Job searches are back

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.

No job searches for 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?

possible job search actions and the proof required for that action

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.

The work search log files are available here in DOC and PDF formats. More directions for how to complete these forms are available here.

When filing your weekly claim certification, you will be prompted with the following screen:

Weekly work search entry form

After “agreeing” to these requirements, you are then prompted to begin entering each work search action:

Work seach action reporting form

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:

Successful job center registration

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.

New job search verification requirement starting

Effective 23 August 2015, the Department of Workforce Development is implementing a new job search verification requirement.

Weekly Work Search Log Requirement Changes

When Filing Weekly Claims By Telephone

The following changes take effect Sunday, August 23, 2015 for all claimants who file weekly claims and are required to search for work:

    • If you file your weekly claim using the telephone and are required to look for work, you are required to send by fax or U.S. mail a copy of the work search log for the week of your claim, starting Sunday, August 23. This is the written record of your weekly work search that you already are required to create and retain for your records. The Unemployment Insurance (UI) Division will validate your work search before issuing payment.
  • If you file your weekly claim via telephone, NO PAYMENT will be released until your weekly work search log has been received and validated by the UI Division.  Your work search log is due 7 days from the date you file your weekly claim.  We will work diligently to validate logs and issue timely payments as soon as we receive your work search information. The entire process could take up to 10 days.

You can help prevent potential payment delays by filing your weekly claim online at http://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov. A majority of claimants already file their weekly claims using our online system.  You can file your weekly claim and enter your weekly work search information directly into our online system by using a computer or mobile device.

It’s easy to use UI’s online services:

  1. Go to http://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov.
  2. Create an account. If you have created an account in the past, you can login using that information.
  3. To file your weekly claim, click the link in the Unemployment Insurance menu or in the Important Message box.

We strongly encourage you to visit http://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov and create a username and password prior to August 16, 2015. This will provide additional time in case you need our assistance to set up your account.

If you prefer to file your weekly claim by telephone and submit your work search actions by mail or by fax, please print a copy of the UCB-12, Weekly Work Search Log online from the claimant portal at my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov and by clicking on the “get work search log” link. Fill in your work search actions and either mail or fax the work search log to:

Department of Workforce Development
Division of Unemployment Insurance
PO Box 7905
Madison, WI 53707

-or-

Fax: 608-327-6499

Please allow additional time for faxed or mailed logs to be processed and validated. To lessen possible delays, make sure work search entries are complete and clear.

For translation services, call 1-800-494-4944 between 7:45 AM AND 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. An interpreter will be provided for unemployment insurance services at no cost.

There is no explanation or detail explaining what this new job verification actually entails.  My guess is that the Department has implemented some kind of cross-matching algorithm to determine whether job applications being reported match up with job openings on Job Center of Wisconsin. Hence, those who file on-line will not experience any delay because of the verification process. On the other hand, those who file by phone will, after supplying their work search information, most likely have that information uploaded so that the algorithm can be applied to their weekly work search report.

NOTE: For several months now, the Department has been requiring claimants to supply their job search information and has even instituted a requirement that those filing by phone supply their job search information via written forms. So, this requirement to supply work search information each week is NOT new.  What is new is the verification that is being done. 

Pat Schneider from the CapTimes has an article with additional info about this new requirement.