It’s important to note that the FED-ED job-seeking rules are much stricter than those under California requirements. In the Here’s Why post from Feb. 13, 2010, we discuss what California considers “suitable work,” and noted that the state allowed a jobseeker to refuse work that paid substantially less than she was making before.
As this excerpt from the EDD site states federal requirements are much less forgiving:
If you are eligible to file a FED-ED extension, you must follow additional eligibility requirements in order to receive your weekly payments.
Typically, individuals have been instructed to seek full-time work (or in some cases, part-time work) and are required to report contact with a minimum of three employers per week.
Accept any offer for work you are capable of performing if the weekly gross pay would be equal to or greater than the weekly benefit amount on your FED-ED extension. You may be disqualified for benefits if you do not accept the job.
The weekly benefit amount on your FED-ED extension is $450. You are offered a job working 40 hours per week at $11.25 per hour. You must accept that job offer because your total earnings for one week would be equal to the weekly benefit amount on your FED-ED claim ($11.25 x 40 = $450).
If we’re reading this correctly, it means you have to prove and provide contact information for at least three work search contacts per week, and you must accept a job you can do as long as it pays the same or above the rate of your unemployment award. The federal government expects you to take this seriously, so be aware that if you blithely apply to your local big box store and they offer you $11.50, you’ll have a new job. This might explain the sudden $12 per hour “competetive pay rate” appearing all over job ads, too.
Here’s Why is monitoring this situation and will add any new information as soon as it is available, but strongly encourages readers to rely on the EDD web pages and sign up for EDD’s RSS feed or their Twitter account in order to stay on top of the details.