FAQ Friday – Do I have to look for work while receiving unemployment benefits?

Here are some quick answers to questions about unemployment insurance benefits:

Do I have to seek work each week?

It depends. You MUST comply with the work-seeking require ments you received when you filed your claim. You will be required to either contact employers in your labor market each week that hire people for the type of work you are seeking or maintain contact with the employer for whom you are returning to work.

You must keep track of your work search including employers, their addresses and phone numbers, dates and names of contacts, method of contact, the type of work you sought and results of the contact.

A work search record form is available on the Labor website

What is a valid work search contact?

Your obligation while receiving unemployment benefits is to become re-employed, and you should develop a realistic plan to achieve this objective. Unless otherwise specified in your work search plan, you are required to make a good faith effort to seek full-time work each week that you claim benefits, even if you are employed part time.

Unless otherwise specified in your work search plan, you must make at least two contacts per week while you are receiving benefits or you may be denied those benefits. You can make a contact online, in person, by mail, email or over the phone.

All contacts must be made with a person who has hiring authority, and written applications must be filed where accepted. A friend or relative who works for the company you are applying for is not a valid contact.

Contacts must be for wage work. Self-employment or independent contract work contacts are not valid. The same employer(s) may not be used for required contacts in consecutive weeks.

An online contact is only valid if it results in an online application being completed or a résumé being submitted. Simply searching websites such as careerbuilder.com or monster.com is not valid.

You may find our Valid Work Search Contact publication helpful.

How will I know if I am required to look for work?

Unless otherwise specified, you are required to look for work. If you are asked, ‘Did you look for work as agreed to in your work search plan?’ on your weekly report, you are required to make at least two contacts per week. Never assume that you are not required to look for work. Call your us at (208) 332-8942 if you have questions regarding your work search requirements.

How can the Idaho Department of Labor help me find a job?

Help is available at no charge at any of our 25 Department of Labor offices or you can access our job information on the Labor website. Workshops on resume writing, interviewing and more are available. Check the calendar for specific dates.