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Unemployment Insurance is a broad term used to refer to any type of unemployment benefits, although strictly speaking it only applies to state programs which are based on an employer insurance tax for funding. We will use the broader use of UI to include all available unemployment programs for workers in Pennsylvania.
State Unemployment Insurance
In Pennsylvania an unemployed worker can receive up to 26 weeks of unemployment insurance if he is unemployed or has his work hours reduced due to no fault of his own. These benefits are funded by a state unemployment compensation funded by employers. How much you receive each week, also known as the weekly benefit amount, will depend on how much income you generated during your base period. Base period is a term used to describe the first four quarters of the last five quarters since you filed your unemployment benefits claim. For instance, if you filed your claim in October, your base period would run from June of the same year to April of the previous year.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation
This federal program allows workers who have exhausted their initial 26 weeks up to 53 extra weeks of unemployment benefits. Your weekly benefit amount will depend on what you received under the Pennsylvania State Unemployment Insurance Program. The requirements for the Emergency Unemployment Compensation, also known as EUC, are very similar to the requirements of Pennsylvania’s UI program. For instance, you must be either unemployed or have experienced a reduction of your hours due to no fault of your own. If you decided to quit your job for personal reasons, you are not fit for work or are not willing to accept an employment offer, you will probably not qualify for EUC benefits.
The last program available to unemployed workers who exhaust the 79 weeks available through the PA UI and EUC programs is the Extended Benefits, or EB, program. This program, as the EUC, is only available for states with a high unemployment rate. Pennsylvania currently qualifies for both of them. The maximum number of weeks available through the EB program is 20 weeks, which brings the maximum number of unemployment benefits in PA to 99 weeks. To qualify for benefits under this program you must meet more stringent eligibility requirements. For instance, you must contact a minimum number of potential employers each week and be willing to accept any job that pays more than your unemployment benefits you are qualifies for.
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