Eligibility for Unemployment in Pennsylvania


Eligibility for unemployment in Pennsylvania begins with a registration process. In the state of PA, workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own are eligible to apply for benefits. However, there are some requirements that each worker must meet. Unlike other government assistance programs, unemployment insurance eligibility is not based on a person’s income, or combined household income. In short, if the employer participated in the program, and the worker was employed full-time and made a certain level wage, then the worker is qualified to apply. Statistics show that many workers who would meet qualifications for unemployment in PA never apply for help, because they believe they would not meet the criteria, or they do not know how to apply for benefits. To learn more about who qualifies for unemployment in PA, or how to qualify for unemployment benefits, select from the topics below:

  • Financial Eligibility for Unemployment in Pennsylvania
  • What are the requirements to get unemployment in Pennsylvania?
  • Maintaining Unemployment Insurance Eligibility in Pennsylvania
Financial Eligibility for Unemployment in Pennsylvania

Who qualifies for unemployment in Pennsylvania is the first step to understanding eligibility prior to applying for benefits. In general, qualifications for unemployment in PA require that the worker was employed at his or her former job for at least six months, and was able to earn enough wages, as well as credit weeks, as required by law. The services performed by individuals for remuneration should be covered under employment, unless designated otherwise, as per the law. Agricultural labor or domestic services performed at home are exempt from eligibility for EDD under this law. Services which are performed during self-employment are not covered, either, since they are not considered as employment under the law. Once filed, a worker will get a notice of financial determination which shows eligibility for unemployment, financially. In PA, qualifications for unemployment benefits are based on the amount of the wages paid to the worker during his or her highest base period. In general, however, the most a worker will receive in assistance is $350 per week. If a program participant receives his or her notice of benefits in the mail, and he or she feels that the amount is incorrect, then the worker is urged to contact the UC service center immediately.

What are the requirements to get unemployment in Pennsylvania?

Eligibility for unemployment is not just based on the income requirements. If a worker is considered financially eligible, the worker must move to the next phase of the eligibility process. The next step involves figuring out the circumstances under which the worker lost his or her job. A large part of who qualifies for unemployment in PA is whether or not the employee was fired due to negligence or inappropriate conduct, or whether the worker was let go through no fault of his or her own. This decision is determined by the information supplied when checking eligibility for unemployment as well as information provided by the previous employer.

Additionally, qualifications for unemployment benefits stipulate that the program participant must not be incarcerated, and must not be a former federal employee. Those out-of-work employees, who worked for the federal government, or as civil servants, have a separate process in order to obtain eligibility. Immigrants who are legally working in the U.S. are able to file for unemployment insurance eligibility, as long as they meet all of the other criteria which would qualify them. Download our free guide to review more information on how immigrants can qualify for unemployment benefits in PA.

Maintaining Unemployment Insurance Eligibility in Pennsylvania

The final step in determining qualifications for unemployment involves meeting numerous tasks on a weekly basis. For example, in order to continue to claim unemployment insurance eligibility, a participant should be willing to accept any work available, never refuse work without good cause and participate in any reemployment services – when required. Some of the additional requirements for those participating in the program include submitting biweekly reports of their job searches. As part of the eligibility for unemployment, participants will need to show effort toward finding a job. This means that an out-of-work program participant should take advantage of job fairs, make appointments to speak with former colleagues to network, sign up for and take additional classes and keep a log of the applications that were sent in to various workplaces, noting the date and time, and the responses. Learn more about the reporting tasks required during a job hunt while unemployed by downloading our guide. Eligibility for EDD, and receiving benefits, is only a temporary assistance fund. For most, the benefits will only last a few months, at which time, the worker is required to have found work, or to have made other arrangements with other governmental assistance departments.