By Jonathon B. Young | Esquire

Filing for unemployment benefits can seem like a daunting process, but it doesn't have to be. Unemployed Pennsylvania workers may file initial applications or reopen their existing claims for Unemployment Compensation benefits by one of two methods: 

  1. An applicant can use the telephone claims service by calling the state-wide toll free number (888) 313-7284; or
  2. An applicant can file an initial claim via the internet website, .

Unfortunately, local Unemployment Compensation offices are a thing of the past and Pennsylvania Unemployment Service Centers have dwindled down to four or five brick and mortar locations statewide. As such, every post-application issue must be dealt with via phone, fax or email. Keep these communication methods in mind if you have a question regarding your application. 

It is also important to remember what kind of individuals qualify for unemployment compensation. Remember, Unemployment Compensation is for a worker who is laid off or is fired for reasons that do not constitute “willful misconduct”. Unemployment benefits are possible for an employee who quits a job if it is determined to be a “necessitous quit” under the Unemployment Compensation Act. Consequently, even if you have been fired from your position you may still be eligible for Unemployment Compensation benefits and should apply.

Lastly, all Unemployment Claimants should also know that their employer is not the ultimate arbiter of whether or not they are entitled to Unemployment Compensation benefits.  That decision is made solely by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation.

Call Jon Young of our office for additional information on Unemployment Compensation.