Losing a job, especially if it happens unexpectedly, can put you and your family under a great deal of financial stress. Fortunately, Pennsylvania labor laws allow employees who suddenly find themselves out of work to ease the burden by collecting unemployment compensation. However, there are strict eligibility requirements you must meet to be approved. Below is an overview of the guidelines used to determine whether or not someone qualifies to receive benefits. 

Understanding Unemployment Compensation Eligibility

Previous Earnings

Before you can collect unemployment compensation, it must be established that you have earned enough during a one-year base period. This refers to the earliest four out of the five most recent calendar quarters that were completed before your claim is filed. During this period, Pennsylvania labor laws require that you earn a minimum of $116 per week for at least 18 weeks, a minimum of $1,688 during the highest quarter in your base period, and a minimum of $3,391 total wages during your base period. 

Reasons for Unemployment 

labor lawAnother qualifying factor for unemployment benefits is the reason why you’re out of work. It can’t be through any fault of your own. Typically, you will meet this requirement if you were laid off or fired because you simply weren’t a good fit for the job. On the other hand, if you were fired for misconduct or resigned out of your own free will, your application will be denied. In some cases, you may still be eligible if you had a compelling reason to quit, such as for health reasons or loss of transportation, and can prove you made every effort to keep your job. 

Availability to Work  

Finally, if you begin receiving benefits, labor laws require that you continue looking for employment and make yourself available to accept a job offer. A reasonable work search consists of applying to at least two jobs per week along with conducting one other work search activity. Failure to comply with these obligations will make you ineligible to continue collecting unemployment. 



If your application for unemployment compensation is denied and you believe you’re entitled to collect benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. Before doing so, it’s best to consult an attorney at Achille Law, P.C in Brookville, PA. They have extensive knowledge of local labor laws and decades of experience handling such cases. Call (814) 849-6701 to arrange a consultation or visit them online for more information about the legal services they offer.