Work Search Requirements for Unemployment Benefits

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Overview

To be eligible for benefits, you must:

  • Register for work search in the state where you reside
  • Search for work
  • Document your work search activities
  • Apply for and accept suitable full-time work

Exemption from Work Search Requirements

We will notify you if you are exempt from any work search requirements. To qualify for an exemption, you must meet one of the following criteria and have our approval:

  • Be on a temporary layoff with a definite return-to-work date
  • Be an active member in good standing of a union with a non-discriminatory hiring hall
  • Be in a TWC-approved training program that includes work search exemption
  • Be in Trade Act training
  • Be in a Shared-Work program

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Register for Work

You must register for work search within three business days of the date you applied for benefits. Make sure you use your social security number so we can verify you registered on time.

If you live in Texas, you must complete a work search application on WorkInTexas.com or visit a Workforce Solutions office to register. WorkInTexas.com is our comprehensive online job search resource and job matching system. It provides recruiting assistance to Texas employers of all types and sizes, and job search assistance to any individual seeking work in Texas.

If you do not live in Texas, you must register for work search with the One-Stop Career Center in the state where you reside. You can find workforce services near you by using America’s Service Locator. We will verify that you registered with your state of residence.

Completing your work search application is a separate process from applying for unemployment benefits.

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Search for Work

After you apply for benefits, we send you a letter with the minimum number of work search activities you must complete each week. See Unemployment Benefits Work Search Guidelines for information on acceptable work search activities. We also remind you of your weekly minimum work search requirement each time you request payment.

You must actively search for work and meet your minimum number of weekly work search activities to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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Document Work Search Activities

You must document that you completed at least your minimum number of required activities every week.

Common Mistake:
Not keeping good records of all of your work search activities. Write down the specific contact details each week. You can lose benefits if we request your log for a past week(s) and you cannot provide it or it does not include required information.

We may verify your activities at any time, so always keep a current and accurate record of your weekly work search activities. Keep your work search logs during your benefit year, or for as long as you are receiving unemployment benefits, whichever is longer.

We may request your work search log, for any week or weeks, at any time during your benefit year.  Send a copy to TWC only if we request it, using the address or fax number we give you.

All of the work search information you provide to TWC must be true and accurate. Intentionally giving false statements about work search activities constitutes fraud and can result in loss of benefits, overpayments on your claim, and criminal prosecution.

Work Search Log

You can download a work search log or create your own log. If you create your own log, it must include the same information that is on our version.

Document your activities by including specific details about the work search contact, especially telephone numbers with area codes. Be sure to include:

  • Date of the work search activity
  • What you did (for example:  searched for work at a Workforce Solutions office, applied online for a job, participated in a job fair, applied in person for an opening)
  • Type of job you are seeking
  • Employer names, addresses and phone numbers including area codes
  • Name of the person you contacted, if applicable, and the method of contact (for example: mail, e-mail, fax, phone)
  • Result of your activity (for example: submitted job application, sent a résumé, interviewed, hired, not hired, no reply, other)

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Apply for and Accept Suitable Full-Time Work

You must apply for and be able to accept a suitable full-time job. We cannot continue to pay you unemployment benefits if you do any of the following:

  • Refuse a TWC or Workforce Solutions referral for a suitable job
  • Refuse to apply for a suitable job
  • Refuse to accept a suitable job

We determine if a job is suitable based on:

  • Your experience, qualifications and training
  • The working conditions and pay for similar work in your area
  • Any risks to your health, safety or morals
  • The distance to work from your home and local commuting patterns
  • How long you have been unemployed

During your first eight weeks of unemployment, you must be willing to accept a suitable job that pays at least 90% of your normal wage . After you have been unemployed for eight weeks, you must be willing to accept a suitable job that pays at least 75% of your normal wage.

Consider whether there is a difference between your wage expectation and the standard or typical wage in your area for the type of work you perform. If your wage demand is higher than the current standard wage for the work you perform, consider accepting a wage that meets standard wages.

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Last Verified: April 30, 2014

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