When you apply for UC benefits, you must complete work registration and work search activities.
How do I complete my work registration?
If you are looking for work in a state other than Pennsylvania, you will need to register with that state’s employment service.
If you are looking for work in Pennsylvania, you will need to register with PA CareerLink®️ within 30 days of filing your initial application.
If you do not live in Pennsylvania and are not searching for jobs in Pennsylvania, you will need to register with the state employment-search service for the state you live in.
If you don’t live in Pennsylvania, but you plan to commute to Pennsylvania for work from another state, you should still register with PA CareerLink®️.
To register, go to the PA CareerLink®️ website and click on “Register as a New User.” Then, on the next page click, “Unemployment Compensation Claimant.”
For more information about registering with PA CareerLink®️, read this FAQ on the Department of Labor and Industry’s website.
If you already registered with PA CareerLink®️ previously to qualify for unemployment compensation, you will need to login to your account and review your profile.
There will be a pop up message when you login asking you to update any old information and a pop up message asking you to update your resume if you have not updated it within the last 90 days (see below). You should do this as soon as possible.
A pop up message about updating profile information on the CareerLink work registration portal.
Pop up message about updating resume on the CareerLink work registration portal.
You must complete your work registration within 30 days of filing for unemployment benefits. If you do not, you will be disqualified from benefits until you complete your work registration.
If you get a letter that says you were disqualified from benefits because you did not complete your work registration, register for work ASAP.
Once you complete your work registration, your benefits should start up again.
See below for instructions on how to confirm you completed your work registration.
Make sure you confirm that you have completed your registration.
On the right hand side of your CareerLink work registration portal, there is a section titled “UC Registration Compliance.” If you completed your work registration, it will say “Status: Completed on [the date you completed it].” This is what it will look like:
You can print out a copy of this confirmation by clicking on “View a copy of your confirmation.” It will look like this:
How do I complete the work search requirement?
In order to complete the work search requirement, every week you file for UC benefits, you must:
- Apply for two jobs
- Engage in one work search activity
You can limit your job applications to jobs that reasonably match the wages and conditions of your last job.
A “work search activity” can include:
- Attending a job fair
- Searching open positions on PA CareerLink® or job posting boards
- Creating and uploading a resume to PA CareerLink® or job posting boards
- Seeking networking opportunities
- Using an employment agency, employment registry or school placement service.
- Taking a civil service test or other pre-employment test.
- Participating in a training workshop or event offered through PA CareerLink®
If you apply for 3 or more jobs in a given week, you do not need to complete a work search activity.
If you cannot find jobs that are suitable or similar to your last job in a given week, you can apply for 1 job and do 2 work search activities.
You can use the chart below to make sure you are completing your work search requirement. By the end of each week that you file for UC benefits, you should have one box in each of the three columns below checked off.
You do not need to report your weekly applications and activities.
However, you need to keep notes of your work search. You must hold onto these notes for 2 years because the Department can choose to audit you during that time to confirm you completed work search.
If you want to, you can use the Work Search Record form that the Department made for claimants to track these applications and activities. Again, you do not have to use this form if you want to keep a record of your applications and activities a different way.
If you are working part-time and reporting your earnings, and you therefore are getting less than your normal benefit amount for that week, then you only have to apply to one job and do not need to participate in a work search activity.
If you are self employed, you still need to complete the work search requirement and activities. But depending on your situation, your self employment may disqualify you from UC benefits.
If your self employment:
- started when you were also working as an employee somewhere;
- has not increased since you became unemployed;
- and you have no plans to make self employment your primary source of income;
There are limited situations where a claimant is not required to complete work search and is “exempt.” If you are exempt you can answer “yes” to the work search question.
The most common reasons a claimant would be exempt are:
(1) You are a union member and are required to receive work through a hiring hall; or
(2) You have a recall date in writing from your employer.