I was recently informed I would be laid off. My responsibilities end this week. I am on the payroll until February. Do I need to wait until I am off payroll to apply for unemployment benefits? Or can this be done now?

1 Answer 1


In general in Pennsylvania you have to be unemployed though no fault of your own. Though if your hours are reduced you can get a partial payment. There normally is a waiting week where you have to be unemployed for a week, but COVID legislation has addressed that issue.

If you are working full weeks or getting full compensation you are unlikely to get any unemployment payment. But you should check to make sure, because that payment from your employer until February may be considered a severance payment.

I’m collecting severance pay from my employer. Should I wait until I’m no longer collecting severance pay to file my application?

No, if you are collecting severance pay, or are going to be collecting severance pay, file your application as soon as you become unemployed. The answers you provide in your application regarding severance pay will help determine the impact severance pay may, or may not, have on your eligibility for benefits. Before a determination can be issued, additional information will also be requested from you and/or your employer. See the Severance Pay Deductions FAQs page for further information.

Here a specific FAQ about severance:

  1. How does severance, separation or salary continuation pay affect my UC benefits?

Severance pay received by a claimant that exceeds 40 percent of Pennsylvania's average annual wage* is deducted from the claimant's UC if the claimant's application for benefits (AB) date is on or after Jan. 1, 2012, and the severance pay agreement between the employer and the claimant is entered into on or after Jan. 1, 2012. The deductible portion of a claimant's severance pay is allocated to the weeks immediately following the claimant's separation based on the claimant's full-time weekly wage. Severance pay means one or more payments made by an employer to an employee on account of separation from the service of the employer.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .