After your initial unemployment benefit claim is approved, you must uphold certain responsibilities to remain eligible and continue receiving payments. Eligibility for unemployment benefits can change quite quickly. Because of this, your State Unemployment Agency requires that you submit weekly claims to maintain eligibility. You must file truthful and accurate claims each week to continue receiving benefits, even if nothing has changed. Not doing so can result in benefits being stopped.
You will be asked to answer the following questions in your weekly claim:
Are you able to work?
You are able to work if you have the physical and mental capability to perform functions of a job. If you are receiving disability benefit payments, you are not likely able to work.
Are you available to work?
You are available to work if you are willing and able to accept a reasonable job offer that aligns with your previous training and experience. If you pass up job offers because you are only available to work on a very limited schedule, you are not considered available and may be denied benefits. If you go on vacation, you are not available to work during that time and should report this in your weekly claim to avoid committing fraud.
Are you in school?
Enrolling in school while receiving unemployment benefits can jeopardize your eligibility to receive future payments. You may be asked to share your school schedule if your availability to work is questioned. If you were previously in school while employed, it is likely that you can continue classes while looking for work without penalty.
Are you looking for work?
While receiving unemployment benefits, you are required to do your due diligence to find another job as soon as possible. Your State Unemployment Agency will advise you of the minimum requirements needed to fulfill this responsibility.
Did you receive any job offers this week?
You are expected to accept any reasonable job offer that aligns with your previous training, experience and work schedule. If you received a job offer and did not take it, you must explain why in your weekly claim.
Did you earn any income this week?
All income earned must be reported on your weekly claim including contract work, freelance income, odd jobs, part-time work, etc. Depending on the amount earned, you may still be eligible for prorated benefits even if income was earned during the week.