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Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides benefits to eligible workers. The Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under Pennsylvania law), and meet other eligibility requirements of Pennsylvania law. Unemployment insurance (UI) payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of Pennsylvania law.

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must have worked in Pennsylvania during the past 12 to 18 months and have earned at least a minimum amount of wages as determined by the guidelines. You must also be able to work and available for work each week that you are collecting benefits.

To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked, even if you reside in a different state. In Pennsylvania, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online.

Created in 1935, Unemployment Insurance is a form of social insurance in which taxes collected from employers are paid into the system on behalf of working people to provide them with income support if they lose their jobs. The system also helps sustain consumer demand during economic downturns by providing a continuing stream of dollars for families to spend.

The basic unemployment insurance program is run by the states, although the U.S. Department of Labor oversees the system. The basic program in most states provides up to 26 weeks of benefits to unemployed workers, replacing about half of their previous wages, on average. States provide most of the funding and pay for the actual benefits provided to workers; the federal government pays only the administrative costs. Although states are subject to a few federal requirements, they are generally able to set their own eligibility criteria and benefit levels.

If you or someone you know has questions about unemployment insurance contact an RMN attorney today at or 412-626-5626.


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