New Active Search for Work Requirements for Unemployment Compensation Applications Effective January 1, 2012


The Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law was recently changed to add additional eligibility requirements for UC benefits. If the effective date of your application for benefits (AB Date) is on or after January 1, 2012, you are required to do all of the following:

  1. Register for employment search services with the Pennsylvania Careerlink® system within 30 days after you file your application for benefits. If you are not already registered, go to; select "New User?"; and select "Individual Seeking Services."

    Create a Keystone ID and Password, using your complete Social Security number. Use your Keystone ID and Password to "Login." Continue to "My Home Page" and provide the information applicable to you under "Detailed Profile." If you previously created a Keystone ID and Password, login and update your information to include your complete Social Security number and all applicable information under "Detailed Profile."
  2. Conduct an active search for work during each week that you seek UC benefits, except your waiting week, by doing one of the two options below.
  3. Keep a record of your work search activities and provide the record to the department when requested to do so. (For more details, please see below.)

Active Work Search Requirement

In order to meet your weekly active work search requirement, you must satisfy one of the following two options during each week that you seek UC benefits:

Option 1

For Option 1, you must do both Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 1: Apply for at least three jobs during the week, AND

Part 2: Do at least one of the following during the week:

  • Attend a job fair.
  • Search positions posted on the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system,, or Internet job banks.
  • Create or post a resume in the Pennsylvania CareerLink® system or post a resume in other resume posting services.
  • Contact colleagues, former co-workers or other individuals in similar professions or occupations, to make known your 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 CareerLink® system.

Additional information about this option:

If you work part time during a week and claim partial benefits for the week, you are only required to apply for two jobs under Part 1, and you do not have to satisfy Part 2 for that week.

If you apply for four or more jobs under Part 1 during a week, you do not have to satisfy Part 2 for that week.

You may use a repeated application for the same job to satisfy Part 1 only if you reasonably believe that the employer's hiring needs have changed.

Option 2

For Option 2, you must maintain an active registration in a union hiring hall.

Your Work Search Record

You are required to keep a record of your efforts to find work during each week that you seek UC benefits. To record your weekly work search efforts you are encouraged to use Form UC-304 , Record of Job Applications and Work Search Activities. This form is also located in the middle of the mailed version of Form UCP-1, Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Handbook.

You must retain your record for a period of two years from your AB Date. The department continuously monitors the work search activities of UC claimants. Failure to provide your work search record upon request, in the manner specified by the department, may result in liability to repay benefits you have received.

Additional Information for Out of State Claimants

If your labor market is located outside of Pennsylvania, you must register for employment search services with both the Pennsylvania Careerlink® system and the state employment service that serves your local labor market. Also, for Part 2 of Option 1, you may participate in the same types of activities offered by the state employment service that serves your local labor market.


The active search for work requirement does not apply:

  • For any week that you are in training approved by the department or training approved under the Trade Act.
  • For any week that you are required to participate in the Pennsylvania Profile Reemployment Program (PREP) at a Pennsylvania CareerLink® under Section 402(j) of the UC Law.
  • For any week that you are participating in work sharing under Article XIII of the UC Law.
  • If your employer reduced your hours of work or laid you off for economic reasons and your employer has advised you that you will return to work within 28 calendar days after the date when you last worked.

For more information on Unemployment Compensation benefits visit

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