File No. 34898

This rule was published in the June 15, 2011, issue (Vol. 2011, No. 12) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Workforce Services, Unemployment Insurance

Section R994-403-112c


Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 34898
Filed: 06/01/2011 04:47:20 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this amendment is to clarify existing law and rule.

Summary of the rule or change:

The Department can now determine when a claimant is filing from a foreign country. This has resulted in an increase of fraud prosecutions. This change is being made to tell claimants when they can and cannot travel outside of the US while receiving benefits.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 35A-4-403(1)
  • Section 35A-1-104
  • Subsection 35A-1-104(4)
  • Subsection 35A-4-502(1)(b)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

This is a federally-funded program so there are no costs or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

This is a federally-funded program so there are no costs of savings to local government.

small businesses:

There are no costs or savings to any small businesses as there are no fees associated with this program as it is federally funded.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There are no costs or savings to any other persons, businesses, or local government entities as there are no fees associated with this program as it is federally funded.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There are no costs or savings to any affected persons as there are no fees associated with this program as it is federally funded. These changes will not impact any employer's contribution rate.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

There are no compliance costs associated with this change. There are no fees associated with this change. There will be no cost to anyone to comply with these changes. There will be no fiscal impact on any business. These changes will have no impact on any employer's contribution tax rate.

Kristen Cox, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Workforce Services
Unemployment Insurance
140 E 300 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-2333

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Kristen Cox, Executive Director


R994. Workforce Services, Unemployment Insurance.

R994-403. Claim for Benefits.

R994-403-112c. Available.

(1) General Requirement.

The claimant must be available for full-time work. Any restrictions on availability, such as lack of transportation, domestic problems, school attendance, military obligations, church or civic activities, whether self-imposed or beyond the control of the claimant, lessen the claimant's opportunities to obtain suitable full-time work.

(2) Activities Which Affect Availability.

It is not the intent of the act to subsidize activities which interfere with immediate reemployment. A claimant is not considered available for work if the claimant is involved in any activity which cannot be immediately abandoned or interrupted so that the claimant can seek and accept full-time work.

(a) Activities Which May Result in a Denial of Benefits.

For purposes of establishing weekly eligibility for benefits, a claimant who is engaged in an activity for more than half the normal workweek that would prevent the claimant from working, is presumed to be unavailable and therefore ineligible for benefits. The normal workweek means the normal workweek in the claimant's occupation. This presumption can be overcome by a showing that the activity did not preclude the immediate acceptance of full-time work, referrals to work, contacts from the Department, or an active search for work. When a claimant is away from his or her residence but has made arrangements to be contacted and can return quickly enough to respond to any opportunity for work, the presumption of unavailability may be overcome. The conclusion of unavailability can also be overcome in the following circumstances:

(i) Travel Which is Necessary to Seek Work.

(A) Benefits will not be denied if the claimant is required to travel to seek, apply for, or accept work within the United States or in a foreign country where the claimant has authorization to work and where there is a reciprocal agreement. The trip itself must be for the purpose of obtaining work. There is a rebuttable presumption that the claimant is not available for work when the trip is extended to accommodate the claimant's personal needs or interests, and the extension is for more than one-half of the workweek.

(B) Unemployment benefits cannot be paid to a claimant located in a foreign country unless the claimant has authorization to work there and there is a reciprocal agreement concerning the payment of unemployment benefits with that foreign country. An exception to this general rule is that a claimant who travels to a foreign country for the express purpose of applying for employment and is out of the United States for two consecutive weeks or less is eligible for those weeks provided the claimant can prove he or she has a legal right to work in that country. A claimant who is out of the United States for more than two weeks is not eligible for benefits for any of the weeks.

(C) Unemployment benefits are intended, in part, to stimulate the economy of Utah and the United States and thus are expected to be spent in this country. A claimant who travels to a foreign country must report to the Department that he or she is out of the country, even if it is for a temporary purpose and regardless of whether the claimant intends to return to the United States if work becomes available. Failure to inform the Department will result in a fraud overpayment for the weeks benefits were paid while the claimant was in a foreign country except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this section. The claimant may be eligible if the travel is to Canada but must notify the Department of that travel. Canada is the only country with which Utah has a reciprocal agreement. If the claimant travels to, but is not eligible to work in, Canada and fails to notify the Department of the travel, it will result in a fraud overpayment for the weeks benefits were paid while the claimant was in Canada.

(ii) Definite Offer of Work or Recall.

If the claimant has accepted a definite offer of full-time employment or has a date of recall to begin within three weeks, the claimant does not have to demonstrate further availability and is not required to seek other work. Because the statute requires that a claimant be able to work, if a claimant is unable to work for more than one-half of any week due to illness or hospitalization, benefits will be denied.

(iii) Jury Duty or Court Attendance.

Jury duty or court attendance is a public duty required by law and a claimant will not be denied benefits if he or she is unavailable because of a lawfully issued summons to appear as a witness or to serve on a jury unless the claimant:

(A) is a party to the action;

(B) had employment which he or she was unable to continue or accept because of the court service; or

(C) refused or delayed an offer of suitable employment because of the court service.

The time spent in court service is not a personal service performed under a contract of hire and therefore is not considered employment.

(b) Activities Which Will Result in a Denial of Benefits.

(i) Refusal of Work.

When a claimant refuses any suitable work, the claimant is considered unavailable. Even though the claimant had valid reasons for not accepting the work, benefits will not be allowed for the week or weeks in which the work was available. Benefits are also denied when a claimant fails to be available for job referrals or a call to return to work under reasonable conditions consistent with a previously established work relationship. This includes referral attempts from a temporary employment service, a school district for substitute teaching, or any other employer for which work is "on-call."

(ii) Failure to Perform All Work During the Week of Separation.

(A) Benefits will be denied for the week in which separation from employment occurs if the claimant's unemployment was caused because the claimant was not able or available to do his or her work. In this circumstance, there is a presumption of continued inability or unavailability and an indefinite disqualification will be assessed until there is proof of a change in the conditions or circumstances.

(B) If the claimant was absent from work during the last week of employment and the claimant was not paid for the day or days of absence, benefits will be denied for that week. The claimant will be denied benefits under this section regardless of the length of the absence.

(3) Hours of Availability.

(a) Full-Time.

Except as provided in R994-403-111c(5), in order to meet the availability requirement, a claimant must be ready and willing to immediately accept full-time work. Full-time work generally means 40 hours a week but may vary due to customary practices in an occupation. If the claimant was last employed less than full-time, there is a rebuttable presumption that the claimant continues to be available for only part-time work.

(b) Other Than Normal Work Hours.

If the claimant worked other than normal work hours and the work schedule was adjusted to accommodate the claimant, the claimant cannot continue to limit his or her hours of availability even if the claimant was working 40 hours or more. The claimant must be available for full-time work during normal work hours as is customary for the industry.

(4) Wage Restrictions.

(a) No claimant will be expected, as a condition of eligibility, to accept a wage that is less than the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is applicable, or a wage that is substantially less favorable to the claimant than prevailing wages for similar work in the locality. Benefits cannot be allowed if the claimant is restricting himself or herself to a wage that is not available.

(b) A claimant must be given a reasonable time to seek work that will preserve his or her earning potential. At the time of filing an initial claim, or at the time of reopening a claim following a period of employment, the claimant may restrict his or her wage requirement to the highest wage earned during or subsequent to the base period and prior to filing the claim or the highest wage available in the locality for the claimant's occupation, whichever is lower, but only if there is a reasonable expectation that work can be obtained at that wage.

(i) After a claimant has received1/3 of the maximum benefit amount (MBA) for his or her regular claim, the claimant must accept any wage that is equal to or greater than the lowest wage earned during the base period, as long as that wage is consistent with the prevailing wage standard.

(ii) After a claimant has received 2/3 of the MBA for his or her regular claim, the claimant must be willing to accept the prevailing wage in the locality for work in any base period occupation.

(c) Exception for Deferred Claimants.

The provisions of this section do not apply to those claimants who qualify for deferrals under Subsection 35A-4-403(1)(b) and R994-403-202 during the period of deferral.

(5) Type of Work.

(a) One of the purposes of the unemployment insurance program is to help a claimant preserve his or her highest skill by providing unemployment benefits so the claimant can find work similar to what the claimant had prior to becoming unemployed. A skill is defined as a marketable ability developed over an extended period of time by training or experience which could be lost if not used. It is not the intent of the program to subsidize individuals who are limiting their availability because of a desire to improve their employment status.

(i) At the time of filing an initial claim or reopening a claim following a period of employment, a claimant may restrict availability to the highest skilled employment performed during or subsequent to the base period provided the claimant has a reasonable expectation of obtaining that type of work. A claimant who is not willing to accept employment consistent with work performed during or subsequent to the base period must show a compelling reason for that restriction in order to be considered available for work.

(ii) After the claimant has received 1/3 of the MBA for his or her regular claim, the claimant must be willing to accept work in any of the occupations in which the claimant worked during the base period.

(iii) After the claimant has received 2/3 of the MBA for his or her regular claim, the claimant must be willing to accept any work that he or she can reasonably perform consistent with the claimant's past experience, training, and skills.

(b) Contract Obligation.

If a claimant is restricted due to a contractual obligation from competing with a former employer or accepting employment in the claimant's regular occupation, the claimant is not eligible for benefits unless the claimant can show that he or she:

(i) is actively seeking work outside the restrictions of the noncompete contract;

(ii) has the skills and/or training necessary to obtain that work; and

(iii) can reasonably expect to obtain that employment.

(6) Employer/Occupational Requirements.

If the claimant does not have the license or special equipment required for the type of work the claimant wants to obtain, the claimant cannot be considered available for work unless the claimant is actively seeking other types of work and has a reasonable expectation of obtaining that work.

(7) Temporary Availability.

When an individual is limited to temporary work because of anticipated military service, school attendance, travel, church service, relocation, a reasonable expectation of recall to a former employer for which the claimant is not in deferral status, or any other anticipated restriction on the claimant's future availability, availability is only established if the claimant is willing to accept and is actively seeking temporary work. The claimant must also show there is a realistic expectation that there is temporary work in the claimant's occupation, otherwise the claimant may be required to accept temporary work in another occupation. Evidence of a genuine desire to obtain temporary work may be shown by registration with and willingness to accept work with temporary employment services.

(8) Distance to Work.

(a) Customary Commuting Patterns.

A claimant must show reasonable access to public or private transportation, and a willingness to commute within customary commuting patterns for the occupation and community.

(b) Removal to a Locality of Limited Work Opportunities.

A claimant who moves from an area where there are substantial work opportunities to an area of limited work opportunities must demonstrate that the new locale has work for which the claimant is qualified and which the claimant is willing to perform. If the work is so limited in the new locale that there is little expectation the claimant will become reemployed, the continued unemployment is the result of the move and not the failure of the labor market to provide employment opportunities. In that case, the claimant is considered to have removed himself or herself from the labor market and is no longer eligible for benefits.

(9) School.

(a) A claimant attending school who has not been granted Department approval for a deferral must still meet all requirements of being able and available for work and be actively seeking work. Areas that need to be examined when making an eligibility determination with respect to a student include reviewing a claimant's work history while attending school, coupled with his or her efforts to secure full-time work. If the hours of school attendance conflict with the claimant's established work schedule or with the customary work schedule for the occupation in which the claimant is seeking work, a rebuttable presumption is established that the claimant is not available for full-time work and benefits will generally be denied. An announced willingness on the part of a claimant to discontinue school attendance or change his or her school schedule, if necessary, to accept work must be weighed against the time already spent in school as well as the financial loss the claimant may incur if he or she were to withdraw.

(b) A presumption of unavailability may also be raised if a claimant moves, for the purpose of attending school, from an area with substantial labor market to a labor market with more limited opportunities. In order to overcome this presumption, the claimant must demonstrate there is full-time work available in the new area which the claimant could reasonably expect to obtain.

(10) Employment of Youth.

Title 34, Chapter 23 of the Utah Code imposes limitations on the number of hours youth under the age of 16 may work. The following limitations do not apply if the individual has received a high school diploma or is married. Claimants under the age of 16 who do not provide proof of meeting one of these exceptions are under the following limitations whether or not in student status because they have a legal obligation to attend school. Youth under the age of 16 may not work:

(a) during school hours except as authorized by the proper school authorities;

(b) before or after school in excess of 4 hours a day;

(c) before 5:00 a.m. or after 9:30 p.m. on days preceding school days;

(d) in excess of 8 hours in any 24-hour period; or

(e) more than 40 hours in any week.

(11) Domestic Obligations.

When a claimant has an obligation to care for children or other dependents, the claimant must show that arrangements for the care of those individuals have been made for all hours that are normally worked in the claimant's occupation and must show a good faith, active work search effort.


KEY: filing deadlines, registration, student eligibility, unemployment compensation

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [March 15,] 2011

Notice of Continuation: June 26, 2007

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 35A-4-403(1)


Additional Information

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets (e.g., [example]). Text to be added is underlined (e.g., example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at