Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance Eligibility

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Unless an employee deliberately acted in a way the he or she knew would result in termination of employment, a fired employee can collect Pennsylvania unemployment payments. In order to prevent an employee from receiving those unemployment benefits, an employer must prove the employee was guilty of “willful misconduct.” This means, if you are fired because of unintentional deficiencies in your work or because your supervisor dislikes you, you can collect unemployment payments unless your employer can prove you did something wrong on purpose.

Understanding Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits

Pennsylvania unemployment insurance eligibility is more yielding to workers than some states, by providing that if you were fired through no fault of your own, then you are eligible for unemployment payments. Essentially, this means that as long as you didn’t deliberately do something wrong or do something that resulted in your termination, you should be able to collect benefits. Furthermore, if you left for “good cause” and you really had no option, then you may be eligible as well.

Because the rules in Pennsylvania provide unemployment benefits unless you were guilty of willful misconduct, you should be eligible for unemployment payments provided you meet the other eligibility requirements. For example:

  • You have to have earned a certain amount to be covered.
  • Your eligibility will be based on your highest quarterly wages, credit weeks during the year, and total wages. 
  • You must be capable of working and willing to work. If you refuse work that is offered, your reasons must be sound. 

If your employer questions your right to benefits, he may need to prove that you did something that renders you ineligible. The more evidence and information you have to counteract this proof, the better your chances of successfully receiving your benefits.


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