Under the Pennsylvania support guidelines, when a party is receiving unemployment benefits those benefits will be considered their income for support calculation purposes rather than a prospective earning capacity. The extension, and now expiration, of unemployment benefits has been a hot political topic for some time. As indicated in this New York Times article, many more people on long-term unemployment will be seeing their benefits stop soon. For people whose income for their support case is based on their unemployment, the cessation of unemployment will be a “change in circumstance” warranting a review of the support order and most likely the application of an earning capacity in lieu of income if that person is still out of work. Earning capacities are extremely fact-driven and that transition could mean an increase or decrease in support depending on the individual’s benefit level versus what the Court determines to be their earning capacity. It is worth noting, however, that since the economic downturn hit a few years ago the Courts seem to be applying more conservative earning capacities to more closely reflect the reality of the tight job market.