How do I Stay Eligible for Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

Note: This blog post was updated Nov. 23, 2016, with new information throughout the article.

To stay eligible for unemployment insurance benefits once you have applied for benefits, you must complete a weekly certification at Click here for instructions. You must also be working less than full time, be available and physically and mentally able to work and actively seeking full-time employment. You also must be willing and able to work all the days and hours normal for the type of work you seek. Finally, you need to remain in the area unless you are seeking work outside of where you live.

What could stop or deny my benefits?

Situations arise that require us to stop payment while investigating claims. Some of these issues are:

  • Quitting a job
  • Being fired
  • Being unable to work
  • Being out of town
  • Attending school
  • Being incarcerated
  • Missing or refusing work
  • Failing to seek work
  • Failing to provide requested information
  • Making a false statement or withholding information to obtain benefits
  • Becoming self-employed
  • Failing to participate in an in-person employment interview.
Am I  still eligible for benefits if I go out of town?

You are generally required to stay in your local labor market area during the work week.

After you answer the question, “Were you away from the area where you normally look for work?” or “Were you away from the area where you normally work?” as “Yes” on your weekly certification, an adjudicator will contact you for more information to determine if you are eligible for benefits during the week you were out of town.

What if I find a full-time job?

If you are hired for a full-time job, you should not claim benefits for any week in which you worked full time because you are no longer eligible to collect benefits. There is no need to call us; simply quit submitting your weekly certification. Continuing to collect benefits could lead to monetary penalties and criminal prosecution. The next time you work less than full time and want to claim benefits, you need to resubmit your application at

Do I have to look for work?

Yes and you must make at least two employment contacts per week. Your obligation while receiving unemployment benefits is to become re-employed. To do so, you need to develop a realistic plan to achieve this objective. Unless otherwise specified in your work-search plan, you are required to make a good faith effort to seek full-time work each week that you claim benefits, even if you are employed part time.

How will I know if I am required to look for work?

Unless otherwise specified, you are required to seek full-time work each week you claim benefits, even if you are employed part time. We require at least two employment contacts per week. Never assume you are not required to look for work. Call us at (208) 332-8942 if you have questions regarding your work-search requirements.

Do I have to provide my work-search contacts?

Yes. You will be prompted to enter your work search contacts when you file your weekly report. You may want to use our work search log to keep track of your weekly contacts. The contacts you list will be verified with the employers. Falsifying work-search contacts will result in a determination of fraud.

Why would I have be interviewed?

You may be required to participate in a personal interview with a workforce consultant. The interview is designed to help you return to work in the shortest time possible. The consultant may assist you with labor market information, resumes and innovative ideas for seeking work. Failure to participate will result in your benefits being stopped.

–Idaho Department of Labor