The process of claiming Pennsylvania unemployment benefits is a continuous one. After you file your initial claim and receive approval, you then have to file biweekly claims for benefits. The biweekly claims verify your eligibility for the weeks in question and are your way of asking for a payment from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. If you don't file the claims, you won't receive any payment for those weeks.
Filing your biweekly unemployment claim verifies your eligibility for benefits for the two weeks prior to your filing dates. When you file your biweekly claim, you answer questions about your job search; any income earned for those two weeks and any employment opportunities you may have turned down. Once you've filed your claim, the PDLI reviews your information and releases a benefit payment to you.
If you have access to a computer and the Internet, the quickest way to file your biweekly claims with the PDLI is through the website (see Resources). This service is available on Sundays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. You must be logged into the system at least ten minutes before the closing time if you want to use the online system to certify. After you finish answering all of the questions, your computer will display a confirmation screen.
Filing By Phone
Another convenient way to file your biweekly claims with the PDLI is by calling into the Pennsylvania Teleclaims (PAT) system. Call the local PAT number for your area Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. or Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (see Resources). Remember to use a touchtone phone so you can use the touchpad to answer the questions. You should also avoid using a cell phone to avoid accidentally losing the call due to bad reception. Do not hang up until you have finished answering all of the questions and you hear a confirmation message indicating you are done.
Filing by Mail
The final option for filing biweekly Pennsylvania unemployment claims is by mail. This method is recommended only for those who don't have access to either the Internet or the telephone. Fill out the form in its entirely, sign at the bottom and date it. Mail it to the address on the form and remember to affix the proper postage to the envelope. If there are any corrections needed to your form, the PDLI will mail it back to you, delaying your payment date.
Michaele Curtis began writing professionally in 2001. As a freelance writer for the Centers for Disease Control, Nationwide Insurance and AT&T Interactive, her work has appeared in "Insurance Today," "Mobiles and PDAs" and "Curve Magazine." Curtis holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Louisiana State University.