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Will my unemployment be canceled if I refuse a job offer?

Unemployment insurance is designed to prevent you from losing your home because of an employment hiccup. However, it is not intended to replace gainful employment. So to balance these two goals, unemployment insurance pays out regularly for a certain number of months assuming you are looking for a new job. Does this mean that you must take any job that comes your way, or can you be selective and wait for one that fits your qualifications? Well, the answer is typically contingent upon your circumstances.

For example, if you are an electrical engineer and you are offered a position in sales, you are not required to accept that job. Unemployment insurance wants you to accept new jobs, but only if they roughly match your skills and past compensation. Thus, you can wait it out for a more appropriate job offer.

What happens if you are that same electrical engineer, and you are offered a comparable position, but the job is in another city? That answer is slightly more complicated. The job meets your prior qualifications, therefore, you must accept it. If you don't accept it that could be grounds to cease further unemployment payments. However, you may be able to argue that the new job places an unreasonable burden on yourself and your family.

The state will consider several factors, including:

  • How many shifts you are offered and when.
  • Your level of experience.
  • If the new job is dangerous and how much in comparison to your prior jobs.
  • If you are physically capable of accomplishing the tasks required of the new job.
  • If there are significant travel costs, like frequent traveling or a long commute.
  • If the proffered pay is significantly lower than the market rate.

No single factor is determinative, so you must weigh each one carefully. If you believe that your unemployment insurance was unjustly denied or revoked, then you may want to speak to an attorney. After losing a job, no one wants the added stress of fighting the government, but depending your circumstances, it may be your best option.

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