Can I continue claiming unemployment benefits without doing job searches in order to take care of my father who will be recuperating from surgery?

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Can I continue claiming unemployment benefits without doing job searches in order to take care of my father who will be recuperating from surgery?

I’ve been collecting unemployment for 2 months. My dad will be having surgery in a week and is going to be laid up for bout 6 weeks.

Asked on January 28, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Why can't you do both?  I do not mean that in any way what so ever but a "job search" in today's day and age does not have to entail what it used to.  I am sure it depends on your field but with the internet and applying for jobs on line I think that you can satisfy the requirement - which is a requirement - and take care of your Dad.  Think about it.  Good luck with everything. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, you may not. The requirements for continued eligibility for unemployment benefits are clear: you must continue looking for work (and, if you receive a job opportunity at all comparable in level or salary to your prior work, take it). There is no exception allowing you to not look for work to care for a family member. Just as, if you were still employed, your employer would not have to pay you if you took time off from work  to care for your father (obviously, unless you had and used PTO that you'd earned), so, too you are not entitled to unemployment benefits unless you continue to at least make the effort to work.


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