CT Dept. Of Labor Reinstates Weekly Work Search Requirement Effective May 30, 2021
(Wethersfield, CT) – Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner (CTDOL) Kurt Westby announced today that the work search requirement for unemployment benefits will begin again on May 30, 2021. The mandatory work search requirement was waived on March 19, 2020 as part of Connecticut’s public health response to the pandemic. The waiver allowed claimants to receive benefits even though they were not engaged in work search activities that are normally a condition of unemployment benefits.
Commissioner Westby said, “Last spring, COVID-19 infections were rising steeply so suspending the work search requirement was a very important part of protecting public health. Now that vaccine is widely available and we have public health guidance in place to reduce the infection rate, many residents are heading back to work. We’ve seen a steady decline in both the number of people filing for weekly benefits and the unemployment rate—good news for businesses and the economy. Reinstating work search requirements will support the state’s ongoing recovery and reopening efforts.”
Connecticut joins more than two dozen states in restoring the work search requirement and, beginning May 30, 2021, will require claimants to document their efforts to find a job.
Claimants must make reasonable weekly work search efforts by:
- Contacting an employer: claimants must contact at least one employer per week for work for which the claimant is reasonably suited based upon prior work experience, skills, knowledge, and ability. Claimants may initiate contact online, in person, by phone, or by mail. They must ensure that the employer can contact them for hiring purposes.
- Retaining documentation related to work search activities.
Claimants must also engage in at least two of the following or other similar work search activities:
- Participate in a job interview.
- Attend a workshop at an American Job Center or a job fair.
- Participate in reemployment service activities at an American Job Center.
- Create a reemployment plan.
- Create and post a resume to www.CTHires.com.
- Create a personal user profile on a professional networking site.
- Contact another employer for a job for which the claimant is reasonably suited as outlined above.
Beginning July 2021, all claimants filing their weekly certification will be required to report their work search activity online. For the month of June, claimants are required to keep records on work search activities; CTDOL will provide a form for guidance.
Claimants who do not participate in approved work search activities are denied unemployment benefits for that week. If receiving Extended Benefits, claimants are denied benefits indefinitely until the claimant has worked for four weeks as an employee and earned at least four times their weekly benefit amount.
The agency has launched a work search webpage with additional information. Questions should be directed to the CTDOL Consumer Contact Center. CTDOL urges claimants to visit the webpage before calling the Contact Center as call volume remains very high.