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WHAT IS UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION?

Unemployment Compensation (UC) is temporary income support.  It provides income if you lose your job through no fault of your own.  If you qualify, you will receive money for a limited time to help you meet expenses while you look for another job.  To be covered by the UC program, you must be a worker who performed services covered by the UC Law and have worked for an employer that is required by law or elects to pay into the UC Fund.  Under certain conditions, you may also have paid into the UC Fund by payroll deductions.  To safeguard the funds, all applications for benefits are checked thoroughly. Fraud is prosecuted and may result in fines and or imprisonment or other penalties.  To protect yourself, give complete, accurate and factual information when filing your claim.

APPLYING AND FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (UC) 

Now individuals apply for UC benefits through the Internet at www.state.pa.us; PA Keyword “unemployment” or by calling the UC Service Center:

Philadelphia UC Service Center

                    2901 Grant Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19114-1069

Local: (215) 856-6990

Toll Free: 1-888-313-7284

TTY Toll Free: 1-888-334-4046

FAX: (215) 560-6981

Biweekly benefit claims are filed through the Internet or Pennsylvania Teleclaims (PAT).

PENNSYLVANIA TELECLIAMS (PAT)

PAT is a telephone service that allows you to access your claim information.  As an alternative to using the state’s website, PAT offers a convenient, fast way to file biweekly claims by telephone and more.  PAT provides benefit payment information as well as general UC information.  You can also use PAT to change your federal tax-withholding request or to request a duplicate UC-1099G tax statement.

Note: You must have a push button telephone to use PAT, but you do not need touchtone service.  If you do not have touchtone service, but have a telephone with a PULSE/TONE switch, call PAT with the switch in the PULSE position.  When PAT answers your call, place the switch to the TONE position. 

ON-LINE CLAIMS FILING

Check out the website at www.state.pa.us; PA Keyword “unemployment” for additional up to date information about the UC Program, PA keyword “jobs” for the Pennsylvania CareerLink, and PA Keyword “labor and industry” for other Labor and Industry services. 

You may choose to have your UC Benefits directly deposited to your financial institution.  If you wish to have your UC benefit payments issued via direct deposit, you must complete an Authorization for Direct Deposit of UC Benefits (Form UC-310).  This form is included with your initial UC mailings, or it may be completed online at www.state.pa.us; PA Keyword “unemployment.”  Click on Direct Deposit of UC Benefits.”

If you need to make any changes or stop direct deposit, you need to complete and submit a new form.  You may do this online or request another form from your UC Service Center.

PAYMENT OF CLAIMS

The first week of the benefit year that you are unemployed and eligible for benefits is called the “waiting week”.  No UC is payable for the waiting week.  You must claim and serve the waiting week. 

All unemployment compensation benefits are taxable. 

After having filed your biweekly claims and becoming eligible for benefits, you should receive your first benefit payment within four weeks of applying for benefits

BENEFIT PERIOD

Full benefits are payable for either 16 or 26 weeks as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements of the UC Law.

Partial benefits (i.e., benefits in a reduced amount as a result of part-time earnings, holiday pay, vacation pay, or pensions) are also payable as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements of the UC Law, and until you receive your maximum benefit entitlement or until your benefit year ends.  To receive benefits, you must file biweekly claims for benefits.

FILING CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS

Once you have your initial application for UC benefits, you must file a claim for each week in which you are unemployed.  A claim week is a calendar week, which begins Sunday and ends Saturday.  In most cases you will be filing for two claim weeks at one time.  This is called a biweekly claim.  Although you will file for two weeks at one time, you will certify your eligibility for each week separately.

After filing your initial application for UC benefits, you must file for, and then serve, a valid waiting week before any payments will be made to you.  The waiting week is not paid.  Please note that your first benefit payment will be for one week only since you will not be paid for the waiting week.

When to File Your Biweekly Claim

Generally, claims for unemployment benefits are filed on a biweekly basis.  You will file your biweekly claim when both of the weeks you are filing for have ended.  Your biweekly claim must be filed during the Sunday through Friday period of the week immediately following the two weeks you are claiming. 

The first time for you to file your biweekly claim is when the second week on your claim has ended.  You will file your biweekly claim for the first and second weeks of your claim during the third week of your claim. 

You must file your biweekly claim in a timely manner in order to be eligible for benefits for the week or weeks you are claiming.  If you did not file your biweekly claim on time, call the UC service Center to determine if you qualify to file a late claim.  If you need help or have questions about filing your biweekly claim, call your UC Service Center for assistance. 

If you are totally or partially unemployed, you will continue to file biweekly claims once every two weeks (every other week). 

FILING CLAIMS BY INTERNET

You may file your biweekly claim by the Internet Sunday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The web site address is www.state.pa.us; PA Keyword “unemployment.”

Once you submit your biweekly claim on the Internet, a confirmation page will display to let you know that your claim has been accepted.  If you have provided your email address, you will receive an email confirmation.  Do not exit the site before you receive your confirmation.  If you do, your claim will not be filed and you will have to file your claim again.  If you meet all eligibility requirements, your claims will be processed immediately.  If additional information is needed to process your claim, you will be given further instructions.

FILING CLAIMS BY TELEPHONE (PENNSYLVANIA TELECLAIMS-PAT)

You may file your biweekly claim by PAT Sunday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Telephone numbers for PAT are listed in this handbook.  If you get a busy signal, please try again.

 

PAT will inform you that your claim has been accepted or that your answers have been accepted or that your answers have been saved.  If you meet all eligibility requirements, your claim will be processed immediately.  If additional information is needed to process your claim, you will be given further instructions.

 

Do not hang up the telephone until PAT tells you that your claim has been accepted or that your answers have been saved. If you hang up or get disconnected before PAT tells you that your claim has been accepted, you will have to call again to file your claim for benefits.

 

PAT SHORT-CUT FOR FILING BIWEEKLY CLAIM

 

Immediately after PAT answers your call, press 1,3,1; enter your Social Security Number and PIN.  By using this shortcut, you are avoiding having to listen to the PAT menu options and prompts.  By pressing:

1       You are indicating that you are calling from a push button telephone;

3       You are choosing the biweekly claim certificate menu option; and

1         You are verifying that you have chosen the option you wanted.

 

PAT Number in Philadelphia        (215) 560-1978

PAT Toll Free                               1-888-255-4728

PAT TTY TOLL FREE (*)              1-888-411-4728

 

PAT is available Sunday through Friday from 5a.m. to 9 p.m.

*Persons using text telephone (TTY) may access PAT by dialing this number.  This service can only be accessed if the call is made from a TTY device.  If you do not have a TTY device, do not call PAT using any of the TTY number provided; instead, call PAT using your local number or the toll free number (if you do not have a local PAT number).

 

FILING CLAIMS BY MAIL

You may file your biweekly claims by mail only if you:

·        Do not have access to a push button telephone;

·        Have limited ability to communicate in the English language;

·        Have a disability that prevents you from using the Internet or PAT;

·        Are receiving TRA or NAFTA Transitional Adjustment Assistance;

 

If you are filing your claims by mail, you will be mailed a claim form.  Use this form to file your claim for benefits for the claim week(s) indicated on the face of the form in the block entitled “Claim Week(s) Ending On.”  Each claim week represents a calendar week beginning on a Sunday and ending at midnight on the Saturday date listed.  If you do not receive an expected claim form or your claim form becomes lost, stolen, misplaced, or destroyed, please contact the UC Service center immediately. 

 

Completing Your Claim Form

 

Complete the form by providing all applicable information.  The information being requested applies to your claim status for the week(s) being claimed as indicated in the “Claim Week(s) Ending ON” block of this form.

 

If you were employed during one or both of the weeks being claimed, provide the employer's complete name(s) and address (es) including zip code(s), and give the actual date(s) worked, total hours worked, hourly rate, and gross pay in Item 6.  Provide the reason(s) for any separation(s) from employment and an explanation in Item 7.

 

If you received holiday or vacation pay during the week(s) being claimed, you must give complete information in Item 6.  Provide the gross amount of holiday pay or vacation pay attributable to each day.

 

If you wish to claim only one of the claim weeks listed on the form, cross out the claim week that you do not wish to claim and provide an explanation in Item 7 as to why you are not claiming that week.

 

If you change your name, address, and or telephone number, PRINT the new information clearly and legibly in Item 7.  For address changes, include your street or rural route, city, state, zip code, and the county where you live. 

 

If you are filing for TRA or NAFTA benefits, you are required to report your weekly work search activity.  You must indicate your job contacts on the reverse of the claim form.

 

Claim Form Certification

 

After you have completed your claim form, sign and date the form in the space provided at the bottom of the form.  Your signature certifies the completeness and truthfulness of the information on the form.  If you have any questions regarding how to complete the form, contact the UC Service Center. 

 

Mailing Your Claim

 

When submitting your completed form, be sure to do the following:

 

1.    Enter your name and return mailing address in the upper left corner of the envelope.

2.    Affix the proper postage to the envelope.

3.    Mail your claim form to the UC Service Center.

4.    Mail your claim form during the week beginning with the date printed in the “Claimant Instructions” area of the form. If it is postmarked before the 

    date, it will be returned to you.  If it postmarked after that week, you may 

    be filing too late and be ineligible for one or both weeks of benefits.

Processing You Claim

 

If all eligibility requirements have been met, your claim form will be processed for payment.  An improperly completed claim form will be returned to you for correction, resulting in a delay of payment of benefits. Please review your completed claim form carefully before mailing it to the UC Service Center.

 

DISAGREEMENT WITH A BENEFIT DECISION

 

If you receive a decision that denies benefits, but you think you should be eligible, or if you receive a decision that grants benefits, but you think that you should be eligible for more benefits, you may appeal. When and how to appeal depends on the kind of decision you are appealing.  It is important that you direct your appeal to the proper authorities. 

 

UC Service Center Determination

 

You may appeal a UC Service Center determination to a UC Referee.  The Referee will hold a hearing and notify you and other parties of the date, time and place of the hearing.  It is important that you, and other witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the facts, appear and testify I person. 

 

You may use a Petition for Appeal form, a letter, or email to appeal.  Regardless of the format you choose, your appeal must include your name and address, your Social Security Number, the date of the determination being appealed and the reason for the appeal.  If you use a Petition for Appeal form or letter to appeal, you may file your appeal by mail, common carrier, and fax or by personal delivery to any Pennsylvania CareerLink office during normal business hours.

To be timely, the appeal must be filed within 15 calendar days of the mailing date shown on the UC Service Center determination.  The last day to file a timely appeal is shown on the determination as the “final day to appeal this determination.”

 

*tnb/PACE 2-286/afl-cio