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A Guide to Your Rights & Responsibilities When Claiming Unemployment Benefits in Connecticut
Reasonable Efforts To Find Work

The Unemployment Compensation law says that an unemployed worker must make reasonable efforts to find employment each week.   This means that you should look for and apply for jobs that you are qualified to do.  You should apply for suitable employment by whatever means is most likely to bring your skills to the attention of a prospective employer and increase your chances of getting hired.  Usually, the best method of job search is to apply in person. However, for certain types of employment, application by résumé is customary and may be more appropriate. Generally, in‑person contacts should be made whenever they increase the possibility of your being hired. As a general rule, telephoning prospective employers (as opposed to in‑person contacts) is not a reasonable method of searching for work unless the employer specifically encourages telephone contact. 

While the law does not specify what number of efforts to find work you must make each week, courts have generally said that an unemployed person who makes at least three employer contacts in a week has made reasonable efforts to obtain work during that week.  Of course, it is necessary that those efforts be directed toward work which you are qualified to do and that you apply through the means best‑suited to securing the job you are seeking. In general, repeat contacts are not considered to be reasonable unless there is a definite reason to believe returning to the same employer would create favorable prospects for securing employment.  There may be some instances in which one or two  employer contacts in a given week would be considered reasonable efforts; for example, if you accept an offer of employment to start the following week after making only one contact.  Although you will not necessarily be questioned about your efforts every week, the Career Center will check your efforts periodically and has the right to question and verify your employer contacts in any week.  Therefore, you should keep a list of  those employers with whom you have applied, the type of work you sought, the date of the contact, the employer's response and the name or title of the person you contacted. 

If you travel out of state to look for work during a one or two week period for which you wish to claim benefits, keep a detailed list of job search contacts.  Upon your return to the area, contact the TeleBenefits Line to schedule a review of your availability for work, specifically your job search activities while you were out of state. 

Finally, if you have a confirmed return‑to‑work date, contact the Tele-Benefits Line for advice on your work search obligation.

Keeping a record of weekly employer contacts is important not only for periodic determinations by the Career Center, but also because some people who file for benefits are randomly selected for an audit of their unemployment claims by the CTDOL's Quality Control Unit.  You should be able to provide the auditor information regarding your employer contacts for the week being reviewed and the dates the contacts were  made.  Failure to provide this information could result in a retroactive denial of benefits for that week, and you would be liable to repay the benefits you received.

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