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  • Do you qualify for a unemployment benefits? This will depend on two factors: the circumstances that caused you to lose your job –your benefits eligibility– and your wages and period of employment since your last unemployment benefits claim –your financial eligibility.

    For a discussion on benefits eligibility and the reasons for leaving a job that could disqualify you from receiving benefits read our article I Was Sacked From My Job; Do I Qualify For UC?

    So, how do you know if you meet the Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor financial eligibility? As soon as you apply for unemployment benefits you will be sent a notice of Financial Determination, also known as Form UC-44F. This form requires you provide a list of your previous employers and the wages you were paid for each quarter in your base year. Your base year is the first four quarters from your applications for benefit date.

    For example, if you claim for unemployment in June, May or April, your base year goes from the previous December to January period. If on the other hand, you apply in December, November or October you base year goes from the previous June to July. Quarters are divided as follows: 1st quarter January, February and March, 2nd quarter April, May and June, 3rd quarter July, August and September and the 4th quarter October, November and December.

    This form is used to determine your financial eligibility and the amount on your benefits paycheck. If the PA Unemployment Office decides you are eligible, the amount you receive in your check will be based on your highest quarterly wages, your total base-year wages and the number of credit weeks claimed in your base years. If, on the other hand, you are deemed ineligible for unemployment compensation you will be informed by the PA Unemployment Office with an explanation of why you do not qualify.

    If you the PA Unemployment Office decide you are not eligible, you can still file an appeal. This is how you do it.

    Your first step must be to check the information the PA Unemployment Office have is accurate. Check the determination you are sent includes all your previous employers and the wages amounts are accurate.

    If you still feel you have grounds for an appeal, you have 15 days to file your appeal with the Department of Labor and Industry. Click here to download appeal form UC-46B.

    While you are waiting for a response to your appeal you should continue to file for unemployment every week you are unemployed, so you can claim those weeks if your appeal is accepted.

    Click here for more information on how to appeal the decision of the PA Unemployment Office board.

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