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File A Weekly Certification
After you have filed your initial application for UC benefits or reopened an existing claim, you must file a certification for each week in which you are totally or partially unemployed.
A week for UC purposes begins on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. The compensable week ending date is always a Saturday.
In most cases, you will file claims for weekly or every two weeks at one time. You will get paid according to when you file.
Filing can be done using the following methods:
If you are eligible for benefits, you should receive your first benefit payment within four weeks after the effective date of your application, provided you file your certifications on time.
Pa’s New Unemployment Benefits System Now Online Glitches Reported
HARRISBURG, Pa. Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier said Tuesday the new unemployment benefits system is now online and accepting claims at benefits.uc.pa.gov.
The new unemployment compensation system replaces a 40-year-old mainframe that made filing for unemployment benefits complicated for users and processing benefits cumbersome for staff, according to a news release from the state;Department of Labor & Industry.;
The state says the new system will make filing for benefits easier and faster for users and that staff will need less time to process claims, which is expected to help reduce the number of users waiting for their claim to be processed.
A soft launch of the new UC system took place just after 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, with more than 41,000 people filing claims by 10:40 a.m.
A phone issue independent of the new system launch that affected multiple state agencies temporarily caused L&Is unemployment hotlines to become unavailable Tuesday, according to the department news release. The phone system came back online at around 11 a.m., and the state said people with questions about the new system can call the Unemployment Compensation Service Center at 888-313-7284 or email .
L&I said a small percentage of users are experiencing an issue logging in with their Keystone ID or when they attempt to change their payment type. The issue is related to server connectivity, and a fix is underway, the department said.
Read Also: Do My Taxes Pay For Unemployment
No One Answers The Phone At The Pa Unemployment Compensation Office
I am a Pennsylvania citizen who filed for unemployment under Pennsylvanias re-vamped system on June 16.
Since that time I am still waiting for my unemployment compensation and their is no one who can/will answer questions regarding why my claim is taking so long or when I will receive payment. This touted improved system is an utter failure. I have worked for this state since I was 15 and I am now 42.
I cannot obtain an answer from anyone in our states government. For answers I even contacted Gov. Tom Wolfs office three times. I couldnt get past the screener who was rude and hung up on me twice. He seemed extremely annoyed that I called wanting answers.
Next step, the Department of Labor and Industry run by Jennifer Berrier. I spoke to someone in her office who continually spoke over me and wouldnt let me get a word in the conversation. All I wanted was a clear and concise explanation of the length of time a claim should take. I was treated very disrespectfully by Ms. Berriers office.
Finally, the Pennsylvanias Unemployment Compensation office. The number listed on the site is 1888-313-7284. This is a joke, but I am not laughing. After being placed on hold for close to 20-40 minutes, you are told two things:
1. The representative CANNOT HELP YOU;
Governor Wolfs UC system is a complete and utter failure for the citizens of Pennsylvania.
Stacey Novak, Camp Hill
How To File For Benefits
If you would like to file for benefits through unemployment compensation or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, you can call 888-255-4728. This phone line will be 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to L&I.
To identify yourself, use your PIN and social security number when claiming benefits. Individuals will be asked to respond to a series of questions by dialing numbers on their phones during the call.
- Access to a touch-tone telephone
- Your social security number
- A pen and paper to write down important information
Receive Financial Determination Letter
Keep this letter in a safe place. It states your financial eligibility. Financial determination letters are typically received within 3 business days via your UC Dashboard communication preference.
Your financial determination letter will tell you:
- Your benefit year begin date AND the date your benefit year expires.
- Your weekly benefit amount and eligible weeks AND how they were calculated.
- How much you will receive if you are totally unemployed and how to estimate your partial benefits for part-time work.
File An Initial Application
You should file your UC application for benefits using one of the following methods:
- Online An online application can be filed using our secure website 7 days a week, 24 hours
- Telephone An application can be filed on the statewide unemployment compensation toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284.
- For claimants filing a NEW claim: If you are filing for benefits for the first time, you need to contact the UC Service Center and let them know youll need to file by phone in the future. The UC Service Center will file an initial application and provide you a PIN number to use while filing over the phone in the future.
- Videophone service For individuals who use American Sign Language videophone service is available every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474. Sign language is the ONLY means of communication provided through the Videophone.
Recommended Reading: Why Does Unemployment Take So Long
What You Need Before You Get Started
- Home address and mailing address .
- Telephone number.
- Valid email.
- Personal Identification Number . If you have previously filed a UC claim using your previous PIN can prevent you from having to re-enter information.
- Direct deposit bank information : Bank name, address, account number, and routing number.
In some cases, additional information is needed. For a complete list, view our requirements checklist.
Information about Separating Employer:
- Employers name, address, and phone number.
- Employers PA UC account number .
- First and last day worked with employer.
- Reason for leaving or the reason you are working fewer hours.
- Pension or severance package information .
Tools to Help You File
- Frequently Asked Questions A resource to help answer any questions you may have about filing or receiving unemployment compensation benefits, including eligibility, how your weekly benefit is calculated, and more.
- Self-service Step-by-step Instructions These step-by-step guides and instructions will guide you through many UC online services, including how to file an initial claim, how to file a weekly certification, and more.
- New UC System Resources Video tutorials, workshop recordings, and more.
Reopen An Existing Claim
If you fall into one of the categories listed below, you should reopen your existing claim.
Reopen claimss can be filed using the same methods listed above for filing an initial application for UC benefits.
Also Check: How Do I Collect Unemployment
How To Open A New Claim
If you would like to open a new claim by phone, you will need to contact the UC Service Center at 888-313-7284. This phone line will be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to L&I, you should let them know that you will be filing by phone in the future. After that, the UC Service Center will file an initial claim and mail you important paperwork with a PIN to use while filing over the phone in the future.
For anyone who is still interested in filing a claim online, you can visit Pennsylvanias online unemployment compensation system.
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More Staff At Pa Unemployment Call Center After Lawmaker Broadcasts Busy Signal On Call
It was a familiar sound to many Pennsylvanians who have called for help with unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic — a busy signal.
The harsh repeat buzzing was broadcast last week from the phone of state Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny/Washington.
Mihalek called the unemployment compensation call center during a house appropriations committee budget hearing for the state Department of Labor and Industry. The droning sound filled the chamber.
Can you all hear that? Mihalek asked. Im trying to get in touch with somebody at the Department of Labor and Industry. I have been all morning. I have been for 11 months.
During the hearing, Mihalek said her staff recently had three calls from residents who havent gotten unemployment checks in a year.
Rep. Natalie Mihalek live-called the Unemployment Compensation Call Center and received a busy signal to lead off questioning. Watch the exchange:
PA House GOP Approps
Over the last year, more than 30% of eligible claims waited more than two weeks to receive a first payment, compared to 12% the previous year, Spotlight PA reported.
On Wednesday, the Department of Labor and Industry announced it will add at least 500 new customer service representatives to the unemployment compensation call center, up to 1,000 total new staff if needed.
The move will allow existing staff to move to resolving claims full time.
Also Check: How To Apply For Pandemic Unemployment
Frustration With Pa Unemployment
I am currently collecting unemployment and I am disgusted with the current updated state system. My account has been hacked by someone. I filed a fraud report with the Office of Unemployment Compensation, but now I am unable to receive my weekly payment.
I called the state office July 26 and thought I got lucky when someone answered right away. I was disappointed, though, as she said she was not a consultant and could not assist me. She just took my information and passed it on to someone else. She said that people complained they could never get through on the phone. Now they can, but the people answering can do nothing to help us, so we are no better off than we were before.
I was given a ticket number that will take three weeks to be answered by a consultant who will be calling me. The ticket number currently being serviced and my ticket number are more than 44,000 numbers apart; I was told they service about 3,000 to 4,000 tickets a day.
The fraud may continue until it is rectified. Meanwhile, I receive no payments and, because of this new system, I am worse off than I was with the antiquated system.
When asked, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will not admit there are problems; officials seemingly believe this new system is so much better.
Pennsylvanians are being hacked and compromised. Harrisburg, how is this a better system?
New State Unemployment System Debuts
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Having Trouble With Unemployment Claims Here Are 6 Tips To Help Solve Your Problem
If you are trying to receive unemployment compensation, Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak offered six tips recently to help Pennsylvanians more quickly receive their benefits.
There has been a historic surge in people seeking unemployment compensation in Pennsylvania because of fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Since mid-March, nearly 1.7 million Pennsylvanians have filed for regular unemployment compensation, and new federal laws made big changes to increase payments for many people and made other workers eligible for those benefits for the first time.
Gov. Tom Wolf has said the system is simply not designed for those types of numbers.
More than $3.6 billion in benefits has been paid to claimants nearly $2.7 billion from regular unemployment compensation and $911 million from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program , according to the department.
The department says it has taken these to improve customer service:;
Nearly 900 L&I staff working on the unemployment compensation program are teleworking with 500 of these employees being reassigned from other agencies to help.
Tips to apply