Wisconsin reinstates work search requirement for unemployment benefits
“If you do not perform work search actions, benefits will be denied”
TINA L. SCOTT
On May 19, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced lawmakers voted to reinstate the work search requirement to maintain eligibility for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits effective Sunday, May 23.
In February 2021, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) had 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. However, that waiver was scheduled to expire on July 9, 2021. The May 19 reinstatement moves that date up by about seven weeks.
This means anyone currently, or in the future, who receives or applies for UI benefits must now perform, and report on, four activities related to searching for work each week to obtain their benefits. If they do not, benefits will be denied. Performing in excess of four activities in one week does not count “ahead” for future weeks. All activities must be performed within the week for which benefits are being claimed.
Anyone receiving UI benefits must register on JobCenterofWisconsin.com and perform four valid work search actions to secure suitable work for each week you’re requesting UI benefits. Suitable work is work that is reasonable considering your training, experience, and how long you’ve been unemployed.
State law requires those who are applying for UI benefits to look for suitable jobs and provide information about their work search activities for each week they request benefits. This emergency rule allowed DWD to respond to the spread of COVID-19 by waiving those work searches for thousands of people. The department recognized the burden of the requirement on claimants when many businesses remained closed and job opportunities in certain sectors are still limited in response to the ongoing health and safety impacts of the global pandemic.