How Long Do I Have to Work For to Collect Unemployment in Pennsylvania?

There is no minimum amount of time or wages an employer has to meet in order to qualify under unemployment compensation.

To qualify for unemployment insurance in PA:

–  your total base period earnings must be at least $2,718
–  your HQW must be at least $1,688 [which is the same as: you must qualify for the minimum weekly benefit amount (WBA) of $70 → the WBA is computed by multiplying your HQW by 1/25]

–  you must earn at least 37% of your total base period wages outside of the wages you earned in your highest quarter
–  you must have a total of 18 credit weeks within the entire base period – which means you were employed for at least 18 weeks in the base period and earned at least $116 in each of those weeks.

PA offers an extended base period for those who received worker’s compensation during the regular base period. If you qualify, the base period may be extended up to four quarters preceding the date of being injured/disabled. PA does not offer an alternate base period.



    Hi. I fileda claim in PA January 2017. I worked in PA but lived in jersey. I collected 2 weeks and got a new job working from home That company was based out of Florida. I was being paid as a 1099. In July 2017 that company took away my salary and had me working on commission. So i quit. I reopened my claim with PA was denied… (based upon they said I was self employed). i appealed and won proving i was a mid classified employee. I have now exhausted my 26 weeks and can file a new claim January 2018 (this month). Will i be eligible to collect again? One snafoo…. the company in Florida did not report wages as a w2. Only sending me a 1099. Do
    ya have any idea how this will play out. Am i eligible to collect another 26 weeks? I worked for the Floridacimpamy for 5 months and earned 15000. The company that my original claim was for I had earnings during the quarter for about 7k. I’m going to submit new claim to PA. I’m sure i will need proof of my earnings since the company in Florida does not report my earnings as a W2. Also. Should I apply in Florida as well? They will probably say i was self employed and have to go through the whole appeal process over there priving i was misclassified as self employed and should have been a w2. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks

  • John

    I posted previously about my claim, thinking that I would need to apply in West Virginia because the majority of my base year was earned there, although I did work in WV, PA and MI. Shortly after I applied for WV UC I received a call from WV to stick with PA because the rate was higher and that PA had just obtained my wages from WV. So far I have received these determinations from PA, all for insufficient credit weeks (listed in order of receipt): PA wages only, MI and PA wages, PA wages only, PA and WV wages. What in the world happened to my MI wages? I have been appealing these decisions for a month now and it is starting to become VERY frustrating. It is impossible to talk to an actual human that can answer the determination decisions because the lines are only open a few days a week and CONSTANTLY busy. I was so appreciative that an actual person spoke with me from WV UC. How many times can this go back and forth? What do I need to do to fix this? Is there a particular reason they would have taken MI off? Sorry for all the questions, but like I said, I cannot get in contact with PA UC, I just receive a standardized letter each time with no answers.

    • John

      Also, I have 3 quarters accounted for on the UC determination, ALL of which I would have made well over $116 a week. If there are 13 weeks in a quarter how can that determination be accurate?

      • No way to answer any of your Qs, as there are too many variables and you’ve provided no specific and exact information on ACTUAL DATES worked and where and earnings by quarter.

        Where you worked and WHEN matters.
        When you filed for benefits matters.
        Base period matters.
        Earnings outside your high quarter matter.

        PA has a very stringent base period – it only uses one base period as I said upthread – and earnings outside high quarter must be at least 37% of total earnings.

        Further, PA may only be willing to do a combined-wage claim with one state.

        It sounds to me that you do not have enough earnings in PA (only a few weeks) to qualify for a PA claim no matter how it combines wages from the other states.

        I’d go back to WV as I said earlier.

  • Lisa

    If an employee voluntarily resigns (not eligible for UC benefits) after working for an employer for several years in PA, to go to work for another organization in MD, and then is terminated from that employer after only a month (eligible for UC benefits), which employer’s account is charged for the benefits?

    • You don’t qualify in MD at all at this point because none of the MD wages will appear in your base period unless you wait until October 1 to apply. Further, because of the PA quit, MD would disqualify you from benefits for at least 15 weeks and require you earn 15xWBA at this new job before it will pay.

      You would need to apply in PA. The PA employer would be charged. However, b/c you quit the PA job, unless you can prove good cause, PA will not pay you unless you earned at the MD job at least 6x your PA weekly benefit amount. Determine weekly benefit amount by dividing high quarter wages during the period Apr 1, 2016-Mar 31, 2017 by 25 – not to exceed $573. You will need to provide PA proof of the MD earnings in order to purge the quit penalty.

  • John

    In Feb. of 2017 I was laid off from a company that I had been employed by for 3.5 years. I immediately started working for another company and after 4 months found that it was not a good fit and I was terminated for whistle blowing. I applied for unemployment and was determined ineligible because my “work credit” history only shows Q1, because that is the only quarter I worked for the terminating company. I am curious, before I appeal, if I am allowed to use my previous employment in the determination since there was never any gap in my employment and because I was laid off by the first company and would have been eligible for benefits had I not gone to the second company?

    • Short answer is, absolutely, yes, the wages from your earlier employer should appear in PA’s base period for this claim – April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017.

      There is clearly an issue with your wage record. If you never opened a claim when you left the first job, you would not have known about this issue. For example, per recent reports, a local PA machine shop with State and Federal tax liens won’t report employee wages to UC unless employee files a claim. This is noncompliance with PA Code, but that employer is already in so much trouble it is a scofflaw on this issue.

      Absolutely appeal the Financial Determination. A pink form is mailed with the determination specifically for this purpose. If you have any wage records such as paystubs or even a W-2, send it in with the form. This will initiate a wage investigation by the Monetary Unit. The wages were either reported under an incorrect SSN, or to another state, or possibly not reported at all.

      • John

        Thanks so much for your reply.

        I submitted my appeal and was denied once more. In addiction to working for 2 different companies, I also worked in 3 states due to company #1 transferring me to different locations. I worked in Michigan, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The claims process is starting to get confusing now. When I submitted my first appeal, I sent in my W-2’s (I have 2 because I paid income tax to Michigan and Pennsylvania) and they sent my determination back, but only added my credit from Michigan and not West Virginia. The paper says if I worked in another state that I need to contact that state, but even though I worked in WV, I lived in and paid taxes to PA. If I have to contact the other state, why did the credit my MI work? I’m unsure how to proceed. More advice would be greatly appreciated.

        • Your work history in three states explains why PA only showed earnings from Q1. The entire picture changes with that ESSENTIAL information. It doesn’t matter where you lived and paid income taxes. The ONLY thing that matters is where you worked and to which state those wages were reported and UI tax paid (by the employer) and WHEN during the base period used – which in PA is April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017.

          I need exact dates of employment in each state chronologically including employer, please, before I can answer further.

          Also, what is the reason for the denial? With PA and MI earnings – you should qualify PROVIDED 37% of total base period earnings occurred outside your high quarter.

          • John

            My claim was denied because MI and PA make up the smallest portion of my employment.

            I left Michigan on a transfer with the same company on approx. Jul, 2016. I was then laid off from that company while working in WV on Feb 23, 2017. I started working at the new company on Feb. 27, 2017 and my last day there was June 6, 2017.

            Also, after I submitted my second question to you, I received another determination in the mail, except this time my MI credit was once again absent.

            At this point I am gathering I will need to apply in all 3 states?

          • Sounds like you worked in WV for almost nine months and should be applying in WV, asking for a combined wage-claim w/MI. In other words, you need to apply in the state where the majority of your wages were earned between April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017. Otherwise, ask for a combined-wage claim with whatever state’s wages appear in the above base-period.

            Until October 1, PA will only consider wages through 3/31/2017, MI and WV will also consider wages 7/1/2016-6/30/2017 if you don’t qualify under 4/16-3/17.

            If wages are missing, ask your employer(s) to which state they reported your wages. That is the state which will pay your benefits.

            Fyi – MI pays up to $362/wk for 20 weeks; PA up to $573 for 26 weeks; WV pays up to $424/wk for 26 wks.

  • Dave

    If my position was cut from full time to 9 months am i elligible for unemployment during the other months?

    • You have grounds for a quit on because of a material change in the employment contract. If you continue with this employer knowing your job has now become a nine-month position instead of year-round, you are presumed to have accepted the terms of the contract and are not entitled to unemployment benefits.

  • Terri

    I was employed P/T for a company for 5 1/2 yrs. Took 10 weeks off and started another job. Job was “not a good fit” and was let go. I’ve worked there for 12 wks + full time. Will I qualify for benefits?

  • Jenny

    I lived in and worked in PA but was laid off in March 2016 and received unemployment in PA until benefits were exhausted. I was offered a position in FL and started in September and was just laid off. I think my base year shows earning in both states. Where should I file for unemployment? Am I even eligible in PA since I collected the maximum benefits in 2016? So complicated! Thanks

    • You won’t qualify on PA wages alone – not because you collected in 2016 but because you no longer have sufficient PA wages remaining in your LAG at this time.

      You would apply in FL. If you apply for a combined-wage claim in FL now, FL will use wages Jan-Dec. 2016, which will incorporate your PA earnings Jan-Mar. 2016 and your FL earnings Sept-Dec. 2016. Know that FL’s benefit is very paltry in comparison to PA ($275 v. up to $573) and FL only pays benefits for 12-13 weeks. You will need to speak to a rep to get FL to use the PA wages.

      Or, if you wait to apply until July 2nd, FL will review wages Apr 2016-March 2017 during which time you have two quarters of FL wages which will create eligibility.

  • Jeff Aberdeen

    I was laid off in April of 2016, and collected unemployment until October of 2016. I then found contracted work through a company until January 1st 2017, to which they brought me on as a full-time member of their company. My wage was 45k/year, and I worked up until June 16 of 2017.

    Does this sound like I may qualify? I already initiated a claim as of this morning. I’m simply nervous as I have bills to pay.

    Thank you.

    • If you were laid off 4/16, PA used wages for that claim Jan-Dec. 2015. Which means PA can now review wages Jan.-Dec.2016. 37% of your wages in that period must have occurred outside your high quarter. If you meet those parameters, you should qualify.

  • Sheree

    I worked Jan 2000-June 2016 for one employer, quit to take another job. Worked from July 2016-May 31, 2017, didn’t like it, quit to take another job June 2017 only to find out new employer is in bankruptcy and will probably lay me off in a couple weeks. Can I collect unemployment?

    • Wait for the layoff, of course. If you do not have good cause for quitting the 5/31 job, PA will require you have earned at least 6x your weekly benefit at this new job before you can collect benefits.

      If you apply before the end of June, your weekly benefit is determined by dividing your high quarter wages between Jan-Dec 2016 by 26. If you apply in July, the period examined will be Apr 2016-Mar 2017. PA’s max benefit is $573. So calculate your benefit and multiply by 6 to determine if you’ve earned enough in GROSS wages (before deductions).

      Keep all your paystubs. You will need to provide proof of earnings when you apply or shortly thereafter, as PA’s database probably won’t reflect earnings from this most recent employer. PA will investigate the earlier quit, will interview you at which time you can provide proof of earnings at this last job.

  • Davila

    I have been at my current job for 4 years. I am currently waiting on a list to be called by the state of pa, to become a Liheap energy assistance worker.-which is fulltime seasonal-6 months, and pays $16/hour.

    Once the 6 month season is over and I apply for unemployment, will the unemployment be drawn based on what i earned working for the State…since I will have worked for 6 months, or will it be drawn from my old employer, that will require them to fill out earnings information? (Hopefully not, as they are VERY VERY uncooperative to current and former employees who are trying to move on)

    • Your old employer will have already reported your wages to PA, so don’t worry about that. By law, employers are required to report your earnings to PA at least quarterly. Some report weekly. Your claim is based on whatever earnings appear in the base period used by PA at the time you apply.

      PA examines earnings in its database going back 15-18 months. Base periods are adjusted quarterly. For example, if you apply for benefits between Oct-Dec 2017, PA will review earnings July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017. If you apply for benefits between Jan-Mar 2018, PA reviews earnings Oct 1, 2016-Sept 30, 2017.

  • Michelle

    I worked for a company from 2014 through 12/2016 and I quit do due problems with a co-worker and I filed for unemployment benefits and I did qualify, but was eventually denied because my quit was not a good reason. I went through 2 appeals and lost. I’ve been out of a job for 6 mo ths no be efits ever paid to me. Now I just started a new job on 6/12/17 and I don’t think I’m a good fit for the job. They might let me go. Some of the job requirements I am not qualified for and I didn’t k ow about those requirements before I was hired. If they let me go can I get unemployment?

    • Because of the nonqualifying quit, you need to have earned at this new job at least six times your weekly benefit amount to be eligible for benefits. In other words, if your benefit was determined to be $400/wk, you need to have earned $2,400 in gross (before deductions) wages. PA will need proof of these earnings in order to process your claim. So, be prepared to provide paystubs, as their database won’t be current when you apply.

      • Michelle

        Is the $2400 what I take home or before taxes?

        • From my response:

          if your benefit was determined to be $400/wk, you need to have earned $2,400 in gross (before deductions) wages.

          • Michelle

            Sorry I didn’t see rhat. Thanks. After you file, how lo g before you receive your first benefits. If I have to show proof of income does that delay rhe process?

          • Hard to say on the time. Expect four weeks, at least. If you’re let go, you will be interviewed. Tell the interviewer you’ve earned enough to purge the dq for the quit – and ask how to provide them proof of these earnings if they do not yet appear in PA’s database.

  • Mark

    I started working for a company in PA and will be laid off. The company is going to keep me on to the end of my 18 weeks. My question is: I just got off unemployment from a previous job in which I exhausted my unemployment claim from 2016. Will I be eligible for unemployment in 2017? I will have worked 18 weeks in 2017. Salaried employee making 60k per year. Layoff no fault of my own and the company is keeping me on so I can reach 18 weeks. I seem to remember a letter from pa unemployment saying I wouldn’t be able to file again until January of 2018.

  • Alex Jones

    Hello I’m from Pennsylvania and I was working for 4 months . I wanted to know if I qualify for benefits or not .. I have prior work history at a few other places as well .. Does that count ? How do I go about it ? If u could help I would kindly appreciate that

  • oaj

    I’ve worked for 10 months, 18 hours/week. I worked the year before that 24 hours/week. Am I eligible for unemployment benefits in PA?

  • Danny

    Question. I worked for a employer for just over 2 years. Me and the boss had a falling out so I quit Monday 5/8/2017. I went to a new job 5/9/2017 and this first week is slow due to weather. Can I sign up?

    • You can try, but unless your PA determines the prior quit was for good cause (unlikely), PA will want to see earnings at the new job of at least 6x your weekly benefit amount. In other words, you can’t collect at this time because you haven’t earned enough at the new job. No harm in trying, though.

  • Amy

    I have worked in PA for 2 mths got let go because I was “not working out for them, not working up to their potential” Before that I was working in NJ. Where am I supposed to file???

    • You won’t qualify in PA at this time because none of your PA earnings are in the only base period PA is allowed to use.

      Therefore, file in NJ. When the NJ claim is exhausted, if you are still unemployed, then file in PA – ask for a combined wage claim. You may qualify in PA at that time.

  • Ken

    Plan to file in PA. Did not work any in 2016.
    Virginia: One week (Starts 1/16/17)
    Louisiana: Four weeks
    Pennsylvania: Five weeks
    Louisiana: Seven,(ends 5/21/17, maybe Eight weeks (5.28/17, (still working, end unknown)
    No more work available after 5/28/17, done working.
    Average gross per week: $2,300
    Question 1: If I only end up with 17 weeks, will PA still approve me? Would it be automatically or on appeal?
    Question 2: I need to file on/after 4/1/18, right?

  • Mica

    I worked from August 2016 till April 2017 will I qualify for unemployment? It has been 2 years since my last job before this.

    • PA will only use the base period Jan-Dec. 2016 for any claims submitted now. Assuming your high quarter wages appear Oct-Dec. 2016, wages earned between Aug-Sept. must be at least 37% of your total wages Jan-Dec. 2016. If you worked two solid months Aug-Sept., you should be OK assuming the same average weekly wage for the five months worked in the base period.

  • Jackie

    I have been working through the company at my job since I started working back in novermber 2016 and at this job we have unpaid time hours and paid time hours if we go negative on our unpaid time they fire us will I be eligible for unemployment since I wasn’t able to go into work due to my babysitter not showing up I called && let them know but they still terminated me will I be able to collect ?

    • Possibly, although your employer will cite absenteeism/rules violation (negative on time off) as the reason for the discharge, which is usually an automatic denial no matter what you tell the interviewer. You can plead your circumstances at appeal. You have a 50/50 chance of winning benefits at appeal. Expect no benefits for at least two months, possibly longer. If you win, PA will pay you retro to the date of discharge.

  • Hector

    So I been working through a temp agency for 3 months and out of nowhere I received an email ending my assignment while I was at work but before leaving work I stopped to talk to my temp manager so if I was fired she would have told me then. I was wondering will I be able to collect due to this? I have worked for a few temp jobs since November of 2016 but prior to that I was on disability. Will I be eligible?

    • Be sure to keep in contact with the temp agency, asking for new assignments – and keep good records of these contacts, or the agency will accuse you of a quit regardless they ended your contract (temp agencies lie all the time) – which will put a serious crimp in any claim application.

      Aside from that, PA will look at wages Jan-Dec 2016. In most states disability income will substitute for wages as employers pay full UI/FICA taxes on these wages. If you have income – whether wages or disability – in two quarters of 2016, you might have eligibility. PA also requires that 37% of your total wages occur outside your high quarter.

      Apply for benefits and let PA sort out your financial eligibility.

  • Kate

    If I worked 16 weeks in PA and was given 8 weeks of severance pay in a lump sum will I qualify for the 18 weeks since PA rules say you need 18 weeks of credit weeks regardless of when paid? Provided of course I meet all other criteria.

    Just for the record, assume this is all in the correct base period so the real question is do severance weeks count towards credit weeks if paid in a lump sum? They count against you if paid in a lump sum so I am thinking they should count as credit weeks if paid in a lump sum?

    • PA does categorize severance as wages. So, eight weeks severance will be added to weeks worked. But forget about that, because PA will not disqualify you if you lack 18 weeks work in PA. What matters is total wages in the base period from ALL employers – even in other states. In that case, you would be applying for a combined-wage claim.

      Applying now, PA will review wages Jan-Dec. 2016. You need wages in at least two quarters of 2016 to qualify for benefits. Further, PA requires that wages outside your high quarter in the base period are equal to at least 37% of total wages paid.

      If your only work in 2016 was this job, you won’t have two quarters of wages for PA to consider until July. If you have other work history in PA or another state during 2016, apply in PA and ask for a combined-wage claim. Or, apply in the state preceding the PA employment.

  • Patrice

    I began working Nov. 3 2016, but did not work for over two years prior to finish school. I will have limited hours in the summer based on the fact I work with children in school/home and community. I applied for UC based on my lack of hours now, but was denied. When can I reapply and receive benefits?

  • James

    I was employed from Oct. 24, 2016 until March 1st, 2017. For simplicity sake assume I had no employment before than because the employment I did have will not qualify. If I wait until April 1st to apply for unemployment will I then have a chance at being eligible because I essentially earned the same amount of money in each quarter (2 months Oct-Dec 2016 and 2 months Jan-Mar 2016)

    • No, you won’t qualify. Unlike most states, PA uses only the standard base period. PA does not have an alternate base period which would include earnings to the most recently completed quarter.

      If you apply April 2nd, PA will use earnings Jan-Dec. 2016.

      You will need to wait until July 2nd before earnings through 3/31/2017 can be considered.

  • Brooke Holmes

    I was employed as a fulltime employee from 2012-2015 but off for 3 months on unpaid maternity leave from August 2015-Nov2015 then back to work fulltime till the company closed April 2016. I collect unemployment from May 2016-October 2016 till I started fulltime seasonal PennDOT work.

    What quarters will be used? Should I be able to collect again starting April 1st 2017?

    Thank you

    • Your first claim used a base period of Jan.-Dec. 2015, so second year base period will be Jan.-Dec. 2016.

      Whether or not your claim will begin on April 1st will depend on when the first benefit year expires.

      Assuming you applied for benefits in April 2016, your current claim was backdated to the Sunday of the week you applied and expires 52-weeks later on a Saturday in April 2017. You need to check the benefit year end date of your current claim – again, that would be one year after your filed in 2016. The week that claim expires is the week you should reapply for a new claim. Apply on either Wednesday or Thursday of that week. It will take PA a few weeks to get the claim processed.

      You need to have worked between 4/16 and 4/17 and earned 6x your current weekly benefit amount to qualify for another claim. If you’ve been working since October, you’ve surely earned 6x your WBA and should qualify for a second year claim without a problem.

  • Heidi Youse

    If an employee is laid off from a position after 20 weeks of work, do they collect unemployment benefits from the previous employer or the one that just laid them off? What is the time period for starting in a new position then being laid off but the benefits come from the previous employer.

    • In PA, if you apply now, your claim will be based on earnings between 10/01/2015-09/30/2016. If you apply April 2nd-July 2nd, earnings base period will be Jan-Dec. 2016, and so on and so forth. That said, even if your current employer’s wages are not in the base period used for the claim, their account will still be assessed for part of the benefits paid. It shouldn’t matter to you which employer’s account is charged, as there isn’t anything you can do about it.

  • Daly

    Can I receive unemployment if I been at a job for 3 months through a temp agency? I never received unemployment before.

    • Maybe. Have you worked before this? If so, when? You need at least two quarters of earnings between 10/1/2016-9/30/2016 and 37% of total base period earnings must occur outside your high quarter. If your only work has been this temp job, you do not qualify at this time.

      Also, be sure to keep in touch w/temp agency on other jobs and keep notes of those contacts, or temp agency will say you quit and you will be denied

      • Tee

        What is a person supposed to do if the only work you can get is temp work? I’ve applied everywhere & nothing is happening and I was recently denied unemployment too. I really wanna cry right now

        • An unemployment denial is not cast in stone. Many appeals are won. Half the battle is requesting the appeal and appearing at the hearing. If you feel you were unjustly denied and the appeal timeframe has not passed, appeal the denial. Meanwhile, you accept the temp work and keep looking – and see your county social services people for assistance.

    • Joe

      Can I receive unemployment if I worked the last 6 months ?

      • Not if you had no earnings prior to September 30, 2016.

        If you apply now, 37% of your total earnings between 10/1/2015-9/30/2016 must occur outside your high quarter.

        If you apply on or after April 2nd, you may have a better chance because PA will be looking at earnings between Jan-Dec.2016. Even then if you only began work in September, chances are you won’t meet the 37% test.

        • Joe

          What if I reported an employee for being late and leaving job sites or hours at a time and they then gave me warning letter to sign which was a lie and i choose not to sign it and they called the cops

          • If you don’t have the earnings between 10/2015-9/2016, you are not eligible for benefits no matter the circumstances of the discharge.

            Even if you file a complaint for wrongful discharge w/PA DOL and it finds you were unjustly discharged, you still don’t have enough earnings for benefits. You would then need to try to recover monies from your employer for lost wages and other damages – but unemployment benefits cannot be a part of this picture because the earnings aren’t there to support a claim.

  • anastacia

    I worked for a company for 5 years, I was fired for supposedly stealing company time because my log in/out on the computer wasn’t working, sometimes I logged out from my phone on the way home. I got a new job through a temp agency that was supposed to become permanent after 3 months, the company was bought out 2 weeks ago and is not keeping any of the old employees, hence I’ve worked 3 months and am now laid off, will I be able to collect?

    • Yes, if you earned enough (6x your weekly benefit amount) at the new job to purge the discharge for misconduct at the old job. If you have two or three solid quarters of wages remaining in the base in the base period (10/1/2015-9/30/2016), you should qualify. Apply immediately. Be prepared to provide paystubs for your most recent work.

  • nikole

    can i collect unemploymet if i only worked 3 months but prior to this i worked from sept 2014 til june 2016 i collect uc for 6 months. I did recieve bennifits from july 22 2016 til nov 27 2016

    • if you filed for and began benefits in July 2016, then you must wait until July 2017 until you are eligible for another claim – and that would be only if you have earned new wages before then.

      Base period if your claim expires in July 2017, will be April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017. From what you’ve said, the only wages you’ve got in that period are wages between April-June 2016 – that won’t qualify you.

  • T

    I worked for a company from 10/2005 thru 12/2016. I left this company to pursue a career at a different institution that started on 1/2/2017. I worked there for 4 weeks and HR decided to separate employment because they could not confirm my education background. Would I be eligible for UC benefits in PA?

    • Yes, absolutely apply. You have an 11-year work history.

      PA requires you earn 6x your UI weekly benefit amount after a quit before it will pay benefits in a situation like yours. Divide your high quarter wages by 25 to determine weekly benefit amount, not to exceed $573. Then multiply that by 6. If you earned that in January at your new job, you qualify. You will need to provide PA paystubs as proof of earnings.

      Apply in PA immediately regardless of how you calculate your situation and let PA take it from there.

  • Chris

    I am in Pennsylvania and I started working a new job on August 15th 2016 and just found out I was being laid off as my last day will be February 3rd 2017. I would have worked a total of 24 weeks in that time span and earned enough in wages. I wouldn’t have a problem qualifying for unemployment under these conditions correct??? Can somebody please let me know if I would be eligible?? Thank you.

    • Do you have earnings in another state prior to working in PA? If so, when and where? You might be better off applying in that state, and then in PA when the first claim is exhausted.

      PA requires two quarters of earnings in the base period. The ONLY base period PA will use at this time is earnings October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016.

      Unless you have other earnings going back to 10/2015, you are not eligible for a claim at this time. Earnings in another state can be included. You would need to ask PA for a combined-wage claim.

      In addition, total wages outside your high quarter must equal at least 37% of total wages in the base period.

      • Chris

        Okay well I was working from October 1st 2015 until March 31st 2016 before I was laid off at my other place of employment. And I was employed from September 2014 until October 2015 at the same place. And like I mentioned before I have worked this job I am about to be laid off from August 2016 until February 2017. So would I qualify then if this is the case and would it have to go through my current employer who just laid me off to do so if that makes sense.

        • Chris

          One more thing both of these jobs the one from Oct 2015-March 2016 and this current one fromAugust 2016-February 2017 are in PA. So like you mentioned if that was the case and I had employment also from September 2014-October 2015 I would then qualify correct??

          • Yes, you have the quarters, so apply for benefits. PA will ask about all employers in the base period as well as your last employer, and send queries to all about the separations. But your claim benefits will be based on earnings October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016 – essentially three quarters.

  • Dan

    I worked from the last week in August of 2016 to the second or third week of December.I was employed for 18 weeks.For two years before that I worked for a guy who paid me under the table with the constant failing promise of going on the books so I could get medical coverage.I was told I did not make the financial requirements the previous year to be eligible for unemployment.I just got a letter stating I will lose my chance at benefits if I do not complete my application( creating a profile on job finder).Do I actually have a chance at benefits or was the letter just sent as part of the process?Should I continue trying to get my unemployment benefits?

    • Yes, the system is just asking you to complete the profile for processing purposes. PA right now requires two quarters of earnings through September 30, 2016. You have only one quarter of earnings in the available base period. You don’t qualify in PA at this time.

  • Ben Harris

    Hey, I am new to PA and unfamiliar with unemployment there. I moved there from NJ and only worked from Oct 1, 2016 and got laid off on Dec 30, 2016. I was employed through a temp agency. Since then I have been having a hard time finding employment due to transportation issues. I also notified my temp agency and gave them a couple weeks to find me assignments and kept calling but they did not have anything. I also could not afford rent where I was staying so I moved back to Jersey. If I don’t find a job in Jersey will I be able to collect unemployment in PA if I file in April? I earned $5700 during my employment in PA. I would really appreciate it if someone could help me with this question. Kind regards.

    • Depends on your work history. PA uses only one base period. Filing in April, PA will use wages Jan.-Dec. 2016. In addition, however, in PA you need two quarters of earnings, with 37% of total earnings outside your high quarter. You would need to ask PA for a combined wage claim to include wages from another state. Frankly, provided you have had NJ wages, your better option would be to request a NJ claim now. A qualifying separation in PA does create eligibility for a NJ claim.

      • Ben Harris

        Thanks for replying Daphne. I am totally lost. I have NO additional work history in PA. I just worked from Oct 2016-Dec 2016 and earned $5700 in those months. I don’t think I would qualify for a NJ claim because in NJ you had to have at least earned $8400 or worked 20 base weeks. I did not work in 2016 prior to the month of Oct when relocating to PA.

        • Do you have NJ work October 2015 – September 2016? If you earned $8,400 then, you would still qualify in NJ. Standard base period if you applied now would be October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016.

          If not, sorry to say you don’t qualify in either state at this time.

          Try to find some work in NJ. It is easier to get a claim there as NJ uses three base periods, including to the date of discharge. If you experience a qualifying separation in NJ going forward, when you apply ask NJ for a combined-wage claim to pick up the PA earnings.

          • Ben Harris

            Hey Daphne, thanks back again! I have read what you suggested and come to find out, I just received all my W2’s for 2016. With combined wages from NJ and PA, I have enough to meet the criteria if I apply for unemployment in NJ totaling $9,260.94. But here is the problem, $2159.02 from that is Third Party Sick Pay (NJ). Will that count towards my claim if I file in NJ in April 2017 under a combined-wage claim? I would appreciate it if you could shed some light on this. Kind regards!

          • You don’t have to wait until April if you apply in NJ. As I said upthread, you can apply in NJ for a combined-wage claim now. You are no longer working. Most states consider sick pay as wages. You should have had deductions for FICA and other taxes. I’m not sure NJ will be able to use the later PA wages for your claim but, by all means, try. File in NJ now and see where it goes. Let us know what happens.

  • EM

    I was employed with a company 2+ years and laid off 10/16. 11/16 I started with a new company and quit after the 1st day when it was determined managers and HR had lied (during interviews with multiple people) and provided wrong written information about benefits in a union contract. I would have never agreed to these terms and employment had they given the correct info. PA UC determined that I had a compelling reason to quit and allowed me to resume my benefits from my lay off. The second company has appealed this decision. Does the second company even have any grounds to appeal the decision I won? I only worked there for 1 day and my benefit claim is from the job I was laid off from not the second company. Any help is appreciated.

    • Of course, they can appeal. It is your latest quit/separation from their company which is the basis for your continuing benefits on the current claim. If there is no doubt they misrepresented the terms and conditions of the job offered you, they won’t win at appeal, either.

      They care, because at some point their UI taxes may be increased as a result of their being an employer-of-record, even though their wages don’t appear in your base period.

      Some states allow appeals a year after benefits have been paid. And some companies automatically appeal all claims. Best to get this settled now.

  • will

    I started working a new job on july 11 2016 b4 that I was self employed from febuary 2016 and worked for someone in January 2016 will I beable to collect if I get laid off this within the next coup;e of weeks?

  • Elena Babilonia

    If I was hired as a seasonal employee could I receive unemployment benefits if worked 3 months?

    • Not in Pennsylvania unless you have a work history going back to July 2015. Apply now, you need earnings in two quarters between July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016. Apply in January, you need earnings in two quarters October 1, 2015-September 30, 2015. Further, PA has the 49.5% rule, which means almost half your earnings must occur outside your high quarter.

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