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The Actively Looking for Work Requirement for Unemployment

by Kristin Swain

When you find yourself unemployed, one of your major concerns is your finances. You need to have income on a regular basis, but when you sign up for unemployment you learn that you must pass certain requirements in order to receive benefits, including the actively looking for work requirement. Passing this requirement is relatively easy and helps to ensure that you receive your unemployment benefits on time and without interruption.

Explanation of Requirement

Unemployment benefits are a stopgap for claimants, not a job. The state wants to get you back into the workforce and gainfully employed as soon as possible. To that end, each state requires that claimants complete an actively looking for work requirement. To comply, all you have to do is regularly look for work and submit applications to open positions. For every application or resume that you submit, keep a log of what company you applied to, how you submitted your application, the date and what position you submitted for.

Submitting by Mail

Your state's unemployment agency has ways to keep up with who completes the actively looking for work requirement. One of the ways is by giving claimants the option to submit their weekly benefit claim sheets by mail. When a claimant sends the weekly benefit sheet by mail, she must fill in a work search log documenting all of the jobs she's applied for during a specified time. Anyone who claims income, however small, during the benefit time frame may also have to mail a claim sheet rather than certify for benefits over the telephone or through the Internet, though sometimes claimants can also meet these requirements online.

Submitting Online

Some states allow unemployment claimants to certify for weekly benefits via the Internet rather than calling in or sending in a paper claim form. When you submit your benefit claim online, you must state whether or not you looked for work as well as whether or not you earned money or refused work. By answering these questions, you're effectively completing the actively looking for work requirement for that time period. Though not all states require you to log your work search efforts online or over the phone, you may periodically have to submit a work search log to your state's unemployment agency.

In-Person Meetings

Occasionally, unemployment claimants must have an in-person meeting with an unemployment representative or job counselor. These meetings help you better understand the training and job search assistance options that your state's unemployment agency offers. Meetings also allow the unemployment agency to gauge your progress toward finding a new job, part of which is reviewing your job search log for the actively looking for work requirement. Attending these meetings and submitting a completed job search log for a specified amount of time prior to your appointment are requirements for continuing to receive unemployment benefit payments.

About the Author

Residing in Los Angeles, Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 2008. Her experience includes finance, travel, marketing and television. Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Georgia State University.

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