While Drawing Unemployment, Do I Have to Take a Job for Less Money?


One of the requirements for qualifying for unemployment benefits is that you must be willing and able to work if a job opportunity presents itself. When faced with this situation, many employees wonder if they have to take a low-paying job or if they can stay on the unemployment benefits program.

Benefits Amount

When you become eligible for unemployment benefits, the size of your weekly check will depend on how much you made in your previous job. Those who made higher amounts of income will receive a bigger weekly check than those who made smaller incomes. The amount will not be as much as you made in your job, but it is designed to help you pay your essential bills. Because of this, if you receive a large unemployment benefit, you may not want to take a job that pays less than the amount you are receiving.

Canvassing Period

When you start on unemployment benefits, most states provide you with a canvassing period in which to try to find a job similar to the one you had before. During this period, you do not have to take a low-paying job just because it is work. The length of time for the canvassing period varies from one state to the next. In some states, you could expect four weeks while others provide up to six weeks to find a comparable job.

After Canvassing Period

While the canvassing period does provide you with some time to find a comparable job, unemployment is not designed to help you in this way forever. After the canvassing period is up, you will be expected to take any job when it becomes available. At that point, you will have to take a lower-paying job if it is offered to you, even if you were used to making a higher income in the past. You may be unable to find a higher-paying job, and the unemployment program will not continue to provide benefits to you if you turn down jobs.

Regular Interviews

When you are on unemployment benefits, you will have to continue being involved in regular interviews with the unemployment office. You may have to appear in person or you could conduct the interview over the phone. During this interview, you will have to provide some proof that you have been out looking for work. If the unemployment office representative is not satisfied that you are considering every job opportunity, your benefits could be revoked as a result.

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