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  • If you are close to exhausting your EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits you may qualify to join the federal Extended Benefits program. Remember how easy it was to jump from Pennsylvania state unemployment insurance to EUC benefits? Well, the transition to EB is not that easy. This is not to say you should have any trouble qualifying if you have a valid claim, but the requirements are more stringent and it is much easier to get your claim disqualified.

    This article will discuss some of the main questions workers have about the Extended Benefits program in Pennsylvania. Please note that not all Extended Benefits programs are the same. Although the EB program is funded with federal money, each states manages its own program and determines many of the requirements. It is therefore important you get information of the EB program for your state.

    When does the EB period start and end in Pennsylvania?

    Good question. Unlike other unemployment programs, such as PA UI program, the EB will not last indefinitely. EB programs are designed to help long term unemployed workers during periods with a high unemployment rate. In Pennsylvania this period started in February 2009. It will end once Pennsylvania’s unemployment figures improve. For instance, the program will end if the PA unemployment rate drops to 6 percent.

    How do I qualify for EB payments?

    If everything works out as it should the PA department of Labor should send you a notice of financial determination by mail if you qualify and you are close to exhausting your EUC benefits. However, if you feel you qualify and have not received a determination after 10 days of receiving your final EUC payment, you can call and ask about your claim at 1.888.313.7284.

    What are the special requirements of the EB Program?

    Very good question. The EB has more stringent requirements for workers and your claim could be cancelled if you don’t know what is expected of you. To receive EB payments you must prove you are making a systematic and sustained effort to find work every week you claim for benefits. More specifically, you must carry out two search activities every week and these must be on separate days. Of course, this is a minimum not a maximum. The more time and effort you spend searching for work the more chances you have of finding suitable employment. Note that you must provide tangible evidence of your job search efforts, so keep good records of all your job search activities. If you are requested to prove your claims and have no evidence, your claim could be closed down.

    Filing for unemployment benefits with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is just the beginning. It is the easy part. Once you have arranged your source of income while you are unemployed, it is time to start your new full-time job: to find a job.

    However, before you start walking the streets looking for work there are a few pointers you must understand about Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation program. Once you filed your claim over the phone or online and it has been accepted  you must begin to file your weekly benefit claims. You can file these weekly claims either online or over the phone.

    It is important you know how and where to file these claims or your application could be denied. It is also vital to know what information you will be asked when you file your online of phone claim. Any mistakes or omissions in your claim could end up in your claim being denied or frozen.

    The Good News

    The long lines to the unemployment office are a thing of the past. Now you can file your weekly benefits from wherever you, your laptop or phone may be. This means you can file your claims from the comfort of your home or wherever you get coverage or an internet connection.


    You can file your weekly benefits online at www.uc.pa.gov  Just click on the link and follow the instructions.


    Unlike other states, Pennsylvania has created a special Teleclaims number for each area. This phone system is called Pennsylvania Teleclaims, PAT for short. Please find below the phone number for Unemployment Service Centers and PAT numbers by region.

    What Will I Need?

    Regardless of which method you choose to file your weekly benefits you will need to provide the following information: Driving license number, SSN, name and contact details of your employers in the last 18 months, your contact details, the dates you started and finished employment and your reason you stopped working. You will also need your most recent pay stub and the PIN number the PA department of Labor gave you.

    Local: 610.821.6735
    Local TTY (Hearing Impaired):
    Local PAT: 610.821.6659
    Fax: 610.821.6281
    Local: 724.599.1250
    Local PAT: 724.599.1004
    Fax: 724.599.1068
    Local: 814.946.7224
    Local PAT: 814.941.6849
    Fax: 814.941.6801
    Local: 717.299.7711
    Local PAT: 717.299.7560
    Fax: 717.299.7557
    Local: 412.267.1315
    Local PAT: 412.267.1494
    Fax: 412.267.1475
    Local: 215.856.6990
    Local PAT: 215.560.1978
    Fax: 215.560.6981
    Local: 814.871.4311
    Local PAT: 814.878.5700
    Fax: 814.871.4863     Scranton:
    Local: 570.496.2332
    Local TTY (Hearing Impaired): 570.562.4871
    Local PAT: 570.562.4800
    Local PAT TTY (Hearing Impaired): 570.562.4870
    Fax: 570.562.4872
    TOLL FREE STATEWIDE: 888.313.7284
    TOLL FREE TTY (Hearing Impaired): 888.334.4046

    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.

    Extended 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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