What Does It Mean To Be Actively Seeking Work?

St. Louis Unemployment Benefits
Categories : Unemployment

Under Missouri law,1 some of the many requirements to be eligible for unemployment benefits in St. Louis are that you are “able, available, and actively seeking work.” Being “able” means that you have the physical and mental capabilities needed to perform a job. Being “available” means that you have the ability to immediately accept offered employment and not have excessive schedule restrictions, transportation challenges, or other issue that may keep you from working. One factor that many people tend to ignore is that you must also be actively seeking new work.

Requirements for seeking work

“Actively seeking work” means that you must be involved in an active search for a new job. This requirement intends to prohibit people from simply using unemployment to live for a period of time when they are voluntarily unemployed. You may seek work in various ways, which include the following:

  • Responding to job postings
  • Sending out resumes and cover letters
  • Visiting establishments similar to where you previously worked
  • Seeking help from a job agency


Obviously, some of these methods are not appropriate for all types of jobs. For example, dropping in on a business to apply may be appropriate for restaurant or retail workers, but not for professionals. Therefore, the methods that are adequate to constitute an active job search may differ from case to case.  Another requirement of the actively seeking work factor is that you do not turn down any suitable job offers without a justified reason.

If you are collecting unemployment, it is always a good idea to  keep records of all jobs for which you apply, all resumes you send out, and any other methods of actively seeking work. This can help you defend your benefits if the Missouri Division of Employment Security2 questions whether you have been making adequate efforts to seek new employment.

Contact a St. Louis unemployment lawyer for help today

If you believe you are eligible for unemployment or if you have had your benefits wrongfully denied or discontinued in Missouri, your first call should be to the Law Offices of Kenneth P. Carp. Contact us at (314) 526-0879 for a free consultation.