Unemployment Job Search and Work Requirements

unemployment work search form
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When you are collecting unemployment, you must be available for work and actively seeking employment. You must be ready, willing, available and able to work, and you may be required to report on your job search activities.

Do You Have to Look for Work While Collecting Unemployment?

While the rules regarding looking for work vary from state to state, unemployed workers collecting benefits need to be searching for a job.

Unemployed workers may be required to report on their job search to their state unemployment department. In addition, they may be required to keep a job search log to provide to the unemployment office upon request.

Unemployment job search requirements vary based on regulations in the state from which you are collecting benefits, as well as on the type of benefits you are collecting.

Unemployment Available for Work Requirements

Workers who are unemployed must be must be available for suitable work and actively seeking suitable employment. At the minimum, this includes being ready to accept work immediately if a job is offered to you. You must also be willing to accept employment for all shifts and days that are normal for your occupation.

You must accept the wage most employers in your area pay for your occupation for someone with your qualifications and experience and must be able to commute a reasonable distance to work.

The travel to work requirement could be as much as an hour to an hour and half each way.

The requirements vary based on how long you have been unemployed and if you are collecting extended benefits. In some cases, you may be required to accept any work you are capable of performing.

Unemployment Work Search Requirements

While the rules and requirements vary by state, many states expect unemployed workers to register, keep a running log of their job search and report on it periodically.

This can vary from weekly submissions to monthly accounts.

In Washington state, for example, unemployed workers are required to keep a job search log for each week they claim unemployment benefits. There must be a combined total of three employer contacts or approved job search activities each week. The log must contain company information, how the contact was made (in-person, phone, online, email, fax), contact name or confirmation of application, and the type of contact.

New York, as another example, requires unemployed workers to apply to or contact several prospective employers each week. You must also keep a record of your work search that includes the employer name, address, and phone number, date of contact, method of contact, position applied for, whether an application was accepted, and the result of the contact.

Reporting Requirements

For unemployment job search and reporting requirements in your state, check with your state unemployment office website.

Unemployment Work Requirements for Union Workers

In most cases, you do not have to personally seek work if you belong to a union that does not allow you to seek work on your own in your occupation.

However, you must be in good standing with the union and on the union referral list for work.

Unemployment Resources

The private websites, and the information linked to both on and from this site, are opinion and information. While I have made every effort to link accurate and complete information, I cannot guarantee it is correct. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct. This information is not legal advice and is for guidance only.

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