Update (3 Feb. 2021): Thankfully, the Department has announced through a FAQ that work searches will continue to be waived through another emergency rule. I will have details when they emerge. For now:
Work Search FAQ
I heard the work search is no longer waived as of February 7, 2021. Is that true?
No. The work search requirement will continue to be waived at this time. We will update you when that changes. DWD has submitted certification of a new Emergency Rule to the Legislative Reference Bureau addressing this issue that will be effective beginning next week. This new emergency rule will allow the Department to respond to the spread of COVID–19 by waiving work searches for potentially thousands of claimants.
Is a claimant required to search for work during the COVID-19 pandemic?
As a result of an Emergency Rule you do not need to do a work search at this time. No action is needed on your part regarding the work search. However, some individuals may be required to register with JCW. These are two separate requirements.
I was notified that I needed to register for work. Since I do not have to look for work, do I need to register?
Yes, if you were notified you need to register, you are required to register within 14 days of applying for unemployment (filing your initial claim).
Some individuals who apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) may be required to register for work, which means registering with the Job Center of Wisconsin (JCW). You will be notified upon completion of your claim if you are required to complete the registration, and will be given instructions how to do so.
Update (8 Feb. 2021): The Department has released a new emergency rule 2106, which effectively duplicates the old emergency rule for waiving work searches. The new emergency rule will expire on 10 July 2021.
This emergency rule was renewed twice and so slated to expire on 2 February 2021 if a new emergency rule was not enacted. With no subsequent emergency rule, the waiver of the four job searches a week is now over. Claimants wanting to receive regular unemployment benefits, PUA benefits, or PEUC benefits now need to do four job searches a week with each weekly certification.
Even if you cannot do a weekly claim certification at the moment (for instance, because your PUA benefits are on hold), you should still do four job searches and keep records for of those searches.
Directions for how to complete these forms are available here.
When filing your weekly claim certification, you will be prompted with the following screen:
After “agreeing” to these requirements, you are then prompted to begin entering each work search action:
Start doing your four job searches this week for the unemployment claim you will need to report on your weekly certification next week.
And, IMPORTANTLY, keep your job search records for one year, as the Department audits all job searches at some point and has up to a year to do an audit of any claimant after that claimant starts filing his or her weekly certifications.
Job center of Wisconsin registration
This registration requirement has remained unchanged and unaffected by the pandemic. Once done, your job center of Wisconsin registration should look like:
After a certain number of months, you will need to renew this registration.
Job search training seminar (RESEA)
This attendance requirement has remained in place throughout the pandemic. As noted previously, the Department switched from attending an in-person seminar to a seminar done through e-mail, on-line communications, and phone calls.