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(1) The department shall determine a claimant is making an active, good faith effort to secure insured work when the claimant documents at least one valid work search contact made during the week for which claimant requests the payment of benefits or waiting week credit. A valid work search contact requires a claimant to:

(a) directly contact an employer or an authorized agent of an employer who hires workers in the claimant's occupation(s);

(b) possess the prior work experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities to qualify for the specific job opening;

(c) complete a job application or submit a resume that enables the employer to contact the claimant to arrange an interview or to commence employment;

(d) make the work search contact in person, unless the normal method of applying for work in the industry or occupation is submission of an application or resume by mail, Internet, or facsimile; and

(e) make a work search contact with a different employer for each consecutive week.

(2) Seeking self-employment or work as an independent contractor does not constitute a valid work search for unemployment insurance purposes.

(3) The claimant must maintain a separate log of valid work search contacts and accurately report at least one work search contact to the department in the designated section of the claimant's weekly payment request form, whether filing by mail, e-mail, facsimile, or using the Internet claim system. Failure to provide a verifiable work search contact for a week or failure to answer fully all questions related to a work search contact may result in the denial of benefits.

(4) Claimants must retain separate documentation of all work search contacts for three calendar years following claimants' benefit year.

(5) Documentation of work search contacts consists of the following information:

(a) date of the work search contact;

(b) name of the employer;

(c) name of the employer's contact person or employer's web address (URL);

(d) telephone number of employer;

(e) position applied for by claimant;

(f) result of the work search contact;

(g) copy of confirmation of receipt of application or resume by the employer for an online application; and

(h) copy of job advertisement in newspaper or trade magazine, when applicable.

(6) The department may exempt a claimant from the requirement to complete work search contacts and maintain a work search log when the claimant is:

(a) engaged in state-approved training, pursuant to ARM 24.11.475 or 24.11.476;

(b) "union attached" as defined in ARM 24.11.452A; or

(c) "job attached" as defined in ARM 24.11.452A.

(7) The department may deny benefits and determine that a claimant must pay back previously paid benefits when a claimant fails to:

(a) complete required work search contacts;

(b) fully report work search contacts on weekly payment request forms;

(c) provide documentation of work search contacts upon department request;

(d) participate in the Benefits Accuracy and Measurement audit authorized by ARM 24.11.470; or

(e) participate in the Eligibility Review Program authorized by ARM 24.11.471.

History: 39-51-301, 39-51-302, MCA; IMP, 39-51-2104, 39-41-2115, 39-51-2304, MCA; NEW, 2014 MAR p. 593, Eff. 3/28/14.

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