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  1. #1
    guht is offline Junior Member
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    Unemployment Audit of Work Search Logs

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Arizona

    I believe I am being audited by the state of Arizona for the collection of Unemployment benefits. I received an automated phone call from the Arizona Unemployment Office stating that I had been sent a piece of mail, which I have yet to receive. According to the automated message the mail that was sent contained an appointment date and time with an agent from the Arizona Unemployment Office. I am assuming this appointment is an audit, and that at that time they will want to see my logs concerning my search for employment.

    In the state of Arizona they require you to file a weekly claim. The benefits you are eligible to receive each week are based on the contingency that you were able to work that week, and that you actively sought employment that week.

    Arizona has specific guidelines for record keeping of your weekly employment searches. I have provided the relevant guidelines below:

    Each week that you file for benefits you must look for work and keep a list of all your work search contacts. If you do not look for work, apply for work, or accept suitable work, you may not be eligible to receive benefits. The Department will randomly check your work search activities and ask for a copy of your work search list. Your efforts to find a job for each week in which you claim UI benefits will be reviewed. If you do not provide your work search when asked, or if an employer disputes that you applied, you may not be eligible to receive benefits. If you have already received benefits for one or more of the ineligible weeks, you will be required to pay back the money that you received.

    Keep good work search records. A good work search record will include the date of contact and the name and phone number of any person contacted. If you sent an e-mail or fax, include the email address or fax number and print the confirmation or email to show proof that contact was made. If you made an internet contact, record the Web address and keep the confirmation that you receive as you may be asked to provide it in the future. If you called an employer, you need to include the phone number. Phone calls are considered an exploratory means of searching for work and may not be considered a valid contact in all cases. If you went to the business in person, include the address. Also include the type of work you sought and list the result of each contact.

    Below is a link to an image of the form that Arizona provides you to track your work searches. One thing I noticed is that on the form they include 'Networking' as a valid entry for your work search, but 'Networking' is not mentioned anywhere in the guidelines stated above.

    http://i45.tinypic.com/k30wgl.jpg

    I have been searching for work, but I have not been keeping a log of my search.

    I have been collecting unemployment since '10/15/2011'.

    I do not want to 'forge' or create a 'fraudulent' work log.

    I went through a divorce during this time, obviously I lost my job after 11 years of employment, and as a result I sunk into a deep depression. I spent 5 weeks in an intensive out-patient program at which time I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and ADHD. My psychiatrist, as well as myself, believe that my mental health issues have directly affected my ability to find work, and obviously to keep and maintain a work log for my employment searches.

    I have looked for work each week, but did not always follow through with an application or any kind of contact that could be verified.

    I am wondering what I should do here. I am definitely guilty of not keeping a work log, but I DO NOT in any way believe I am guilty of unemployment fraud.

    Please help!

    On a personal note I have been a hard working, honest, tax paying American for 20+ years. I have never before collected any sort of welfare, disability, or unemployment. I have a consistent and stable work history, and my recent unemployment was due to a company wide reduction of work force, and no fault of my own. I personally believe after paying into the system for 20+ years, and having a stable and consistent track record of employment and paying taxes, that it is reprehensible on the part of the government to scrutinize and subject someone to these kinds of 'hoops'. Obviously I understand that the 'system' does not work this way, and that my sense of entitlement will get me no where, but it is frustrating to be put under a microscope when my only fault is not keeping good records while going through a very emotional and stressful situation.
    Last edited by guht; 07-16-2012 at 06:38 PM.
  2. #2
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, the Unemployment folks are allowed to audit your work search logs to verify your eligibility for benefits that you claimed. They can use your lack of having a work search log as evidence that you were not actually searching for work, and can potentially suspend your claim and declare that the benefits you have received you weren't entitled to.

    You're definitely right in that forging a log and making things up is NOT the way to go here. I'm sure if you try hard enough, you can come up with a record of your contacts to prove that you were actively seeking work. And if you can't, well, then you have a problem.
    Last edited by sandyclaus; 07-16-2012 at 06:33 PM.
  3. #3
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    are you saying that you are unable to work because of psychological conditions?
  4. #4
    guht is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    are you saying that you are unable to work because of psychological conditions?
    No, I am suggesting that my recent diagnosis of mental health issues might explain, or be a legally defensible reason, for my inability to keep and maintain accurate work search logs.
  5. #5
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    Oh spare me. All a log requires is you open a file in a processing program and plug in a few lines info regarding the contact. You do it each week and it takes about 2-3 minutes. When you make calls, you use your cell so a phone log will be kept as background support.
  6. #6
    guht is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OHRoadwarrior View Post
    Oh spare me. All a log requires is you open a file in a processing program and plug in a few lines info regarding the contact. You do it each week and it takes about 2-3 minutes. When you make calls, you use your cell so a phone log will be kept as background support.
    I'll let god spare you as I am not in that business. Perhaps before responding like a jackass you should consult your signature and say a little prayer.
  7. #7
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by guht View Post
    I'll let god spare you as I am not in that business. Perhaps before responding like a jackass you should consult your signature and say a little prayer.
    Whether or not you LIKE what she said, she's right. You had ample opportunity to create, keep, and update a log of your search efforts. When you re-submit your claim every week, you acknowledge your responsibility to do that. Your mental health issues NOW don't explain or justify your reasons for NOT doing so for the past 9 months.

    As I stated in my previous post, it sounds like you're in trouble. You can certainly tell them your excuse for not doing it, but that's not going to absolve you of your responsibility nor the consequences. You may possibly have your benefits terminated, and there's an excellent chance that you will be ordered to pay back the benefits you've received.

    Choices have consequences. Welcome to the real world.
  8. #8
    guht is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyclaus View Post
    Whether or not you LIKE what she said, she's right. You had ample opportunity to create, keep, and update a log of your search efforts. When you re-submit your claim every week, you acknowledge your responsibility to do that. Your mental health issues NOW don't explain or justify your reasons for NOT doing so for the past 9 months.

    As I stated in my previous post, it sounds like you're in trouble. You can certainly tell them your excuse for not doing it, but that's not going to absolve you of your responsibility nor the consequences. You may possibly have your benefits terminated, and there's an excellent chance that you will be ordered to pay back the benefits you've received.

    Choices have consequences. Welcome to the real world.
    The information from the previous poster was not in question, it was the tone and unnecessary comments that were not appreciated.

    I was under the impression that this was a forum for legal advice, and in the legal world mental health issues 'DO' factor into decisions.

    I am acutely aware that there are consequences in the 'real' world, and that I very well could be in 'trouble', hence my post here seeking 'legal' advice.
  9. #9
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Claiming that a disability of any kind should excuse you from following the same rules that everyone else has to follow does a disservice to those disabled employees who fought for years for equal rights and to be seen as capable, able citizens who just happen to have a disability.

    And you personally have not paid a single cent into the unemployment system, which in 47 states, including yours, is funded entirely by taxes paid by the employer.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  10. #10
    guht is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Claiming that a disability of any kind should excuse you from following the same rules that everyone else has to follow does a disservice to those disabled employees who fought for years for equal rights and to be seen as capable, able citizens who just happen to have a disability.
    This is a pretty narrow minded view, and it does not address the issue of this post. I am not 'claiming' a disability that prevents me to work. I am able to work. I did search for work. I just did not properly document my search for work. I merely suggested that my circumstances and mental health issues may provide a legitimate and explainable reason as to why I did not properly document my search for work. Furthermore, your statements do not take into account the millions of people that abuse the system collecting disability benefits when they are perfectly capable of working, which MY tax dollars DID pay for.

    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    And you personally have not paid a single cent into the unemployment system, which in 47 states, including yours, is funded entirely by taxes paid by the employer.
    Again, very narrow minded. How do you think employers pay taxes? They pay through their profits, which is only made possible by employee's.
  11. #11
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Do you think your response from the unemployment board is going to be more or less generous than the ones you have received here?

    I'm gonna go with less...a lot less.

    Your excuse is not going to get you anywhere.
  12. #12
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    I merely suggested that my circumstances and mental health issues may provide a legitimate and explainable reason as to why I did not properly document my search for work

    They don't. Not by a long shot.

    millions of people that abuse the system collecting disability benefits when they are perfectly capable of working,

    They didn't post here. You did. And what they are doing does not excuse what you are doing.

    They pay through their profits, which is only made possible by employee's


    Fine. You go right ahead and tell the unemployment office that you've paid into the UI system for 20 years and therefore they have no right to audit you and you're entitled to neglect to do part or all of what the rules say you have to do. Please do come back and tell us what they say.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  13. #13
    guht is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Do you think your response from the unemployment board is going to be more or less generous than the ones you have received here?

    I'm gonna go with less...a lot less.
    I guess I will have to wait and see. I hope at the very least the response is more intelligent than the ones I have received here, but then again we are talking about government workers.

    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Your excuse is not going to get you anywhere.
    Interesting that you think mental health issues are 'excuses'. I am glad you are an auto insurance adjuster, and not someone more prominent.
  14. #14
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I am not an auto insurance adjuster anymore, but I am not surprised by your lack of reading comprehension.

    You are using your supposed mental health issues as an excuse. If you are well enough to work (and so well enough to legally collect unemployment), then you are well enough to follow the rules regarding searching for a job, and documenting your searches. By the way, looking at a job posting but not filling out an application is not going to count for anything.
  15. #15
    guht is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    I am not an auto insurance adjuster anymore, but I am not surprised by your lack of reading comprehension.
    My reading comprehension is perfectly fine. If you actually wanted people to understand you perhaps it would be better stated "Formerly an insurance adjuster for 2 years."

    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    You are using your supposed mental health issues as an excuse. If you are well enough to work (and so well enough to legally collect unemployment), then you are well enough to follow the rules regarding searching for a job, and documenting your searches. By the way, looking at a job posting but not filling out an application is not going to count for anything.
    Perhaps it is you that can not read or comprehend what you read. I have not 'used' anything as an excuse, as I have not spoken to anyone from unemployment yet. The information I provided initially was an abundant explanation of my situation to let qualified individuals ascertain what my potential options were.

    I have already admitted my fault in not properly documenting my job searches, and the question was 'What now?'.

    Obviously you are not familiar with the symptoms of ADD. If you were you would understand that it does not affect ones ability to engage in stimulating work, but it does affect ones ability to complete mundane tasks such as keeping logs.

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