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Pennsylvania Unemployment Eligibility -- Company Move

Updated on October 7, 2011

Unemployment Basics

In the United States, each state is required to have an unemployment compensation program in place to assist workers who are temporarily out of work. In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, or PDLI, is responsible for processing and administering applications for unemployment compensation. If your company recently relocated, and you either were not offered the option to relocate or were unable to accept the relocation option, you may be entitled to unemployment compensation benefits.

What Happens If Your Pennsylvania Based Employer Moves?

In order to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits in Pennsylvania, you must be out of work through no fault of your own. If your company relocated to another city or state and you were not offered the option to relocate as well, then you are likely out of work through no fault of your own. On the other hand, if your company offered you the option to relocate and retain your job and you declined the offer, that may be viewed as a voluntary resignation. If you voluntarily quit your job, you must provide a very compelling reason in order to be eligible for benefits. While the PDLI will look at each situation on an individual basis, compelling reasons could include a spouse who cannot leave her job, a home that you are unable to sell, or health conditions that would prevent you from moving to the new location.

Base Period Wages

Along with the requirement that you be out of work through no fault of your own, you must also have earned enough money during your base year to qualify for unemployment compensation benefits. The income you earned during the first four of the last five completed quarters prior to the date of application for benefits makes up your base year. For example, if you apply on May 15th, your base year will be from January first fo the previous year through December 31st of the previous year. You must have earned sufficient wages during this time to qualify. You must also have at least 16 credit weeks in your base year. A credit week is any calendar week in which you earned at least $50.

Benefit Amount

The amount of your weekly benefit will depend on how much income you earned during your base year. The exact benefit amount will depend on a number of other factors as well, but it is roughly equal to one-half your full-time weekly wage. You may also receive an allowance for a dependent spouse or child. The number of weeks you may receive benefits will be determined by the number of credit weeks you have. If you have 18 or more credit weeks, you may be entitled to receive the maximum number of weeks of unemployment compensation benefits, or 26 weeks.

How to Apply

You may file for benefits online through the PDLI website. You may also apply at any of the offices if you do not have access to a computer. You will need contact information for your employer as well as dates of employment when you apply.


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