Here’s how to file for unemployment in Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH — If you’re looking to file for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania, here’s what you need to know.


First, be prepared to prove that you’re actively searching for a job. One way this can be done is by going through Pennsylvania CareerLink. If you’d like to make an appointment at either the Pittsburgh or Forest Hills office, CLICK HERE.

To meet the work search requirements, people receiving jobless benefits must apply for two jobs and complete their work search activity from an approved list of seven options each week.

Here is what qualifies as work search activities:

  • Attending a job fair
  • Searching open positions on PA CareerLink or job posting boards
  • Creating and uploading a resume to PA CareerLink or job posting boards
  • Seeking job networking opportunities
  • Using an employment agency, employment registry or school placement service
  • Taking a civil service test or other pre-employment test
  • Participating in a training workshop or event offered through PA CareerLink

CLICK HERE for more information on the work search requirement.


Have your personal information ready, along with information for your most recent employer.

Personal information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Home address and mailing address (if different)
  • Telephone number
  • Valid email
  • Keystone ID and Password, if available
  • Direct deposit bank information (optional) -- bank name, address, account and routing number.

Most recent employer information:

  • Employer’s name, address and phone number
  • Employer’s PA UC account number (if known)
  • First and last day worked with employer
  • Reason for leaving
  • Pension or severance package information (if applicable)

CLICK HERE for a helpful requirements checklist.


You should file your initial unemployment compensation claim application using one of the following methods:

  • Online: An online application can be filed using our secure website 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
  • Telephone: An application can be filed on the statewide unemployment compensation toll-free number at 1-888-313-7284.
  • Videophone service: For individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL), videophone service is available every Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 717-704-8474.

CLICK HERE for self-service step-by-step instructions.


Below are links to additional resources and information: