FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WORK SEARCH
Has the Labor Commissioner reinstated the work search requirement?
As of Sunday, May 30, 2021, the standard weekly work search requirement is in effect. Claimants must engage in valid work search activities in order to receive unemployment benefits. Claimants must keep records of their work search activities.
How do I report work search?
On July 7, 2021, claimants will be required to enter their work search activities online when they file their weekly claim. Claimants must respond to the work search questions as a part of the weekly filing.
The work search questions will be separate from the standard seven questions that are part of the weekly claim filing. If the claimant has already been exempted from work search activities, the work search questions will not appear.
What if I didn’t do work search?
Claimants who did not look for work may indicate that they did not do work search activities because they are in approved training. They may also provide a written justification that will be reviewed by CTDOL staff. If they provide a written justification, unemployment benefits may be delayed until the review is complete.
Claimant will be denied unemployment benefits for that week if the claimant was not exempted by law from looking for work.
For claimants who are using Extended Benefits: if CTDOL determines that you did not make the required work search activities for a particular week, you will be denied benefits until you work for four weeks as an employee (they need not be consecutive) and earn no less than four times your weekly benefit amount for each week that your benefits are denied due to failure to look for work.
Have the other questions on the weekly claim filing been changed?
Yes, only one. The first question has been changed to read as follows:
- “Were you able and available for full-time work?”
Do I have to make work search activities every week?
Yes, work search activities must be made and reported for every week for which you file for benefits, unless you are exempt from looking for work under state or federal law.
How many work search activities must I make every week?
Each week you file a claim for benefits, you must:
- Actively look for work.
- Make a minimum of 3 work search activities per week—1 of these must be an employer contact.
- Document all work search activities to find work.
- Be prepared to provide proof of your work search activities.
- As of July 7, 2021, report your activities online with your weekly filing.
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 activities.
- 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. A job interview is a valid work search activity but does not count as an employer contact.
- 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.
The work search can be a combination of work search activities, so long as at least one of the work search activities is an employer contact.
The following scenarios are acceptable:
- 3 employer contacts, or
- 2 employer contacts, plus 1 other work search activity, or
- 1 employer contact, plus 2 other work search activities.
What if I am in an approved training? Do I have to make work search activities?
No. if you are in training that has been approved by CTDOL, you do not need to conduct work search activities .
Are there any other exceptions to the work search activities requirement?
Yes, the following exceptions apply to mandatory work search:
- You have a return to work date with your most recent employer within 13 weeks of your last day of employment you do not need to conduct work search activities.
- You are attached to your trade union, you may conduct work search activities through the union hall.
- You are participating in a shared work program with your employer that has been approved by CTDOL.
- You are serving jury duty.
- You have secured employment but are not starting for at least 13 weeks.
What does it mean to be job-attached for purposes of work search?
“Job-attached” means that you are on a temporary shutdown and (1) you have a date of rehire or recall with your most recent employer, (2) the work is employment that is covered by the Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Act, and (3) the work offered is full-time employment.
You must remain available to the employer with which you are job-attached. So, if you are notified prior to your return to work date that the temporary shutdown has ended and you are not ready to return to work, you may be denied benefits due to a refusal of suitable work and/or lack of availability for work.
Do I have to keep work search activity records?
Yes. Claimants are required to keep records on work search activities in case CTDOL needs more information or in the event of an audit.
Claimants are still required to retain supporting records for 3 years in the event of an audit.
What are some of the kinds of records could CTDOL request of me?
- The date of the work search activity.
- Information on the employer you contacted such as the name of the employer, contact person at the business, employer’s web address, and telephone number of the employer.
- The position for which you applied, and a copy of the position positing if it was advertised.
- The result of the work search activity.
- A copy of confirmation of receipt of application or resume by the employer for an online application, if applicable.
- A copy of the workshop or job fair flyer.
Do I have to conduct work search activities on different days of the week?
No. All activities for a week of filing may be conducted in a single day. Also, multi-day work search activities may be considered multiple work search activities during a particular week. For example, a two-day workshop may be considered two separate work search activities.
I have a part-time job, am I required to engage in work search activities?
Yes, individuals who file for partial unemployment benefits are required to engage in work search activities and be available for full-time work.
What about PUA claimants?
The work search rules vary if you are a PUA claimant with a history of earning wages in an employer/employee capacity or if you are a self-employed PUA claimant.
- If you are a not a self-employed PUA claimant, you must follow the regular work search guidelines referenced above.
- Self-Employed PUA claimants must make 3 work search activities per week as well. However, (1) Self-employed PUA claimants may list their own business as the direct employer contact, and (2) 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
I still have questions…
Additional questions should be directed to the CTDOL Consumer Contact Center at www.FileCTUI.com.