10 Tips about Applying for Unemployment Compensation


  1. Ask for help when you need it. That's what Philadelphia Legal Assistance is here for! Call us or apply online for help with your specific situation.
  2. Always file your appeals before the deadline. However, during the COVID-19 crisis, Notices of Financial Determinations have been mailed out past the date of appeal. The government has been lenient with the appeal date, so even if you are past your date of appeal listed on your Notice of Financial Determination, you should still file an appeal, but do so as soon as you receive the determination letter.
  3. Make sure you file biweekly claims.
  4. Make sure you report all hours worked and earnings (even if not yet paid) in each biweekly claim..
  5. Always check your mail for letters from the government..
  6. Be truthful and accurate in your conversations with the government. However, you are not required to provide more information than they ask of you. When you have been fired from a job, it is the employer's burden to prove you did something wrong, don't do it for them.
  7. Provide documentation supporting your case (pay stubs, tax forms, messages to or from your employer).
  8. You only have to be able to do some type of work (for instance, light duty or remote work) in order to qualify for unemployment. Even if you left your previous job for health reasons, if you are cleared for some type of work then it is important to let Unemployment know that you are "able and available" for work.
  9. Review the Unemployment Compensation Handbook.
  10. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you do not need to register for JobGateway.  Before the pandemic, you had to register for JobGateway within 30 days of filing for benefits. If you had been denied benefits because you did not register for JobGateway, you could register immediately and your benefits would be turned back on. Any advice you see about JobGateway is not relevant while we are in the COVID-19 pandemic.