PA Unemployment Eligibility

PA Unemployment Eligibility

Pennsylvania workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own might be able to qualify for unemployment benefits. If you have been laid off or have otherwise lost your job without fault, you may be entitled to receive benefits if you meet the PA unemployment eligibility requirements. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler may help you to recover benefits that you should rightfully receive.

PA unemployment eligibility

PA unemployment eligibility is determined by the Department of Labor & Industry. The agency determines your eligibility for unemployment in PA by checking to see if you meet the PA unemployment eligibility requirements, including:

  • Your past earnings must have exceeded certain minimum thresholds;
  • The reason for your unemployment must not be your own fault; and
  • You have to be available and able to work, and you must actively look for work.

Past earnings

For unemployment eligibility in PA, your past earnings must exceed certain thresholds. The state looks at a base period of time that includes the earliest four out of the five most recent calendar quarters prior to your claim. During that base period, you must have earned a minimum of $116 per week during a minimum of 18 weeks out of the base period. You must have earned a minimum of $1,688 during your highest-earning quarter and a minimum total amount of $3,391 during the base period.

Reasons for your unemployment

The reason for your unemployment cannot be your fault. In other words, if you simply quit your job for no good reason, you will not be eligible. If you were laid off from your job because of downsizing or a reduction-in-force, you will meet the eligibility requirement.

Getting fired because you weren’t a good fit won’t necessarily prevent you from collecting unemployment benefits. If you were fired for misconduct, you will not be able to collect unemployment, however. Misconduct in Pennsylvania involves intentionally violating your employer’s rule, careless behavior that is severe or failing to conform to the minimum reasonable standards for the job.

If you quit for good cause, you might be able to receive unemployment benefits. Good cause reasons might include quitting for health reasons, losing your transportation without having an alternative means of getting to work or if your spouse was relocated and you could not afford to maintain two homes.

Availability to and willingness to work

Pennsylvania requires that you must be able and available to work. If you receive an offer for a suitable job, you have to accept it. The suitability of a job depends on the level of training and skills that are required, how similar it is to your former job, its rate of pay and how far it is from your home.

You must also actively look for work, including applying for a minimum of two jobs each week and performing at least one additional work search activity. You will need to document the efforts that you have made including the dates, the employers that you contacted and what happened. The state may verify the efforts that you report.

Amount and duration of unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania

If you are found to have eligibility for unemployment in PA, you can expect to receive about 50 percent of the average weekly wages you previously received up to a maximum weekly amount of $573. You may be able to receive benefits for up to 26 weeks.

How to appeal a denial

If your benefits claim is denied, you must appeal the decision within 15 days. You complete your appeal in writing and either mail or email it to the Department of Labor * Industry. A hearing will then be scheduled. The hearing will be held before a referee, who is an administrative official. You may appeal the referee’s decision to the Board of Review if you disagree with it. Finally, you may also appeal the board’s decision to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. In order to increase the chances that your application will be approved, you might want to get help from the employment law attorneys at Swartz Swidler.