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​What is Work Search?

Work Search Requirements will restart the week July 11-17, 2021. 

Work search requires all Unemployment Compensation (UC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants to apply for two jobs and complete one work search activity every week. Reference the PA Unemployment Compensation Handbook for a complete list of requirements. 

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Weekly work search activities begin the third week in your benefit year for which you file a  claim, you must apply for two jobs and participate in one work search activity each week. You may use the Work Search Record (or Español) PDF, for tracking your activities, but it is not required if you have another way of tracking the same information. 

Is work search the same as work registration?

No. Work search requires you to apply for two jobs and complete one work-search activity every week. Work registration requires you to register for employment-search services through PA CareerLink® within 30 days after filing an unemployment claim.

Can I be exempt from work search requirements?

Yes. Some individuals are exempt from the work search requirements and may not be asked this question. Exemptions include:

    • Individuals who receive work through a union hiring hall

    • Individuals on a Shared Work plan through their employer

    • Individuals in Trade Act training

    • Individuals attending a RESEA session for the week

    • Individuals who have written recall dates from their employer 

If you are presented with the question, "Did you complete your required work searches and/or work search activities during the week beginning Sunday, [date], and ending with Saturday, [date]?" and are exempt, you will select "Yes." For more information about exemptions, please reference the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook.

I am self-employed or a business owner. Do the work search requirements apply to me?

Yes. Federal guidance states that the work search rules also apply to PUA claims. You must search for work in the same manner as other UC claimants. Two job applications and one work search activity are the basic requirements. Please refer to the question, "What are Work Search Activities?" above to see the entire list of acceptable work search activities. Note: Self-employed individuals submitting a "bid" for work qualifies as a work search activity. 

Remember that self-employed individuals are to report any net earnings each week they claim benefits. Therefore, if you receive partial payment for a week because you earned more than your partial benefit credit, only one work search application is needed for that week.

I am a college student, do work search requirements apply to me?

Yes, to remain eligible for benefits, all claimants MUST actively search for work. Two job applications and one work search activity are the basic requirements. Please refer to the question, "Can I be exempt from work search requirements?" for a list of individual exemptions.

What types of jobs may I apply for?

You may apply for jobs for any work you are capable of performing. However, you can limit your job applications to jobs that offer similar employment and wages closest to your most recent job position and are within a 45-minute commute (if telework is not available).

If this limits you from applying for two jobs, you must choose one of two options for each job application that you are unable to make: 
    1. Take part in a work search activity 
    2. Disregard that limitation and apply for a different job offering suitable work.

How can I apply for a job?

You may apply for a job in person, online, by mail, or by phone. A repeated application for the same job does not count unless there is reason to believe that the employer’s hiring circumstances have changed. 

What if I work part-time?

When you work part-time and receive a reduced benefit payment for the week only one job application is needed for the week, and a work search activity is not required. 

Do I need to track my activities?

Yes. L&I may request to see your work search activities at any time for two years from the effective date of your claim. Do not send your work search record to the Department unless it is requested. 

However, you may choose to upload documents to the dashboard for safekeeping. To upload documents: 
  1. Log into your benefits portal and navigate to "Unemployment Services" from the homepage
  2. Choose "Provide Additional Documentation" then "Upload a Document" to keep your work search records on file.  
*Failure to provide your work search record upon request may result in ineligibility for benefits and liability to repay benefits you have received.  
 
You may use the Work Search Record (or Español) PDF, for tracking your activities, but it is not required if you have another way of tracking the same information. 

How do I know if I have met the work search requirements?

You may use the chart below to verify that you have satisfied the UC work search requirements. If you are able to check one box in each column, you have satisfied your UC work search requirements for the week.

​1st Job Application
​2nd Job Application
​Work Search Activity
  I applied for a job   I applied for a job  I participated in a work search activity
  I participated in a work search activity because I am limiting my job applications.  I participated in a work search activity because I am limiting my job applications.   I applied for a 3rd job
  I had a job interview  I had a job interview
  I had a job interview

  I worked part time during the week and earned more than my partial benefit credit. Note: A second job application and a work search activity are not required.

Waiver: The UC Law allows the Department of Labor and Industry to waive or alter the active search for work requirements for a claimant if the Secretary determines that compliance with such requirements would be oppressive or would be inconsistent with the purposes of the UC Law. To be considered for a waiver, complete and submit the waiver form.

IMPORTANT: In order to be eligible for UC benefits, a claimant must be able to work and available for suitable work. If you request a waiver or alteration of the active search for work requirements for reasons that render you unable to work or unavailable for suitable work, you may be found ineligible for UC benefits.