Unemployment benefits represent an important safety net for those who find themselves unemployed and without work through no fault of their own. After initially qualifying for unemployment benefits, individuals must continue to meet ongoing requirements to maintain their eligibility for unemployment compensation. Demonstrating a continued effort to look for work by keeping an unemployment work search record represents one such requirement.
With an aim toward getting you back to work and off the unemployment benefit rolls, your state unemployment program will often require that you maintain specific records. Keeping a job search record is often part of the requirements for maintaining benefit eligibility. Though each state sets its own standards related to how many attempts you must make each week to find work, most require you to be available for work during the weeks you file claims for unemployment compensation.
Work search records contain specific information about your job search efforts. Typically, a work search record will contain the date of contact, name, phone number and address of the person you contacted, the name of the organization and how you contacted the organization. Depending on your state's requirements, you may also have to list the next steps taken, such as sending in a resume or notice of no job availability.
Each state has different requirements and suggestions for keeping unemployment work search records. As a general rule, you should keep all documents related to your unemployment claims as long as you continue to file claims for unemployment. Some states, for instance Wisconsin, will require you to keep work search records for a longer time period. Wisconsin unemployment recipients are required to keep work search records for a minimum of 53 weeks beyond their last weekly claim for unemployment benefits.
In the end, it is your responsibility to verify with your state unemployment agency how long to keep unemployment work search records. Review the booklet provided by your state agency and follow the recommendations set forth by your state. Your state unemployment agency can ask for a copy of the work search log at any time. In the case of pending appeals or reviews of your unemployment claims, you should continue to keep work search records until after the appeal or review is resolved.
- United States Department of Labor: State Unemployment Insurance Benefits
- GPO Access: Part 604 – Regulations for Eligibility for Unemployment Compensation: Application – Availability for Work
- State of Illinois Department of Employment Security: Work Search Record – Claimant
- Texas Workforce Commission: Work Search Log
- Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: Unemployment Compensation FAQ’s: Maintaining Eligibility for Unemployment Compensation