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Unemployment Compensation Job Search Requirements

Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Job Search Requirements

On August 17, 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s final-form active search for work regulation (34 Pa. Code § 65.11) was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The requirements of the regulation took effect upon publication.  Federal law mandates that all 50 states have an active search for work requirement as a condition of eligibility to receive unemployment compensation benefits.  Unemployment compensation (UC) claimants are required to register for employment-search services at www.jobgateway.pa.gov within 30 days after filing an application for benefits.  In addition, there are weekly job search requirements in order to maintain ongoing eligibility for UC benefits.

Weekly Job Search Requirements – To be eligible for compensation for the third week of the benefit year for which a claim for compensation is filed and each week thereafter for which a claim for compensation is filed, a claimant shall do the following:

(1) Engage in weekly work search activities during the week in accordance with subsections as set forth below;

(2) Complete the recommended work search record form for the week or create a record of his work search activities during the week that contains the same information that would be required to complete the recommended form;

(3) Retain the record for 2 years from the effective date of the application for benefits;

(4) Produce the record for the Department’s review at the times and in a manner as required by the Department.

Weekly Work Search Activities –

 (1) A claimant will normally be required to apply for at least two positions during the week;

(2) A repeated application for the same position does not satisfy these requirements unless there is a reasonable basis to believe that the employer’s hiring circumstances have changed;

(3) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (1), the claimant shall do at least one of the following during the week:

  • Attend a job fair.
  • Search positions posted on the Pennsylvania Career Link system or Internet job banks.
  • Post a resume in the Pennsylvania Career Link system or other resume posting service.
  • Contact colleagues, former coworkers or other individuals in similar professions or occupations to make known the claimant’s 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 Career Link system.

(4) If a claimant applies for more than the minimum number of positions under paragraph (1), the additional application may substitute for a work search activity under paragraph (3).

Union Hiring Halls – The work search activities may not be required if you work out of Union hiring hall.  In order for this exception to apply it must be established that the Claimant:

(1) Is a member of a union that has a hiring hall or the claimant is registered with a hiring hall;

(2) Is required to obtain employment through the hiring hall;

(3) Fulfills the requirements to maintain eligibility for referral by the hiring hall during the week;

Part Time Work –  If a claimant works part time during a week and earns in excess of the claimant’s partial benefit credit, the Claimant will be required to apply for one job that week.

If a Claimant fails to perform the job search requirements UC benefits can be terminated, notwithstanding the fact that the Claimant may otherwise be eligible.

Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. is located in Harrisburg, PA and serves clients in and around Southeast Pennsylvania. Contact our experienced Harrisburg attorneys today, we can travel if necessary.

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