Pennsylvania Unemployment – What You Need to Know

We are receiving calls from clients regarding notices they received about Pennsylvania Unemployment and a Monthly Notice of Compensation Charged. Many are not familiar with the different type of notices and have concerns. Below is a recap of compensation charges, rates, impacts and for some, forms to complete that list employees who refuse to return to work.

Compensation Charges and Rates

Due to the increase in monthly unemployment claims, many businesses may be receiving unfamiliar notices from Pennsylvania.  A Monthly Notice of Compensation Charged is required to be provided to employers who have unemployment claims against their account. The notice lists all former or present employees who have been paid unemployment compensation during the previous month. The form also shows the weeks of unemployment, the amount paid, and the amount specifically charged to your account as a result of the payment (the full amount is not charged against your account if the employee received compensation from other employers). The notice is NOT a bill to be paid.

Impact on Future Contribution Rates

The common question being raised is how this impacts the contribution rate in the future.

According to the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation, contributory employers’ accounts will not be charged for unemployment insurance benefits received by workers affected by COVID-19. As a result, contributory businesses temporarily closed due to COVID-19 will be granted relief from charges and the tax rate will not be increased because of COVID-19 related claims.

We suggest that you review the notice for the accuracy of the claims.  If an ineligible employee is receiving unemployment benefits you have ninety days to file a protest contesting the notice. We believe that it would also be beneficial to document which claims are COVID-19 related as this information may be necessary in the future should your contribution rate be negatively impacted.

Refusal to Return to Work

Pennsylvania has also begun to send notice via email relating to steps to take should an employee refuse to return to work.  We have been hearing of instances where employees are refusing to come back to work after an offer of employment is made.  If you ask your employees to return to work, they must return, unless they have good cause for refusing your offer.  As an employer you need to complete and return Form UC-1921W within seven days of the offer to return.  A determination as to whether an employee has good cause for refusal to return to work will be made by UC staff based upon the facts of the individual case.

The information can be provided to the PAUC office directly from its website – To access the form, select ‘Important Information’ under Employer/UC Tax Services and scroll down to ‘What Employers Need to Know’ where you will find a link to Form UC-1921W.

If you have questions about this or other topics, please know we are available to speak by phone at 215-675-8364 or you may reach us via email at



DISCLAIMER: The WM Daily Update COVID-19, COVID-19 Business Resources and COVID-19 Client News Alerts and other related communications are intended to provide general information on legislative COVID-19 relief measures as of the date of this communication and may reference information from reputable sources. Although our firm has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided. As legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that may modify some of the provisions in this communication. Some of those modifications may be significant. As such, be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed.