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.
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.
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.