Unemployment Compensation Unit

The Unemployment Compensation Unit assists clients with getting, keeping, and resolving problems with unemployment compensation.

Practice Areas: Unemployment Compensation

Intake Procedure:

Applicants for legal assistance may call the telephone intake line or apply online. People who need assistance filing an initial application for unemployment compensation can apply for benefits on-line or call the statewide number at 888-313-7284.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicant must be LSC eligible and a resident of Philadelphia.

Funded By: Legal Services Corporation


Centering Workers—How to Modernize Unemployment Insurance Technology


October 5, 2020

The Century Foundation, the National Employment Law Project, and Philadelphia Legal Assistance today released the findings of an intensive study of state efforts to modernize their unemployment insurance benefit systems. This is the first report to detail how technology modernization has altered the experience of jobless workers.

The report, which was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, draws lessons from state modernization experiences and recommends user-friendly design and implementation methods for future projects.

PLA Wins Unemployment Benefits for UberX Driver in Lowman v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review



Julia Simon-Mishel 

Supervising Attorney, Philadelphia Legal Assistance 

E-mail: jsimonmishel@philalegal.org 

Phone: (215) 981-3889                                                 

UC and PUA: Frequently Asked Questions

Unemployment Compensation (UC) FAQ

I still have not received a PIN number, what should I do?

If you submitted your initial application for UC benefits over three weeks ago and have not received a PIN number in the mail, you should request a new one using this form.

Please note, if you are able to use the PIN number from a previous UC claim if you have one.

Pennsylvania Rolls Out Federal Stimulus Enhancements to Unemployment Compensation Benefits

On Friday evening, April 10, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced important progress by the Commonwealth in implementing supplemental unemployment benefits made available by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These new benefits will bring desperately needed relief to unemployed workers throughout the Commonwealth.

PLA publishes information about unemployment compensation and COVID-19

Closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting access to unemployment compensation benefits.  PLA has published guidance on how to apply for unemployment after a job loss related to COVID-19.

Unemployment Compensation for Puerto Ricans Affected by Hurricane Maria

An estimated 10,000+ Puerto Ricans who were jobless after #HurricaneMaria and #HurricaneIrma could now qualify for up to 52 weeks of Disaster Unemployment Assistance under just-announced extended federal program. The following resource was put together by the National Employment Law Project, Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico, and LatinoJustice PRLDEF  to help advocates better assist workers who may qualify for this essential aid.    

PLA Wins Commonwealth Court Victory in Uber Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 25, 2018

Julia Simon-Mishel
Staff Attorney, Philadelphia Legal Assistance

E-mail: jsimonmishel@philalegal.org
Phone: (215) 981-3889                                                     

PLA releases report on the current unemployment compensation crisis

February 3, 2017 -- Philadelphia Legal Assistance has released a report, No Relief to Those Who Need It Most: The Unemployment Compensation Crisis of 2016 -2017, on the effects of recent staff furloughs at the Department of Labor and Industry on Pennsylvania's unemployed workers.

Job Postings

Overpayment Defense Attorney (Unemployment Compensation Unit)
Overpayment Defense Attorney, Unemployment Compensation Unit: Full-Time Position
Anticipated start date: September 2020
Current location:  Remote until at least Jan. 1, 2021
Hiring timeframe:  Rolling, final application deadline of September 1, 2020
Application requirements: Cover letter, resume, references, and a five-page legal-writing writing sample


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check the status of my unemployment compensation claim?

You can call the UC Service Center at 888-313-7284.  The Service Center only take calls on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The least busiest time to call is towards the end of the day.  If you are still waiting on hold at 4 p.m., you will be asked to leave a message, and you should receive a call back that evening or the next day.  Due to a staff shortage at the Service Center, you may experience busy signals and/or long delays.


Rachel Miller - Attorney
Michael Riccio - Paralegal
Julia Simon-Mishel - Attorney

Julia Simon-Mishel is the Supervising Attorney of the Unemployment Compensation Unit.

Aaron Sommer - Attorney