Updated Active Search for Work Instructions
The Pennsylvania UC Law was recently changed to add additional eligibility requirements for UC benefits. If the effective date of your application for benefits (AB Date) is on or after January 1, 2012, you are required to do all of the following:
Your weekly work search consists of two (2) parts. If you satisfy both parts, you will meet your active search for work requirement for the week. The following information explains these two parts and what you must do to successfully accomplish your active search for work.
Follow either section A or section B, depending on which section applies to the week.
During each week from the third consecutive week of your benefit year through the eighth consecutive week of your benefit year, you must apply for at least two positions.
During this period you may limit your applications to positions that (1) would provide employment and wages similar to those that you had prior to your unemployment and (2) are within a 45 minute commuting distance or a commuting distance that is generally accepted in your labor market, whichever is greater.
- During the ninth consecutive week of your benefit year and each week thereafter, you must apply for at least three positions. While you may continue to apply for positions described in section A, you may have to expand your job search to include positions that would provide any suitable work you are capable of performing if that is necessary in order to apply for the required number of positions during the week.
You must also do at least one of the following for each week after the second consecutive week in your benefit year:
- Attend a job fair.
- Search positions posted on the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system, www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us, or Internet job banks.
- Create or post a resume in the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system or post a resume in other resume posting services.
- Contact colleagues, former co-workers or other individuals in similar professions or occupations, to make known your availability for employment or obtain information about available positions, prospective employers or other employment opportunities.
- Utilize an employment agency, employment registry or school placement service.
- Take a civil service test or other pre-employment test.
- Participate in a program or activity offered through the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system.
However, if you apply for more than the required number of jobs during a week, you do not have to satisfy Part 2 for that week.
Your Work Search Record
You are required to keep a record of your efforts to find work during each week that you seek UC benefits. You are encouraged to use the Form UC-304
, entitled "Record of Job Applications and Work Search Activities" to record your weekly work search efforts. Copies of this form are available for download at www.uc.pa.gov
. This form is also located in the middle of the mailed version of Form UCP-1, Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook.
You must retain your record for a period of two years from your AB Date. The department continuously monitors the work search activities of UC claimants. Failure to provide your work search record upon request, in the manner specified by the department, may result in liability to repay benefits you have received.
"Applying" for a position can be done in a number of ways, such as by expressing an interest in employment to an employer in person, or by mail, phone or electronic transmission, submitting a job application or resume to an employer, or following a hiring procedure established by an employer.
You may use a repeated application for the same job to satisfy Part 1 only if you reasonably believe that the employer’s hiring needs have changed.
If you work part-time during a week and claim partial benefits for the week, you are only required to apply for one job under section A of Part 1 or two jobs under section B of Part 1, and you do not have to satisfy Part 2 for that week.
Out of State Claimants
If your labor market is located outside of Pennsylvania, you must register for employment search services with both the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system and the state employment service that serves your local labor market. Also, for Part 2, you may participate in the same types of activities offered by the state employment service that serves your local labor market.
The active search for work requirement does not apply:
- If your employer reduced your hours of work or laid you off for economic reasons and your employer has advised you in good faith and in writing that you will return to work on a specific date. You must keep a copy of this notice from your employer. This exception will cease to apply if your recall date is rescinded by the employer or your recall date has passed.
- For any week that you (1) are a member of a union that has a hiring hall or are registered with a hiring hall, (2) are required to obtain employment through the hiring hall, and (3) fulfill all requirements to maintain eligibility for referral by the hiring hall during the week.
- For any week that you are in training approved by the department or training approved under the Trade Act.
- For any week that you are required to participate in the Pennsylvania Profile Reemployment Program (PREP) at a Pennsylvania CareerLink® under Section 402(j) of the UC Law.
- For any week that you are participating in work sharing under Article XIII of the UC Law.