Unemployment Compensation: Work Search Activities

Pennsylvania recently added a new requirement for those who have applied for Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits. You must register for employment-search services within thirty (30) days after filing an application for benefits. This can be accomplished online by visiting ww.jobgateway.pa.gov.

You must actively search for work to be eligible for benefits, and by the third week of your benefit year for which you filed your UC claim, you must apply for two (2) jobs and participate in one (1) work search activity every week, This requirement changes if you are working part-time and you earn more than your Partial Benefit Credit (PBC).

With regard to job applications, you must apply for jobs you are capable of performing, but are permitted to limit your applications to those jobs that offer employment and compensation similar to what you were earning before you became unemployed. You are also permitted to limit the geographical area to a forty-five (45) minute commute.

You may apply for the same job twice only if you have reason to believe that the employer's hiring criteria have changed. Applications can be made in person, via mail, phone or electronically, or by submitting your resume to the employer based upon the employer's hiring procedure.

Regarding work search activities, there are seven (7) activities that qualify:

  1. Attend a job fair
  2. Search positions posted on the JobGateway system or Internet job banks
  3. Create or post a resume in the JobGateway system or post a resume in other resume-posting services
  4. Contact colleagues, former co-workers or other individuals in similar professions or occupations to make them aware of your availability and willingness for employment
  5. Utilize an employment agenCy, employment registry or school placement service
  6. Take a civil, service test or other pre-employment test
  7. Participate in a program or activity offered through Pa CareerLink system.

You can also attend a job interview and substitute the interview for a work search activity. Further, if you apply for more than two (2) jobs per week, you do not have to participate in a work search activity.

You are required to retain confirmation of your work search activities, and are encouraged to use Form UC-304, "Work Search Record" http://www.uc.pa.gov/Documents/UC_Forms/uc-304.pdf You are also required to keep your records for two (2) years from your Application for Benefits date, and must be prepared to present your documentation to the department upon request. The department monitors work search activities; however, the department does not want Claimants to send a record of their work search activities unless specifically requested to do so.

For more information and to schedule your free, thirty (30) minute consultation to discuss your rights, including unemployment compensation benefits and appeals, contact Tanner Law Offices, LLC at (717) 836¬0471.