Fact Check: Biden Says Jobless Americans Offered a Job Must Take It or Lose Benefits

Fact Check: Biden Says Jobless Americans Offered a Job Must Take It or Lose Benefits

CLAIM: U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday said unemployed Americans who turn down job offers will lose jobless benefits.

“The law is clear. If you’re receiving unemployment benefits and you’re offered a suitable job, you can’t refuse that job and just keep getting unemployment benefits,” Biden said Monday.

Fact Check: False.

Not only are many Americans receiving jobless benefits not required to accept job offers, they are not even required to actively look for employment.

Most states suspended long-standing requirements that jobless Americans have to be looking for work in order to be eligible for jobless benefits. While some states have begun reinstating job search requirements, the suspension continues in many others. Last week’s worse-than-expected jobs report for April prompted Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to reinstate the job search requirement for his state.

It's not just a red-blue thing. Not even Indiana has reinstated its work search requirement yet. Friday's jobs report prompted the governor to announce that he would sign an EO this week reinstating the requirement. https://t.co/AF1d4c20s2

— Julia Pollak (@juliaonjobs) May 10, 2021

Even in states that do require job searches, the unemployed can still turn down job offers, especially if they have not been receiving benefits for long. As time goes on, the rules tend to become stricter. But even then, workers are only required to take “suitable work,”¬†which means a job that offers wages comparable to previous employment and work that fits his or her education level and previous work experience. In practice, this often allows the unemployed wide leeway to turn down jobs.

John Carney