Navigating Unemployment Compensation

Philadelphia Legal Assistance has limited capacity to help with unemployment cases at this time.  We are only able to help with cases where: 

  • You have a hearing scheduled with a referee 
  • You have appealed a notice of determination saying you are ineligible for benefits which you have appealed AND you have received a copy of it back in the mail.  The document you receive back in the mail will have an appeal number in the lower right-hand corner.   

If you have either one of these situations, please call us Monday-Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 215-981-3800.

If your unemployment problem is something else, please do the following: 

If you have a notice saying you are ineligible for unemployment benefits, you must appeal before the deadline listed on the notice. If you missed the deadline you should still appeal. Go to for more information. 

If you need information on Appealing a UC Decision or Extending your Benefits, check out our guide on how to access and keep UC benefits for the basics.

If you believe your identity has been used by someone else to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, learn how to report this fradulent claim. 

If you have issues with Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), you can call Community Legal Services at 215.981.3700 to leave a message for an advocate to get back to you.  However, if your benefits have stopped due to an identity issue, you will receive e-mail communication from the government this week that will help you restart benefits. 

PUA October Updates

Did you lose work prior to the week you opened your PUA claim?

You can request that your claim be “backdated” so that your benefits accurately reflect your period of unemployment.

How to Request Backdating:

  • Call the PUA Call Center at 855-284-8545.
  • Email
    • Include "Back Date Request" in the subject line of the email.
    • Provide exact dates and how COVID-19 affected your employment or self-employment for the additional weeks you wish to claim.
    • You only need to send one email request.

Is your claim "In Progress?"

  • If you have been waiting with "In Progress" payments due to an identity confirmation issue, PLA understands that the government will have a new process that will allow you to quickly verify your identity and have benefits released within the next week.
  • There is no action PLA can take at this time to have your benefits released more quickly.

Be on the look out the week of October 5, 2020 for an email from the government with instructions on the steps you need to take to resolve this issue.

If you are having some other issue, please see our UC FAQ page.  We have also created a one-page document for the most common current questions about regular UC and one about PUA.  If you believe someone has created a fraudulent PUA account in your name, review this document.  You will find information in these resources that may help you resolve your unemployment compensation problem.