Lawmakers vote to reinstate work search requirement, beginning May 23

Local News

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) –  Lawmakers voted to reinstate the work search requirement for unemployment benefits on Wednesday.

In February of this year, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) published a new Emergency Rule that allowed DWD to continue to waive work searches for people who applied for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in response to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to DWD, the requirement was slated to go back into effect July 10, 2021; however, lawmakers voted Wednesday to reinstate the requirement on Sunday, May 23.

DWD says this means that UI recipients are required to look for work to qualify for their benefits roughly seven weeks earlier than expected. They go on to say that beginning Sunday, a person must perform four activities related to searching for work each week to obtain their benefits.

Work search requirements are as follows:

  • If you’re seeking UI benefits, you must register on and perform four valid work search actions to secure suitable work for each week you’re requesting UI benefits. DWD defines suitable work as work that is reasonable considering your training, experience, and how long you’ve been unemployed.
  • You must report four actions in the week they are completed. You may not “bank” additional actions to be used toward future weeks. For example, if you complete eight work search actions in one week and none the following week, you will only be able to collect benefits in the first week.

DWD goes on to say that if these requirements are not performed, benefits will be denied.

A full detailed breakdown on work search requirements can be found on the DWD website here.

While searching for a job, you may have an opportunity to work part-time or temporarily. DWD says this will help keep your skills current, and you may still be eligible for UI benefits.

The organization reiterates that failure to report work and earnings, conduct an active work search, or accurately report your availability for work can result in benefit denial.

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