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Reminder: Work search requirements resume


Harrisburg, PA – Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier reminded Pennsylvanians receiving unemployment benefits that work search requirements have resumed, starting July 11. Because claimants always file for benefits the week after they are unemployed, individuals will start certifying they looked for work beginning July 18.

“As many Pennsylvanians explore new career options and employers are eager to hire skilled workers, we want people to connect with job training and other resources that can help them to start good jobs and successful careers,” said Secretary Berrier. “PA CareerLink® offices across the commonwealth can help job seekers bridge the gap by providing high quality, individualized assistance free of charge to Pennsylvanians who are unemployed and looking for a job.”

L&I strongly encourages job seekers to register on the PA CareerLink® website or reach out to their local PA CareerLink® office directly to learn about the free programs and resources that are available, including:

  • Job search and training assistance;
  • Adult education classes and workshops;
  • Résumé assistance; and
  • Referral services to partners.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) also provides employment and training programs that support job seekers specifically within low-income populations.

Employment and training programs and assistance are available for people who qualify for Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). These programs work closely with participants in identifying interests, goals, and opportunities for job training or education to help them find a fulfilling career. They also focus on mitigating barriers to success in employment like access to child care, transportation, mental health services, and ongoing mentorship bonds after starting a job.

Individuals receiving Medicaid can take advantage of the Medicaid Work Supports system, which connects participants to local employment and training resources with a goal of supporting people in finding long-term employment and achieving financial independence. People who receive SNAP or TANF can enroll in the Keystone Education Yields Success (KEYS), or the Employment, Advancement and Retention Network (EARN) programs to obtain employment skills, earn valuable certifications, and sustain good jobs. Individuals receiving TANF can also take part in the Work Ready program, which helps put the people DHS serves on the path to economic stability and independence. The SNAP 50/50 program is also available for people receiving SNAP, which allows them to gain hands-on paid work experience.

More information on these employment and training programs can be found at www.dhs.pa.gov. Applications for Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, and other public assistance programs can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Those who prefer to submit paper documentation can pick up an application at their local County Assistance Office (CAO), where social distancing protocols are in place, or they can print from the website or request an application by phone at 1-800-692-7462.  They can then mail it to their local CAO or place it in a CAO’s secure drop box, if available. Individuals can also apply for SNAP and Medicaid over the phone by calling 1-866-550-4355. Applicants do not need to know their own eligibility in order to apply. While CAOs remain closed, work processing applications, determining eligibility, and issuing benefits continues. Clients should use COMPASS or the MyCOMPASS PA mobile app to submit necessary updates to their case files while CAOs are closed.

For help with finding a child care location or assistance paying for child care, visit: COMPASS HHS Provider Search Home (state.pa.us)

More information about work search requirements, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found on L&I’s unemployment compensation website at www.uc.pa.gov.