending November 12, 2011, due to the fact that I am still, unfortunately, unemployed, and I had to fill out an application and send it back into their office. I did that and have been waiting weeks now for forms to complete and send back in. This period clearly only lasts until the week ending December 31, 2011 and I have yet to receive any forms! I tried calling, e-mailing, to no avail! Please help! Thank you.
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# Ronnie 2012-01-13 08:43
I have been trying to get through to the Unemployment Center for 3 weeks. (1-888-313-7284) Their phone service needs an up grade. I can't reach anyone. I call all day long every day so far. The phones just beep all the time. It's like they have only one line and everyone in the world is calling it. The only thing I can think of doing is sending them a letter because 3 weeks is enough. It takes a lot of time to sit here and try to get through to someone all day long and can't.. When I could be spending time looking for a job. Isn't that what they want us to do?
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# Mal 2012-01-25 13:14
It may be that the number they publish, 1-888-313-7284, is bogus. I tried for days getting through a few months ago, to no avail. I always got a busy signal. Luckily my issue seemed to automagically get fixed after more days passed. I now need to get in touch with them again, and I once again experience only busy signals. This is maddening.
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# Terry 2012-02-06 23:05
The number's good, I called it today. However, much like ANY time you have to call and speak to an 'agent' or 'representive' of any sort, the help you may or not receive itself is always questionable (witnessed firsthand working at a call center, and as a consumer/citizen). The BIGGEST problem, in my oh so humble opinion, IS WHY DOES ANYTHING DEALING WITH THE GOV HAVE TO BE SO GODDAMM COMPLICATED?! Tiers, EB's EUC's 'on' date... I wanna know: if I GET a job, am I going to be able to BUY GAS to go to it, or should I stop eating in case I need that money to go to work? I've been surviving on 10 year-old weight gain powder for 2 weeks now, and my last light bulb JUST burned out half hour ago. I can't find my noose.
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# Dustin Y. 2012-07-23 11:47
The number is good. Its just immpossible to get through. Ive spent weeks trying to get ahold of them before. IVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT.
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# Shawn c 2012-01-24 23:10
I recieved a letter stating that I owe over $6000 to p.a unemployment. Now the thing is I am not on benefits and I do not live in pennslyvania. I live in the state of ny, and have been employed for over 5 yrs at my current job. I call the numbers posted on the internet and they are all dead ends. It would be real appreciated if someone from your office can straighten this matter out
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# Erika T 2012-04-09 09:19
I applied and was approved for Unemployment benefits on January 21st 2012. It is now April 9th and I have not received any payment! I have called and called and sent emails to no avail. I keep getting the same answer...."keep filing for your benefits". The one lady I spoke with said there is a problem with your claim (4 weeks ago and it should be remedied soon) but she would not tell me what the problem was! My old employer filled out his end of the this a typical waiting period?
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# Jordan 2012-04-21 12:35
The pennsylvania unemployment site is saying I havent recieved a payment in four weeks which is wrong because yesterday It said issued 4/20/12 but I didnt recieve it is this because of the weekend?
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# MikelB 2012-05-10 11:50
My wife was laid off back in late October. She received her Financial Determination notice VIA mail, and everything was wrong. To my amazement she never filed the appeal and waited too long to do it (there is a 15-day process she should have adhered to but didn't) , She eventually had an appeal hearing where the appeal referee even said the U.C. messed it up but since it was after the 15 days denied her appeal. My question now is, she hasn't gotten a job yet and now on her second 6 months. Is she allowed to file an appeal and get her money she was supposed to get in the first place?

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# Matthew R 2012-06-14 18:45
I was with the same Corporation for almost 3 full years and my last 2 months of employment were at a different "site" from my 32 previous months. I was what I'd consider harassed and verbally/emotionally abused, but the law has strict guidelines to what meets those requirements. I also suffer from a legit diagnosed anxiety disorder. I was told me termination date today was officially 6/7/12 but the Corporation is saying I "quit" because I walked off of my site. I never "quit", I was "abused" enough along with my anxiety that I felt at that instant I had to escape, similar to fight or flight. Since it was after hours, I used the Corporation's "on call system" and reported what happened. I typed a 6 page paper on all events that happened in my last 2 months including what caused me not to remain at my site that evening on 6/7/12. I gave my version of what happened, they said they needed it for the report and investigation and one lady told me to write down that I "left" the site and my response was I'm not going to write down what you are dictating to me to put. I put down a brief version of my 6 page letter which is I felt so harassed/abused/anxiety/panic that I left that night because I felt it was my only option and by left is to imply I felt unsafe to remain at the site, not that I quit. It's very difficult to reach a live rep via phone with PA Unemployment, but while filling the online application, fired, suspended and quit were some of the options, I see the website mentions quitting due to unfavorable conditions, but I never quit, I left just that night, told them on call system minutes later and I thought I'd just have to sit tight during the investigation. I now learned by walking off that night, even though they say there is an investigation, that I quit. What makes this all worse and complicated is the fact that 2 staff must be present at all times, but again, I suffer from anxiety and at that point getting out of there was the most important thing to me. So online I do not know what to put, but I'm not ever admitting i "quit" given the circumstances and there are also fabricated lies against me that additionally made me feel I had to escape that evening. I guess my question given the circumstances is do I apply for UC benefits online or just hope that a live rep answers the phone so that I can report this information to them? If I knew at some point I can state all this via the online application, I would, but since I'm not sure, I decided not to finish the online application. I'd appreciate all help and/or advice!
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# Shannon 2012-07-04 10:21
Starting July 14th, my company has decided that after 13 years of employment they need me to open my availability, which I can not do, or I will not be scheduled any hours. I am willing and able to work, but they have stopped scheduling me. Does this qualify me for Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits?
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# Nancy 2012-07-19 19:28
Live in Connecticut. Down to last two weeks of emergency benefits. Put in a claim on a Sunday, and called on Tuesday to see if money was in checking and it wasn't.. Called the call center for Dept. of Labor of unemployment. Told me claim had not gone through? they told me to call in again, which i did. I am told they probably should have taken claim manually. Called Thursday and check was still not processed. Talked to Call Center supervisor and they tell me that me calling in claim more than once in one day--had a bad phone connection may have caused the system to eliminate the claim because it was duplicated. OK, can go along with this when i called on Sunday, but when i recalled on Tuesday it was a different day. Tried to put the claim in on line this moring...could there have been a problem? as i put the claim through initially by calling. Unemployment has looked at claim and manually put through again on Friday. I find this so frustrating. I still am not employed after all this time, and have been bounced all over the state for interviews. Can appreciate i at least get phone calls as i am past 50 years old but it would be even nicer if someone offered me a job from them. Does anyone in Connecticut know what is happening here? I read these posts and fear i will be put on a string by these folks for weeks until they figure out the problem. I did try to call the comissioner for the labor department. He is no longer there, and just resigned in July. His offices supposedly e-mailed the call center director for the unemployment office and i have not heard anything. HELP!!! I just want to get my last two checks and be through with these people. Notice that some people get held up when this is only one or two left, and i don't know why, and and any input would be appreciated. What recourse do you have to get these resolved? I spent hours on the phone today with Unemployment and the Department of Labor as my claim was accepted and no check was processsed. I am told there are no holds or notes on the claim itself why it was not processed. Any information or ideas as to what is going on would be appreciated. See many people have the same issue, but they never actually post what caused it . Any contacts where people had a similar problem in Connecticut and who i can contact would be helpful
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# Dustin Y. 2012-07-23 11:43
I have recieved an application for euc because my uc ran out. I filled it out and faxed it to my local office. It has been over a week and I have not heard anything regarding my EUC application. How long does it take to hear back from anyone or do I ever hear anything at all concerning it? I have joined the careerlink website but when I try to file my bi weekly it says my claim has been put inactive and I can reopen the claim online, so I tried and it didnt give me the option to reopen claim. It gave me the option of intial claim, so I filled it out again and submitted it. And it told me to file in two weeks but if I go to the bi weekly filing section it still tells me to reopen my cliam. Im so confused. Any help would be so appreciated.
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# Quentin 2012-10-07 14:12
I live in pa and recently tried file my biweekly claim and I'm being told that my claim is established but inactive I haven't missed any weeks I claim biweekly as instructed has anyone experienced this? Any help would be appreciated
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# Richard C * 2012-10-10 10:34
I have the same problem. Impossible to contact the number given. Goes right to busy signal.
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# Sarah 2012-10-14 20:24
Maybe the system is just screwed up at the moment. Whatever the reason, they better get it sorted out! I am counting on those funds for important bills!
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# Delco87 2012-10-20 18:00
Inactive in error for me too- unable to file biweekly claims! Contact the PA Senator in your district. This is what I had to do on Friday and they are offering to help me since its impossible to get through on 888 number and its clearly WRONG! Good luck!
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# Delco87 2012-10-22 12:06
Use this number to get through:

717-425-2608 stay on the line when prompts you for an extension. Then you press a number to talk to somebody as a claimant, then prompts you for your SSN.

I used it this morning and talked to someone after a 45 minute hold. Now I'm getting my 4 wks of pay I've been unable to file for until now. It works - good luck! I'm in Delaware Co., PA.
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# Mike 2012-10-10 10:50
Applied for UC benefits on 6/10/12 Was deneid for lack of income. Appealed because they were missing 9 months of income from one employer. Denied a second time because they only added 1 quarter of income from said employer. This took 4 weeks. Appealed a second time for the same reason, they finnally got it right but again this took another 6 weeks to be resolved. In the meantime I keep getting the message online that I have a claim but it is inactive that I can reopen it on line or to call 888 313 7284 I have tried to reopen the claim online 4 times according to their instructions to no avail and have been trying to reach them on the phone line for weeks and only get a busy signal not even a wait message. Have now tried for the last 4 days to file my claim on the PAT line 888 255 4728 and have been told that I could not file my claim before 10/7/12 even though my first call was on 10/7/12 my second call n 10/8/12 my third call was on 10/9/12 and my fourth call today on 10/10/12 recieving the same message. Does anybody there no what day it is? Is there any body even there?
If anyone has any idea how to get a human being on the phone it would be greatly appreciated
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# lou 2012-10-16 11:16
i recently reopened a claim online i was laid off on 9/29 i was told to claim the week of 10/14 i did but was only given the option to file for only 1 week do you know if i there's another waiting week period on existing claims?
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# James 2012-10-17 09:40
How convenient. The Nations unemployment numbers drop because the state makes it harder to file your unemployment. Real slimy! You people should be ashamed. Ive been calling for 2 weeks now, hours at a time with no luck getting past a busy signal. I have sent multiple emails and have faxed multiple claim forms in. Thank you government for helping the people who need help the most. Disgusting is what you are!
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# Delco87 2012-10-20 18:03
James I just answered the previous post witih this too. I've read that contacting your district's state senator is the only way to get through. I told them my story yesterday and they are going to try and help me and were very nice about it (maybe cos its election time? If they can help they get my vote!) GIve it a shot- and I agree there's something fishy going on with the timing.
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# Delco87 2012-10-22 12:07
717-425-2608 and stay on when the prompt asks for extension. A real live body will come on after holding. Worked for me this morning- good luck!
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# Frankie 2012-10-24 08:39
I have been trying to call the 1800# for over 2 weeks and I get nothing but busy signals. I put in my bi weekly claim on 10/7 and it stated that I needed to call the service center, I never recieved my payment, so I continue to call and I get nothing but busy busy busy for hours, I put in my bi weekly claim again on 10/21 and I did not recieve the payment, I called all day and still busy busy busy. I have bills to pay I need to get my checks, What can I do if they aren't able to answer my call?
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# carreen 2012-10-24 19:49
I misunderstood the part asking if I was willing and able to work. I was thinking it pertained yo my previous job so I checked no.I now know I should have checked yes. Can I have this corrected? I just filed today.
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# Joseph 2012-11-02 06:36
It is absolutely ridiculous that the unemployment office cannot be reached. My guess is there's 2-3 people answering phones tops. They want to make this as hard as possible for us unemployed individuals just so we get so fed up and accept anything just to get by..even if this is working 50 hrs a week at two part time jobs with no health insurance..gotta love the US government! I have been accepted for benefits and it has been a month since I've been fired, still no money. Are you notified if your employer appeals the decision? Will I be notified if I'm never going to receive them? If not, what do I do and where do I go to make a case against it?
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# jackie 2012-11-05 12:41
called 50 times this morning 1 888 313 7284. and everytime it is busy. this is ridiculous and so frustrating. why give consumers a number like this that is impossible to get through on. i tried 1717 425 2608 like people said in post and got through but they say their is at least a 40 minute wait. at least you can get through on that number. hopefully the state can do something about this to help people.
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# howie 2012-11-11 17:38
i have exhausted my money on tier 2 can i qualify for tier 3 even though my balance is zero? i live in pa
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# carmen 2012-11-19 19:07
my ? is my brother got laid off & was denied benefits cause of absentees; but he had sick days & personnal days & they told himif he dont take them he would loose them so he took them & now unemployment asking for proof & his job didnt say anything of him taking his days. hes been working there for 5yrs or so & if unemployment investigate other workers from that company tat applied for benefits they will see that the company also denied there claim if the workers r hispanics or blacks...what can he do so i can help him...
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# Lynda 2012-11-26 11:08
I was let go from my job on November 5 and I applied for unemployment I received a letter saying I was approved to file my first claim on nov 18 which I did it has now been 1 week since I filed my claim and I haven't recieved my payment yet i signed up for direct deposit when I originally applied for unemployment and they didn't send me a new card because I was on unemployment before and my debit card I had expired so I called and ordered a new one when I call the 1-888-313-7284 number 5 minutes before it even opens I keep getting a busy signal all day everyday what's the purpose of having the number if you can't get through! Please I need help here
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# Rick 2013-01-19 06:36
UC has a 1 week "penalty week". the process goes like this. you file your answer for term by a certain date. In the process you receive a financial determination which shows what your weekly rate may be. next, your employer receives letter from UC to send information regarding your term. its up to your employer whether to submit or not. however, UC may delay your payment pending the info from employer. In the process of waiting you receive a debit card with $0 on it. Set up direct deposit during this time of waiting. UC may be going the 3rd/4th week when they get around to looking at your claim. I know...this sucks. If employer has sufficient evidence of willful will be denied unemployment by the State Adjudicator. If you are laid off/ will be approved benefits and info will follow. However, in any aspect. If you are denied benefits...APPEAL it!! You have 15 crucial days to do it. If not, you made their job a lot easier. Your employer can also appeal a Adjudicator's decision as well. People believe its the employer that makes the decision, but its the State Adjudicator that views your claim. Hope this helps.
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# Lisa A 2012-12-09 11:57
I filed a new claim a couple weeks ago and received my approval letter and was to file for my first biweekly claim today (12/9). Well I did that and online it says I cannot file till the 23rd and when I call PAT, it says I have a claim on file but it is inactive. What does this mean? I don't understand as I filed a new claim and received the confirmation and approval letters.
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# Rick 2013-01-19 06:24
You will need to file a new claim and go with the last day of work and go from there. follow the biweekly claims regardless of what anybody tells you until you have a full-time job. online is an easier format than calling PAT.
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# Carissa 2013-01-07 08:19
I am 7 months Pregnant and I am a FT CNA. We have been working short at work and the job is starting to be too difficult for me to preform my full duties but I am not being placed on bed rest by my doctor only light duty. My job has had light duty for pregnant women in the past...acutualy one of them is on it now but now suddenly theyve changed the rules and only have LD if you have been hurt on the job...theres no way i could go on leave now with no pay...I am capable of working just not lifitng 50lbs and bending and pulling for 8 hrs but my job doesnt want to work with me. Ive been with them just over a year. If they wont give me light duty jobs and I am unable to preform full duty as a CNA but i can still work can I file for unemployent? If I say to my employer i can not do the full job duties required im filing for umployment since you wont give me something LD can I get it??
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# Rick 2013-01-19 06:27
can't get UC for being pregnant or everyone would be doing it. However, check with your human resource dept. for trying something with short term disability (no guarantee) and FMLA leave so your job is safe when you return you must meet certain rules for that. Good Luck
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# Stephen 2013-01-15 09:26
i was denied benefit bc they said i did not make enough from the date of Jan.2011 June 2012 but i didn't start my job until 5/29/12 and ended on 1/4/13 so why are they counting time that i didn't even work .
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# Rick 2013-01-19 06:21
UC goes back 4 quarters in the last year. they have to go back a way based on their formula. they verify what wages you earned in that period. If you don't agree with it then you must appeal that financial determination asap. if you lose out.
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# Amber 2013-01-19 11:23
My husband filed his first claim for unemployment. He declined to file for the first week to put in the waiting week. He did not realize that you still need to file in order for it to count as a waiting week. Is there any way that I can change this?
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# JE 2013-01-20 19:54
I still have not received a new pin or handbook and I had to file my bi weekly claim over the phone with a UC representative. I have to do that now as we speak. If the office is closed for Martin Luther King day how am I going to be able to file my bi weekly claim on time. Is the Pa Career Link offices open on Martin Luther King day. Please respond to me to my email I listed as well please, thank you, I hope I am still able to claim on time
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# HeatherT22 2013-02-03 14:25
I was approved for benefits and my first bi weekly.claim was supposed to be today but when I went online to file it it says 2/17/2012. Why did the date change?
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# Stefani 2013-03-04 01:30
It has been 3 months since my initial claim was filed. I haven't received my determination letter. I have been filing every other week since December. Each time that I call I am told that my claim is on an examiners desk. How can I get a determination letter or who can tell me what's going on with my claim?
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# Lorinda 2013-03-14 20:55
When I call the unemployment I said that as up now I cannot find a job because I dont have baby sitter for my kids because my husband is not here but when is coming back I'm gonna find a job. When I receive the decision it said I am not illegible for benifits. I just wanna know if I can correct this and it possible i am gonna get my benifits and I'm already appeal my case I don't know what gonna happen.
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# JULIENNE VENEZIALE 2017-09-05 10:25
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