ALERT: Effect of refusing suitable work on eligibility for unemployment compensation.

For those of you who don’t already know this. if an employer asks a laid-off employee to return to work, and s/he refuses (which occurs frequently now for those making more from a combination of state and federal UC benefits than they would from wages), the employer should report the refusal and the person’s eligibility for UC benefits will be cut off. It may not happen immediately due to the number of people and claims in the system, but it will happen. And if benefits are received when they shouldn’t be, the UC system will issue an overpayment and collect the monies erroneously paid. Here is an excerpt from an email from the PA Dept. of Labor & Industry on the subject:

From: “LI, UCMS Announcement” <>
Date: April 27, 2021 at 8:08:21 AM EDT
Subject: Refusing Suitable Work

If you have individuals refusing suitable work and claiming unemployment benefits, you must report that on either the paperwork we send to you or on our webform created for this purpose:

Please keep in mind that we are experiencing historically high volumes of work and requests.  If you report an eligibility issue to us, you may not receive an outcome for a period of time.  It does not mean we did not receive your request or that we will not work on it as soon as we can, so please do not send second or third requests.  Duplicate requests only tie up resources more and prevent us from better serving you and other employers. 

For more information on situations where claimants may refuse work and still be granted benefits, visit:

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