Navigating the Weekly Work Search Requirement
Connecticut Department of Labor Commissioner Kurt Westby has reinstated the work search requirement for unemployment benefits. 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.
WORK SEARCH EFFORTS:
Each week you file a claim for benefits, you must:
- Actively look for work.
- Make a minimum of 3 work search activity efforts per week—1 of these must be an employer contact.
- Document all efforts to find work.
- Be prepared to provide proof of your work search activities.
Work search activities can be in person or virtual and may include the following:
- Contacting an employer for full-time work.
- You must have at least 1 employer contact in your weekly efforts.
- Attending a workshop provided by an American Job Center.
- Attending a job fair.
- Participating in reemployment service activities provided by an American Job Center.
- Creating a reemployment plan.
- Attending a job interview.
- Creating a resume, uploading the resume and making the resume viewable to employers in CTHires, Connecticut’s job bank.
- Creating a personal user profile on a professional networking site.
Your search for work can be a combination of activities as long as at least one of the work search activities is an employer contact.
- 3 employer contacts, or
- 2 employer contacts, plus 1 other work search activity, or
- 1 employer contact, plus 2 other work search activities.
FOR PART-TIME WORKERS:
- Part time workers must show they are looking for full time work.
FOR PUA CLAIMANTS
- PUA claimants who are not self-employed must follow the work search guidelines referenced above.
- PUA claimants who are self-employed must make 3 efforts per week as well.
- Self-employed PUA claimants may list their own business as the direct employer contact, and
- Self-employed PUA claimants may engage in work search activities to support their employment, such as:
- contacting clients
- sending out bids
- maintaining business facilities and/or property
- attending training
- expanding business portfolio
- developing marketing materials to expand customer base
HOW TO DOCUMENT:
- Claimants are required to keep records on work search activities. Use this form for guidance.
- Beginning July 2021, all claimants filing their weekly claims are required to report their work search activity as part of the filing process.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE WORK SEARCH REQUIREMENT:
Work search activities may be audited at any time. Failure to provide information could result in a denial of unemployment benefits for that week; claimants may also have to pay back benefits already received.
For Extended Benefits claimants:
Extended Benefit claimants that do not conduct required work search efforts will be ineligible for benefits until:
- They have again become employed in at least four subsequent weeks; and
- They have earned wages of at least four times their weekly benefit amount.
*Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), the $300 ‘plus up,’ is not considered part of the weekly benefit.
For example: If you receive $250 per week in Extended Benefits (excluding FPUC) and fail to conduct a work search, you are disqualified from receiving benefits until you work as an employee for 4 weeks and earn $1000 in wages.
Claimants who are selected for the UI RESEA program will show previous week work search efforts during the mandatory meeting. Failure to conduct reasonable efforts may disqualify you from receiving benefits for that week. RESEA.
Quick #DOLDaily explainer on work search
#DOLDaily ¿Qué es la búsqueda de trabajo?
#DOLDaily ¿Cuáles son los requisitos de búsqueda de trabajo?
#DOLDaily ¿Cuáles son los diferentes tipos de requisitos de búsqueda de trabajo? (What are the different types of job search requirements?)
Work Search Email sent to claimants beginning May 23, 2021.
Questions? Call the Consumer Contact Center.