Work registration and work search requirements have been re-instated in Pennsylvania starting on Sunday, July 11 for both UC and PUA.
During most of the pandemic, the requirement that unemployment claimants complete weekly work search was waived.
After Sunday, July 18, the UC and PUA systems ask them a single question:
Have you completed work search for the week?
Additionally, all new UC claims filed on or after Sunday, September 5, are required to register with PA CareerLink within 30 days of applying.
The Department of Labor and Industry has an FAQ on their website with information about how to register with PA CareerLink.
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.
In order to complete the work search requirement, claimants 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®
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 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.
Work search requirements apply to the self-employed on PUA as well. However, many self-employed will not want to apply for separate jobs as they are actively seeking contracts or customers for their businesses. Based on the law, self-employed can certainly only apply for one job and perform two work search activities (which include networking opportunities). However we believe that, if audited, a self-employed person would also have a strong argument that activities related to restoring their business to pre-COVID levels would comply with the purpose of the related law, which is to ensure that a claimant “is making an active search for suitable employment.”
Yes, if you determine that there are no suitable or similar positions available, you can apply for one job and do two work search activities.
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