How Much Can You Earn & Continue to Receive Pennsylvania Unemployment Benefits?

by Michaele Curtis; Updated September 26, 2017

Although it might seem that you can’t earn any money on unemployment benefits, Pennsylvania unemployment allows you to work part-time while collecting benefits. The amount you can earn depends on the amount you’re eligible to collect from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (PDLI). Based on your partial benefit credit and the amount you report in income, the state distributes a partial benefit payment to you instead of the full amount.

Partial Unemployment

Partially unemployment claimants are those who work less than 40 hours per week and earn less they would receive from unemployment each week. This can occur if your employer reduces your hours due to lack of work. It may also happen if your employer lays you off a full-time job and you can only find a part-time job to replace it. it also applies to situations where you were working two part-time jobs and lose one of them.

Partial Benefit Credit

You can’t receive your full weekly benefit amount while working. Instead, Pennsylvania gives you a partial payment based on the partial benefit credit laws. Your partial benefit credit is the amount you can earn each week from your part-time employment before Pennsylvania adjusts your unemployment benefits from the full eligible amount. Your partial benefit credit is 40 percent of your weekly benefit amount.

Reporting Income

As a Pennsylvania unemployment claimant, you must certify for benefits every two weeks. Although you’re certifying for two weeks, you do it for each week separately. Just go through each question answering truthfully, including the one that asks whether you earned income for the previous weeks. The PDLI will review your answers, verify the information with your current employer and distribute your unemployment payments accordingly.

Calculating Partial Benefits

The amount of money Pennsylvania distributes to you on partial unemployment is directly related to the amount you reported during your weekly claims certification. If you reported more than your weekly benefit amount, you won’t receive any payment for that week at all. If you report less than 40 percent of your weekly benefit amount, you receive your entire eligible benefit amount. If you report more than 40 percent of your weekly benefit amount, everything over the 40 percent threshold is deducted from your eligible payment and you receive the rest.

About the Author

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.