It is a federal requirement that you must be able and available to accept suitable work in order to qualify for unemployment benefits. At this time the work search waiver – which waives the requirement to be actively seeking work – is still in place for all claimants.
You must be available for work in order to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. You will be considered available for work, if your unemployment is related to COVID-19, so long as you are taking all necessary steps to return to work for your regular employer and/or have not withdrawn from the labor market. Your eligibility is not impaired when you are physically unable to work, or engaged in activities which would prevent you from working, provided the time period is not more than two full calendar days AND the inability or activities do not reduce or risk your chances for employment.
The following are not valid reasons to refuse an offer of suitable work, including but not limited to:
- Placing unreasonable restrictions on the hours you will work, for example:
- Applying for a full-time job and then telling the employer you cannot work full-time or part-time of at least 20 hours per week
- Applying for a job with evening hours and then telling the employer you can only work mornings
- The wage you will accept, for example:
- Applying for a job that pays $12-$15 per hour and then telling the employer that you won’t work for less than $25 per hour
- The distance you will travel to work, for example:
- Applying for a job that is 40 miles away from your home and then telling the employer that it is too far for you to commute
If your employer is holding your job while you are on a Leave of Absence or on approved family leave under the Medical Leave Act of 1993, you will not be considered available for work.