Most people are eligible to receive Pennsylvania unemployment compensation benefits for 26 weeks. However, not all employees receive 26 weeks of benefits. If an employee has not worked enough credit weeks, they will not receive the full 26 weeks of PA UC benefits.
If you have not worked for the employer for at least 16 weeks, you will not be entitled to any unemployment benefits. If you have worked for the employer for 16 or 17 weeks, you will receive 16 weeks of benefits. If you have worked for your employer for more than 18 weeks, you will then be entitled to the full 26 weeks of PA UC benefits.
How do the federal unemployment compensation extensions factor in?
In addition to state unemployment compensation programs, the federal government provides Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits. The extended benefits you are eligible for depend on the state you live in and the date you became unemployed.
Federally mandated programs extend unemployment benefits if certain conditions are met. In some high-unemployment states, benefits can last as long as 99 weeks. In Pennsylvania, if the percentage of jobless workers covered by unemployment insurance reaches a certain level, the program will provide 8-13 more weeks of benefits to workers who qualify. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor has more information on EUC benefits.
2013 Legal Update
Act 6 and Act 60 of 2012 reformed several aspects of Pennsylvania unemployment compensation law to protect the solvency of the Pennsylvania unemployment fund. One of the changes affected the length that unemployment benefits can be collected.
The Act eliminated the fixed duration of unemployment benefits of 16 or 26 weeks and introduced a variable duration — on week of benefits for each “credit week” in the base year, up to a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits.