Unemployment / Pennsylvania / Calculator

Pennsylvania Unemployment Calculator: Estimate Your Weekly Pay

Written by Ben Tejes
Updated Oct 4th, 2022

Did you just lose your job and wonder if an Pennsylvania unemployment calculator can help estimate your eligibility, benefit amount and duration? Or are you worried that you will face Pennsylvania unemployment?

That gut-wrenching anxiety when you fear that you face bills that you cannot pay and debt collectors ringing your phone. That said, you may qualify for unemployment, and we will help you estimate whether you qualify and how much you qualify for in Pennsylvania.

How Much is Pennsylvania Unemployment?

The Pennsylvania unemployment department has a system for determining how much your weekly unemployment payment amount will be. 

People who are eligible for unemployment in Pennsylvania will receive a weekly payment amount between $68 and $594. The maximum length of Pennsylvania unemployment benefits is 18 - 26 weeks.

How much will your receive each week from Pennsylvania unemployment insurance? Take the free Pennsylvania unemployment benefits calculator below based on the Pennsylvania state guidelines to estimate your benefit amount.

How is Unemployment Calculated in Pennsylvania? 

You may wonder why you are not eligible for the Pennsylvania maximum unemployment amount of . Let’s go through how your Pennsylvania unemployment is calculated

Weekly Benefit Amount is Based on a Wages Table

In Pennsylvania, your weekly benefit amount is based on a benefits table that compares your income and the weekly benefit amount. For example, you can see the  Pennsylvania unemployment benefits table that shows your income to benefit amount exactly. That said, there may be additional calculations to understand.

What happens if your weekly benefit amount calculation is over the $594 weekly maximum set by the State of Pennsylvania? If you are someone who earns more than this amount annually you will just receive the weekly maximum. Currently, that is the maximum amount of unemployment weekly benefits that are allowed. That amount may go up as the cost of living continues to increase but as for right now it is capped at weekly.  

When Will I Receive My First Unemployment Payment?

Please note you may have to wait until you receive your first weekly benefit payment.

In a few business days after you file a Pennsylvania unemployment claim for unemployment in Pennsylvania you may receive a form in the mail. This document describes an estimate on what you will receive as your total annual benefit, and weekly benefit amount.  

How long does unemployment last in Pennsylvania? 

Unemployment benefits can last 18 - 26 weeks in Pennsylvania. That being said, there are several requirements that you must complete/meet in order to keep your benefits active. 

There is also the possibility that you can exhaust your claim. Exhausting your claim happens when you use up all your eligible funds for the year. If this happens you are not eligible to get claim more unemployment until your initial claim expires.

Claims often expire about 52 weeks (1 year) from when you filed for benefits the first time. At that point you would just file a new initial claim. If you get to a point where you are unsure on the dollar amount of benefits you have available to you, you may be able to login to your portal to understand your eligibility.

Unemployment Eligibility Overview

Let’s go through an unemployment overview. If you are here, you probably have either lost your job, are about to lose your job, or know someone who has lost their job and you are trying to find resources to help calm their anxiety.  There are many reasons why you may become unemployed. The most common reasons of job loss are:  

  • Furloughed  
  • Terminated  
  • Going on Leave of Absence (voluntary or involuntary)  
  • Resignation 

Do any of these apply to you? You may qualify for unemployment benefits, but let’s look at the Pennsylvania unemployment language below. 

The amount of qualifying wages needed is determined by the amount of wages in the High Quarter. For instance, if your High Quarter was $1688, you must have at least $2,718 total qualifying wages in the base year. If your High Quarter was $7,500, you must have at least $11,924 total qualifying wages in the base year to qualify for the corresponding (weekly) rate (of compensation) of $295. To be eligible, at least 37 percent of the total qualifying wage (as in Part C of the Rate and Amount of Benefits Chart) must have been paid in one or more quarters other than in your High Quarter.

In addition, you may need to work to maintain eligibility by showing that you have been applying for jobs. For more information, check Pennsylvania unemployment maintaining eligibility.

If you apply and are denied unemployment benefits, please check the Pennsylvania unemployment denials appeals process. You can reach the unemployment office at 888-313-7284. Here are the hours that the unemployment office is reachable: Monday - Friday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (EST)

Important Aspects About The Unemployment Benefits Calculator 

This Pennsylvania unemployment calculator above is not designed to be any form of guarantee, more so an estimate. It is meant to provide some hope, and ultimately alleviate any anxiety you may be having by helping you understand your financial hardship options in Pennsylvania.  

In order to get the best results, please enter your data as truthful and as accurate as possible. This will help save you from a potential let down if you end up needing to file for some form of debt relief or financial assistance.  

Financial Hardship Options While Unemployed in Pennsylvania

Let’s say your unemployment leads to a lawsuit, which leads to a Pennsylvania wage garnishment. Then what?

There is nothing worse than having a lot of debt and losing your main/only source of income. There are things that you are going to make a priority like your rent/mortgage, utilities, food, medical care. That is only a fraction of your financial picture, what do you do about the rest? Like other debt obligations such as unsecured debts (credit cards, collections, personal loans, etc.) If you feel like you have no options other than to just not pay your debt and get hounded with collection calls until you get back on your feet, think again. Here are some ways to deal with your debt while you are navigating this next chapter of life.  

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania is also known as liquidation bankruptcy. Most unsecured debts are usually discharged within 90-120 days (3-4 months). 

You must meet certain income and asset requirements to qualify for this type of bankruptcy, which is the Pennsylvania bankruptcy means test. Here’s the household income requirements below for cases filed in Pennsylvania on or after May 15, 2022.

 
# of PeopleAnnual Income
1$61,530
2$74,369
3$93,412
4$113,037
5$122,937
6$132,837
7$142,737
8$152,637
9$162,537

Not sure if you would qualify for chapter 7 bankruptcy? You can estimate your Chapter 7 qualification and cost here.

Please note that the cost to file bankruptcy in Pennsylvania is $338 for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or $313 for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. That said, if you cannot afford this, you can potentially get those fees waived if your income is below the following guidelines.

# of People150% Poverty Guideline
1$13,590
2$18,310
3$23,030
4$27,750
5$32,470
6$37,190
7$41,910
8$46,630
9$51,350
* Add $4,720 for each individual in excess of 9.

If you cannot afford any of these options, please consider the following legal aid resources in Pennsylvania

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy in Pennsylvania 

Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania is a payment plan bankruptcy often of 3 or 5 years. Individuals may choose this option if they do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or if you have equity in an asset such as a vehicle above the Pennsylvania bankruptcy exemptions. 

In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, priority creditors are paid back first (mortgage, auto loans, child support, IRS debt and other secured debts.) At that point, any left-over money may go to pay your unsecured creditors. For 3 or 5 years you will make monthly payments to the bankruptcy trustee for a set amount until you fulfill the agreed amount. 

You can estimate your chapter 13 bankruptcy payments here

Pennsylvania Debt Relief

Pennsylvania Debt Relief is when you negotiate your debts with your creditors to pay less than you owe. Usually, you pay 40-50% of what you owe. You typically will work with a debt settlement company or your attorney to get an agreement in writing. 

If you choose to work with a debt settlement company, you will make monthly payments to them for 12-48 months. There are many amazing debt settlement companies out there, but there are also many not so good ones. Check out our article on how to find a good debt settlement company here. Are you curious about what your debt settlement payment could be? 

You can check that out here

Debt Management  

Debt management is typically done via credit counseling. Credit counselors can help you create a debt pay down strategy. In many cases they can also work with you and your creditors to negotiate a Debt Management Plan (DMP) with your creditors. A DMP is an agreement between you and your creditors that may include a lower monthly payment, reduced interest, and fee reversals. These plans typically are completed in 2-5 years and the payments are processed by the credit counselor or credit counseling agency and then paid to the creditors on your behalf. Need help finding a reputable credit counselor? 

Debt Payoff Planning 

Last but most certainly not least, is debt payoff planning. Debt payoff planning is where you make a plan and pay your debts off in a strategical order. Usually in the order of lowest/highest balance or lowest/highest interest rate. This may be a rather difficult thing to achieve, especially while you are unemployed or on a limited income. Here at Ascend, we have created our own debt payoff planning app that can help you bridge the gap from plan to execution. You can try that out here

Conclusion

You may recently be unemployed or are nearing unemployment in Pennsylvania. Use the Pennsylvania unemployment calculator below to estimate your weekly benefit amount and how long you may receive those benefits.