Update (21 May 2021): The Department has announced on its job search FAQ that the four job search actions per week will NOT apply to claimants receiving PUA benefits.
Note: If your PUA eligibility changes or the circumstances connected to your work search waiver change, then you WILL be required to do job searches, including for weeks that have already passed. So, having the job search requirement waived for now does NOT mean it might apply to you later for weeks that have already happened.
The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules met today and voted to immediately suspend the waiver of job search requirements and pandemic-related able and available provisions contained in EmR2106.
Here is what claimants need to know.
Four job search actions are required starting Sunday, May 23rd
Starting Sunday, May 23rd, all claimants will need to do four job search actions every week. What are those actions?
Notice that the Department now expects claimants to retain (for 52 weeks!) their job search records and provide proof for each job search action (for those 52 weeks!).
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 of those searches for any week starting on May 23rd or later.
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:
As already noted, 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. In other words, the Department is sure to audit your work searches at some point. Indeed, at the public hearing today, Department representatives stated that more than 75% of work search reviews lead to weekly certifications being denied.
Loss of pandemic-related able and available provisions
Besides waiving the four job search actions in a week requirement, EmR2106 also provided some important waivers of able and available requirements related to the pandemic. Those provisions are also gone as of May 23rd, and so workers will need to be able and available for work regardless of any pandemic-related concerns.
Workers receiving regular unemployment benefits or PEUC benefits who have Covid-19 symptoms or who are quarantined by a medical provider will now need to report to work regardless of the impact on their health or public health in general.
Update (20 May 2021): Broke out the above paragraph into two, fixed some typos, and added emphasis in places.
Other ‘job search’ requirements
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.