CT to Reinstate Work Search Requirement to Receive Unemployment Benefits

NBC Connecticut

People applying for unemployment benefits in Connecticut will again have to show they are actively searching for work beginning May 30.

The mandatory work search requirement was waived in March 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people in Connecticut lost their jobs as the state shut down due to the virus outbreak last year.

“Last spring, COVID-19 infections were rising steeply so suspending the work search requirement was a very important part of protecting public health," said Kurt Westby, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor. "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.”

People seeking unemployment will have to document their efforts to find a job. The Department of Labor spelled out what those efforts must entail:

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.

Through the month of June, claimants will be required to keep records of their work search activities. The Connecticut Department of Labor will provide a form for guidance. Beginning in July, claimants will have to report their work search activities online.

For more information on the work search requirements, click here.

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