Able and Available AA 305

Military Service

This section discusses issues of availability raised by actual or prospective military service. Refer to TPU BDG for issues relating to wages from active or reserve military service. Fact Finding Guides will be found in the appropriate section of this volume based on the reason for the claimant’s restriction.

A. Active Military Service

Claimants who are in active military service are considered fully employed. They are in receipt of wages and are not entitled to file claims regardless of whether or not they are currently performing services.

Reduced benefits may be payable for the week in which the claimant enters military service if the claimant is otherwise eligible and the earned wages are less than his or her weekly benefit amount.

B. Enlisted - Induction Not Imminent

A future, indefinite date for induction into military service does not normally raise an availability issue unless the claimant is unwilling to consider other employment in the meantime, or the restrictions upon acceptable employment pending induction are such that the claimant has no substantial labor market remaining. 

Example 1:

The claimant has enlisted in a branch of the military. The claimant has requested and been accepted for schooling in electronics, but the date of induction has not been set because there are no current openings in that school. Although the claimant’s occupation is that of construction laborer and the labor market affords prospects for such employment, the claimant is unwilling to continue with that occupation and restricts to seeking work in the electronics field. In the absence of any experience or training, the labor market in electronics is nonexistent in the claimant’s labor market area. In this case, the claimant would be considered unavailable for work.

Example 2:

The claimant’s only work experience has been as a salesclerk in a local variety store. The claimant has enlisted in the military but has been told there will be a wait for induction until a class of fifty inductees can be accumulated, which could be a month or more. The claimant is looking for and will accept temporary work as a salesclerk on either a part-time or full-time basis, and plans to work up to two days before induction. The claimant has no other restrictions and has been actively seeking work. In this case, the claimant would be considered available for work.

C. Enlisted - Induction Imminent

A claimant who has been officially notified of the imminence of induction, or who has been advised he or she will be placed in active status on a definite date, is available only for temporary work. Any additional restrictions imposed could render the claimant unavailable for work if no substantial portion of the claimant’s labor market remains.


The claimant has enlisted in the military and will be inducted in two weeks’ time. In the meantime, he plans to go fishing, visit with relatives, clean the garage, store his boat, and otherwise occupy himself with personal concerns. He does not plan to look for work, nor would he accept work if it were offered. The claimant has removed himself from the labor market and is not available for work.

D. Preinduction Activities

Since military service is employment, time spent in taking physicals or other qualifying examinations preparatory to induction or active duty will be regarded as part of the claimants efforts to seek work rather than as an availability issue.

Example 1:

The claimant applies to a recruiter for schooling in a subject of her choice. She is scheduled for an aptitude test on a Tuesday, and spends the major portion of the day taking the written test. In the absence of any other limitations or restrictions, she would be considered to be available for work that week.

Example 2:

The claimant is scheduled to take his physical on Monday. He spends Monday and part of Tuesday taking the physical and a battery of medical tests. He is eventually advised that he does not qualify for military service on the basis of the results of the examinations. He has spent twelve working hours attempting to qualify for employment with the military, and his availability during that twelve hours is not an issue even though he did not qualify for induction into the military.

E. Active Reserve or National Guard Duty

Members of National Guard or active reserve units may meet their obligations through evening or weekend drills, or may be scheduled during a stated period for annual training ("summer camp"). An individual’s membership in, and obligation to, the military unit is generally accepted by the employer as a condition of employment.

When the claimant is performing full-time services for the Guard or reserves, there is no AA issue, the claimant is considered to be fully employed (refer to TPU 305). However, when the claimant is performing services for the Guard or reserves on a less than full-time basis, an AA issue will be raised if the claimant imposes any restrictions on his or her availability. As with any other availability issue, eligibility will be based on the reason for the restriction.