Pennsylvania Work Search Requirements

You must actively search for work in order to be eligible for benefits.

Q. What are the weekly work search requirements?
A. Generally, beginning with the third week in your Benefit Year for which you file a UC claim, you must apply for two jobs and participate in one work search activity each week

Q. What kind of jobs can I apply for?
A. You may apply for jobs that would provide suitable work; that is, any work that you are capable of performing. However, you are allowed to limit your job applications to jobs that offer employment and wages similar to what you had before you became unemployed, and are within a 45-minute commute. If adhering to that limitation prevents you from applying for two jobs, you may choose one of two options for each application that you are unable to make: (1) you may participate in a work search activity, or (2) you may disregard that limitation and apply for a job offering suitable work.

Q. What are the acceptable ways to apply for a job?
A. You may apply for a job in person, by mail, phone or electronic transmission, by submitting a job application or résumé to the employer, or by following a hiring procedure established by the employer. A repeated application for the same job does not count unless there is a reasonable basis to believe that the employer’s hiring circumstances have changed.

Q. What qualifies as a work search activity?
A. You may choose from these seven work search activities:

  • • Attend a job fair.
  • • Search positions posted on the PA CareerLink® system or Internet job banks.
  • • Create or post a résumé in the PA CareerLink® system or post a résumé in other résumé-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.

If you live outside of Pennsylvania, you may participate in these types of activities offered by your state employment service.

Q. Do I receive credit for a job interview?
A. Yes, you may substitute a job interview by an employer for one of your job applications or a work search activity.

Q. Do I receive credit for an extra job application?
A. Yes, if you apply for more than two jobs in a week, you do not have to participate in a work search activity during that week.

Q. Are the weekly requirements different if I am working part time?
A. If you are working part time during a week and you earn more than your Partial Benefit Credit (PBC), you only have to apply for one job during the week, instead of two, and you do not have to participate in a work search activity during that week. (See your Notice of Financial Determination and accompanying insert entitled “Explanation of Your Notice of Financial Determination” for information about your PBC.)

Q. Must I keep a record of my job applications and work search activities?
A. Yes. You are encouraged to use Form UC-304, entitled “Work Search Record.” A copy of the form is included in this booklet, and the form is available at You are not required to use Form UC-304 as long as your record includes the same information that would be contained on Form UC-304. You must retain your record for a period of two years from your Application for Benefits (AB) date. (See your Notice of Financial Determination and accompanying insert entitled “Explanation of Your Notice of Financial Determination” for information about your AB Date.) The department 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 ineligibility for benefits and liability to repay benefits you received. Do not send your work search record to the department unless you are asked to do so.

Q. How do I know if I have met the work search requirements for a week?
A. You may use this chart to verify that you have satisfied the UC work search requirements. Each column in the chart represents one of the three weekly requirements. In each column, check the box that indicates how you satisfied that requirement or a substitute requirement. You may enter only one checkmark for each job application, work search activity or interview. If you are able to check one box in each column, you have satisfied your UC work search requirements for the week.