Good news for the economy, bad news for disabled claimants on unemployment.
During the pandemic, most states relaxed the rules to receive unemployment benefits, which enabled citizens to receive benefits without the requisite job search. Now, in Arizona, Gov. Ducey is reinstating that requirement.
Tasya Peterson, press secretary for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, spells out the requirements:
”In accordance with Arizona law, this means making at least one job contact per day on four different days of the week. A claimant’s work search should include trying to find work that they are suited for by experience, education and/or training," she said. "An adequate search for work is a sincere, consistent effort to find a job and is not just an attempt to remain eligible for benefits. Claimants should follow up general inquiries by making personal visits or by submitting applications and resumes."
Here are the actions that DES is looking for:
Directly contacting an employer
Registering with and contacting your union hiring or placement facility
Registering with a placement facility of your professional organization
Checking back with former employers who may have openings suitable for you
Registering with a placement facility at your school, college or university for work that may be available in your occupation or profession
Taking a test for or applying for openings in civil service or a government agency
Registering for suitable work with a private employment agency or an employer’s placement facility
People will be required to provide the date they contacted an employer, the employer's name and address, the name of the website or person contacted, how they were contacted, the type of work, and the action taken on that particular day.
What does this mean for disabled claimants that cannot work? You MUST get off unemployment or you risk harming your disability case. You cannot claim unemployment without looking for work, and looking for work will be an indication to SSA disability examiners and judges that you believe you are able enough to work and if you are able to work, you should not claim to be disabled and unable to work to SSA.
As a disability attorney, I always advise my
clients to work or attempt to work if they believe they can, because getting on disability is not guaranteed and failed work attempts are allowed during a disability period. However, unemployment benefits come with the requirement that you certify you are able to work full-time and SSA disability requires that you certify that you cannot work full-time. You cannot claim both at the same time.
If you are seeking SSDI (Social Security Disability), contact me as soon as possible for a free consultation at 602-607-0000.