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Can You Turn Down a Job Offer When Collecting Unemployment?

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In some cases, individuals can turn down a job offer if it does not represent suitable employment. However, that is most often the case when you are first unemployed. After a certain amount of weeks of collecting unemployment or if you are collecting extended unemployment benefits, you will have less flexibility when it comes to turning down jobs.

Each state sets standards to define what determines if a job will be considered suitable. In general, suitable work is interpreted to mean a job which offers wages comparable to your recent employment and work duties and which corresponds to your education level and your previous work experience.

In New York, for example, suitable work goes beyond accepting employment related to a primary skill if that skill is not viable in the marketplace. Job offers for employment related to secondary areas of skill and experience are considered suitable. After exhausting regular unemployment in New York State, the concept of suitable employment is broadened further to include any work you are capable of performing whether or not you have any experience or training in the work.

Check With Your State Unemployment Office

Before you turn down a job offer, check the regulations for your location. The requirements will be listed on your state unemployment office website, typically in the Frequently Ask Questions section. The requirements may vary based on whether you are collecting state unemployment benefits (Regular UI) federal extended unemployment benefits (EB or EUC) and how long you have been out of work.

Read More: Suitable Work Requirements | Unemployment Job Search and Work Requirements

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