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workers have earned their PA UNEMPLOYMENT compensation benefits!

We are here to help you navigate the Unemployment Compensation system. And we are advocating for changes to make that system better.



What is Unemployment Compensation (UC)?

The Unemployment Compensation (UC) program provides temporary income for eligible employees who lose their job or have their hours reduced through no fault of their own. PA workers pay taxes into the program, which is intended to help them meet expenses while they seek new employment, with benefits based on a percentage of previous wages.

PA workers may be eligible for UC if they…
  • were laid off off by their employer or had their hours reduced.
  • were terminated, but not because of intentional wrongdoing or violations of policies (called “willful misconduct” in the UC appeal system.)
  • voluntarily left work because of necessary and compelling reasons, such as health, safety, or significant changes in work conditions.
  • are able, available, and legally authorized to work in the US.
What kinds of workers are eligible?
  • Most employees who receive W2 tax forms are eligible.
  • Many construction workers and “gig workers” employed by businesses such as ride share companies and delivery services are also eligible, including some called “independent contractors” by their employers.
  • If you’re not sure, apply anyway! For every application, UC reviews the specific facts of each case.
Filing claims for Unemployment Compensation (UC)
  • To file a claim online at the PA UC website, go to benefits.uc.pa.gov.
  • If you don’t have access to the internet or have problems using computers, you can apply by phone at 1-888-313-7284. Call volumes and wait times are still high.
  • You can also schedule an in-person appointment through the UC Connect program by calling your local PA CareerLink office.
  • For language interpretation, call 888-313-7284 for a conference call with a UC staff person and interpreter. You can include another person of your choice on the call to help you. 
  • For ASL Videophone Service call 717-704-8474. For Text Telephone Service (TTY) call 888-334-4046 from a TTY device.
  • If you have problems filing, email uchelp@pa.gov and request a callback. The UC website also provides a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page and a UC System Resources page with videos and user guides on how to complete the application.
  • Currently the full review process to make a determination of applicant eligibility  is still taking between 4-8 weeks. Visit this UC web page for more information about how eligibility is determined. 
  • YES, you can appeal UC determinations, often triggered by unfounded employer challenges to your elibigility that you can contest by presenting evidence in an appeal hearing. Our benefit advocates can help provide useful information to help prepare for such appeals!

Unemployment Compensation (UC) Claims Assistance

We help people having problems accessing benefits by offering advice on UC claim eligibility issues, guidance through the appeal process, and holding Benefits Rights Meetings for groups that need access to UC, PUA or Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program benefits.

If you need help with your claim, you can contact us by filling out this short form. One of our staff will follow up with you.

You can also call our office at 412-462-9962 and leave a message with your name and phone number.

Contact Us:

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You can make a difference!

There are hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians still waiting for a ruling on their eligibility for unemployment benefits. And the number grows every day.

Many of these unemployed workers have been waiting for months. Waiting for benefits destroys families, leads to evictions, foreclosures, utility shut offs and hungry kids.

We are organizing unemployed workers and working with allies across the state to share our concerns and recommendations with the Department of Labor & Industry to improve the system and make sure that Pennsylvania workers receive the benefits that they have earned in a timely way.  Join us. Our elected officials need to hear your voice. And they need to know that we are organized.

For more information on how to get involved or share your story for advocacy, email us at info@monvalleyunemployed.org.

Who We ARE



Since 1982, the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee has helped unemployed workers get the benefits that they need to remake their lives. When those programs have holes in them, we empower people to make changes by pushing for new legislative efforts or institutional change. Our organization has taken the lead in many battles, fighting to better the lives of workers and their families.

  • Organized homeowners facing foreclosure into a campaign that won legislation protecting unemployed, sick and injured workers’ homes.
  • Won several extensions of federal unemployment benefits and changed state and federal retraining policies, winning tens of millions of dollars in cash and retraining benefits for workers who lost their jobs due to imports
  • Won passage of a state law eliminating 180,000 welfare liens worth $680 million. We ended this policy by involving thousands of homeowners with welfare liens in our Campaign to Remove the Welfare Lien
  • Won rollbacks of drastic increases in co-payments for 90,000 Pennsylvania families with children in subsidized childcare.
2000 – Today

Worked successfully in coalition with unions, community organizations and faith groups to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage and to pass federal extensions of unemployment benefits during the 2008 financial crisis.


  • Barney Oursler, Director

  • Donna Swangler, Benefits Advocate

  • Helen Gerhardt, Benefits Advocate

Board of Directors

  • John Stember, Chair – Partner at Stember, Cohen and Welling Law Offices
  • Arnold Brown, Finance Committee Chair – Retired Foundry Worker and USPS Letter Carrier
  • Pat Cronin – Retired Nurse
  • Matt Gulish – Union Carpenter
  • Betty Kaczka – Retired Retail Worker
  • Jean Kennedy – Retired Nurse
  • Joe Kubicar – Retired Steelworker
  • Antonio Lodico – Principal at ASL Analytics
  • Moshe Marvit – Fellow at The Century Foundation
  • Matt Richards – Principal at Sequal Consulting
  • Jordan Romanus – Staff at ROC United
  • Cal Schuchman – Retired Public Transit Driver