DWD/Advisory Council bill going forward

The official Advisory Council/DWD bill has just been introduced, AB819. So, here is a rundown of what has been happening with unemployment law over the last several months, organized by proposal.

Department Proposals

  • A second SSDI prohibition, D15-01, to replace the current prohibition was approved in April 2015 and back-dated in May 2015. But, after the Department started winning the court cases challenging the old SSDI prohibition (see this post for the details), this proposal disappeared from the Department’s legislative draft at the council’s September 2015 meeting. But, after the Labor and Industry Review Commission ruled in November 2015 that departmental error had occurred when appeal tribunals (but not the Commission) had originally ruled in favor of claimants regarding dual receipt of SSDI and UI benefits (and so no repayment of UI benefits previously received was proper), this proposal re-emerged at the November 2015 council meeting in the Department’s legislative drafts and is now part of AB819. Why? This second SSDI prohibition is back-dated to January 2014, the effective date of the original SSDI prohibition.
  • D15-02 is a house-keeping change that allows the Department to issue determinations against out-of-state employers in combined wage claims for being at fault for an erroneous benefit payment to a claimant. This proposal is part of AB416 and has been enacted in 2015 Wisconsin Act 86.
  • D15-03 applies the Treasury offset program to employers, as described previously in this post. This proposal is part of AB416 and has been enacted in 2015 Wisconsin Act 86. Because of this quick enactment, employers will be subject to treasury offsets for their 2015 tax returns for any unemployment taxes for which they have been found individually liable.
  • D15-04 sets up essentially a backup insurance program for reimbursable employers who get their unemployment accounts swindled by identity fraud (and so have little to no hope of ever recovering the stolen benefits). The final recommendation from the council was for reimbursable employers to be taxed initially in order to create a fund of $1 million for covering themselves against identity fraud, essentially the second option of the three presented. This proposal is part of AB819.
  • D15-05 corrects a hole in the statutes that accidentally left LLPs out of the definition of employer (see also this DWD memo on this issue). This proposal is part of AB819.
  • The Advisory Council approved the Department’s appeals modernization proposal, D15-06, at the 7 January 2016 meeting. LRB draft language was prepped soon thereafter. Perhaps the most significant change in this proposal — notice by Internet in place of postal mail — has NOT received any discussion of comment from council members, however. This proposal is now part of AB819.
  • A renewed work-share program, D15-07, is part of AB416 and has been enacted as 2015 Wisconsin Act 86.
  • Proposed changes to the definition of claimant concealment in D15-08 (described in this previous post and described in a Department memo (discussed in this post) are part of AB819. Additional criminal penalties for concealment in AB533 continue to advance in the legislature. To see what all the fuss is about, take a look at this January 21st Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform hearing regarding AB533 and other UI bills or read this LIRC memo on the proposed concealment changes.
  • Technical changes in D15-09 and included in AB819 will allow the Department to distinguish able and available determinations from separation determinations.
  • D15-10 eliminates the publication of the claimant benefit tables within the statutes and is included in AB819.
  • Major changes to the process for getting unemployment decisions reviewed in circuit court, set forth in D15-11, are part of AB819. These changes were previously described here and here.
  • D15-12 allows the same protocols for unemployment taxes in regards to fiscal agents in adult care to apply to fiscal agents in child care situations. This proposal is part of AB819.
  • D15-13 ends the sunset date in 2034 for the program integrity fund (i.e., the fund for receiving some of the monies from concealment enforcement) since the Department now expects concealment monies to continue in perpetuity. See the next two proposals for why.
  • The Department’s proposals for a program integrity slush fund, D15-14 and D15-15, are part of AB819.

Labor and Management Proposals
At the Advisory Council’s 19 January 2016 meeting, the council took action on various management and labor proposals and the agreed-to changes have been incorporated in AB819.

The management proposals that the council agreed to include significant changes to what will be considered suitable work:

  • During the first six weeks of a job search, suitable work that a claimant MUST accept will be those jobs that (1) do not have a lower grade of skill than one or more of his or her most recent jobs and (2) have had an hourly wage that is 75 percent or more of what the claimant previously earned in his or her most recent, highest paying job.
  • After the first six weeks, suitable work means any work the claimant is capable of performing regardless of prior experience, skills, or training, as long as the wages for that job are above the lowest quartile wage-level in the claimant’s relevant labor market.

Once a job offer is considered suitable work for a claimant, then the claimant only has good cause for declining the job offer if the claimant’s personal safety is at risk, the claimant’s sincerely held religious beliefs conflict with the work, the work entails an unreasonable commuting distance, or some other compelling reason makes accepting the offer unreasonable. These changes to what will be considered suitable work will also apply to those who tentatively accept a job and then quit within the first thirty days.

In addition, this accepted management proposal will either eliminate unemployment eligibility entirely for anyone receiving temporary or partial workers’ compensation benefits or mandate offsets against UI benefits for those receiving these kind of workers’ compensation benefits (the specific type of workers’ compensation benefit being received leads to the different kinds of treatment). In other words, the SSDI prohibition is being expanded to workers’ compensation benefits. Also, anyone making a mistake in how they report their specific workers’ compensation benefits will, under the new on-line filing system, likely face a concealment charge for his or her mistake in reporting the kind of workers’ compensation benefits he or she is receiving.

These management-sponsored changes will take effect four weeks after enactment.

The labor proposals that the council agreed to include:

  • repealing the mis-classification prohibitions in workers’ compensation and fair employment law,
  • creating an administrative penalty for mis-classification for unemployment purposes of $500 per employee (capped at $7,500) when construction employers (and only construction employers) knowingly and intentionally provide false information to the Department (NOTE: compare this definition with the proposed changes to claimant concealment) for the purpose of misclassifying or attempting to mis-classify an employee,
  • fining employers in painting and sheetrock work $1,000 per incident (capped at $10,000 per calendar year) when coercing employees into accepting non-employee status for unemployment purposes, and
  • fining construction employers $1,000 per employee (with a maximum of $25,000) for subsequent violations as well as possible referral for criminal prosecution.

These mis-classification changes will take effect six months after passage.

Budget Bill Fixes
The LIRC funding fix bill, discussed here, is also right now being considered by the legislature.

The call in the budget bill for the Department to create suitable work rules for claimants has been eliminated by the management-sponsored changes to suitable work described above.

On-line claims filing updates

The Department of Workforce Development issued the following press release on Nov. 3rd about on-line claims filing.

UI Online Upgrades Modernize Initial Claims Filing in Wisconsin

90% of initial claims that are started online are now completed without the need to speak to a specialist

MADISON – One year after the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) rolled out a redesigned online system to help Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants start and complete their initial claims for unemployment benefits through the Internet, over 90% of initial claimants who start the filing process online are completing their claim without the need to speak to a specialist.

“We’re pleased with the success of our new system, as evidenced by the increase in the percentage of people who are completing online initial claims without the need to speak to a specialist,” DWD Secretary Reggie Newson said. “The investments we have made in a robust, nimble and customer-friendly online claims system will pay dividends in the form of added efficiency and convenience as federal UI financial support declines due to the state’s improving economy, and as we transition to a 21st century customer-service model that more fully uses online tools.”

The November 2014 rollout of the UI initial claims redesign featured new tools to enter accurate information, the ability to save work and finish claims later, additional flexibility to resolve eligibility questions online quickly, and other enhancements that reduce the need to talk to a specialist and are prompting claimants to file online instead of by phone.

Highlights of the positive impact that the UI online initial claim filing system has had over the past 12 months include:

  • Of those who start an initial claim online, the percentage of claimants who complete initial claims online increased from about 57 percent to 90 percent.
  • The percentage of claimants who start their initial claim online has also risen. As a result of these two improvements, the percentage of people who are using online services from start to finish without needing to speak to a claims specialist has nearly doubled.
  • 78 percent of claimants who are required to search for work file their weekly claims online, in part to enter their weekly searches in work search logs that now must be provided either online or by fax or mail before claimants can collect unemployment benefits.
  • UI estimates 57,000 initial claims that have been completed online would have required a claim specialist’s assistance before the initial claim redesign took effect in November 2014.

While DWD’s telephone-based automated filing system will remain an option for claimants who prefer to file claims by phone instead of through the Internet, DWD is responding to customer trends toward online and helping to minimize call wait times across the week by fully implementing a call scheduling system called guaranteed call priority this month for claimants who file initial claims by phone or are calling with a general question.

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays each will be assigned to one-third of claimants who file by phone, with Thursdays and Fridays open to all claimants who file by phone. Online services will be available to all claimants seven days a week. UI is proactively notifying claimants that guaranteed call priority takes effect November 9 and will help ensure call wait times are minimized throughout the week.

Secretary Newson noted that other states have implemented assigned days to reduce wait times, and Wisconsin has done so on a voluntary basis since summer 2014. “We will continue to encourage all claimants to file online, which they can do any day of the week,” he said.

Note that telephone claim services are now being limited. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will be limited by one-third in some way (it is unclear whether one-third of the staffers are available or one-third of the claimants can call on these days). On Tuesdays and Thursdays, however, no call-in limits will be in place.

Job search regs from early 2014 to be enforced on 14 June 2015

DWD announced today that:

Effective June 1, 2015, Secretary Reginald Newson of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), determined that DWD has the technological ability to implement the changes made by Clearinghouse Rule No. 13-081 to s. DWD 127.02 (intro.), and (2) to (11), Wis. Adm. Code.

The requirements of these provisions will be enforced beginning June 14, 2015.

UPDATE (28 May 2015): A revised announcement adds a reference to DWD 126.03.

The regulations at issue are DWD 127.02:

DWD 127.02 Waiver of work search requirements. The department shall waive a claimant’s requirement to conduct at least 4 actions to search for suitable work if any of the following apply:

(1) The claimant performs at least 20 hours of work for any employer in that week.
(2)  The claimant is currently laid off from employment with an employer but there is a reasonable expectation that the claimant will be returning to employment within a period of 8 weeks, which may be extended an additional 4 weeks but may not exceed a total of 12 weeks. In determining whether the claimant has a reasonable expectation of reemployment by the employer, the department shall request the employer to verify the claimant’s employment status. If the employer does not verify the claimant’s employment status, the department may consider any of the following:
(a) The history of layoffs and reemployments by the employer.
(b) Any information that the employer furnished to the individual concerning the claimant’s anticipated reemployment date.
(c) Whether the claimant has recall rights with the employer under the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
(3)  The claimant has a reasonable expectation of starting employment with a new employer within 4 weeks and the employer has verified the anticipated starting date with the department. The waiver shall not exceed 4 weeks.
(4) The claimant has been laid off from work and routinely obtains work through a union referral and all of the following apply:
(a) The union is the primary method used by workers to obtain employment in the claimant’s customary occupation.
(b) The union maintains a record of unemployed members, and the referral activities of these members, and allows the department to inspect such records.
(c) The union provides, upon the request of the department, any information regarding a claimant’s registration with the union or any referrals for employment it has made to the claimant.
(d) Prospective employers of the claimant seldom place orders with the public employment office for jobs requiring occupational skills similar to those of the claimant.
(e) The claimant is registered for work with a union and satisfies the requirements of the union relating to job referral procedures, and maintains membership in good standing with the union.
(f) The union enters into an agreement with the department regarding the requirements of this subsection.
(6) The claimant is summoned to serve as a prospective or impaneled juror.
(7) The claimant is enrolled in and satisfactorily participating in a course of approved training under s. 108.04 (16), Stats., in a work share program under s. 108.062 (10m), Stats., or in a self-employment assistance program or another program that has been enacted by the Wisconsin or federal legislature and the program includes that claimants who participate in the program shall be waived by the department from work search requirements.
(8) The claimant has not made a search for suitable work because of an error made by personnel of the department.
(9)  The claimant’s most recent employer failed to post appropriate notice posters as to claiming unemployment benefits as required under s. DWD 120.01 and the claimant was not aware of the work search requirement.
(11)  The claimant has been referred for reemployment services, is participating in such services, or is not participating in such services, but has justifiable cause for failure to participate. Justifiable cause includes that the claimant is unable to participate due to any of the following:
(a) The claimant is summoned to serve as a prospective or impaneled juror.
(b) The claimant is enrolled and satisfactorily participating in a course of training approved by the department, in a work share program under s. 108.062 (10m), Stats., or in a self-employment assistance program or another program that has been enacted by the Wisconsin or federal legislature and the program includes that claimants who participate in the program shall be waived by the department from work search requirements.
(c) The claimant is employed.
(d) The claimant is attending a job interview.
(e) Circumstances which the department determines are beyond the claimant’s control.

 

And here is DWD 126.03:

DWD 126.03  Waiver of work registration requirement. The department shall waive a claimant’s work registration requirement for any given week if any of the following apply:
(2) The claimant is currently laid off from employment with an employer but the employer has verified with the department there is a reasonable expectation that the claimant will be returning to employment within a period of 8 weeks, which may be extended an additional 4 weeks but may not exceed a total of 12 weeks. If the employer does not verify the claimant’s employment status, the department may consider any of the following:
(am) The history of layoffs and reemployments by the employer.
(bm) Any information that the employer furnished to the individual concerning the claimant’s anticipated reemployment date.
(cm) Whether the claimant has recall rights with the employer under the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement.
(3) The claimant has a reasonable expectation of starting employment with a new employer within 4 weeks and the employer has verified the anticipated starting date with the department. The waiver shall not exceed 4 weeks.
(4) The claimant has been laid off from work and routinely obtains work through a union referral and all of the following apply:
(a) The union is the primary method used by workers to obtain employment in the claimant’s customary occupation.
(b) The union maintains a record of unemployed members, and the referral activities of these members, and allows the department to inspect such records.
(c) The union provides, upon the request of the department, any information regarding a claimant’s registration with the union or any referrals for employment it has made to the claimant.
(d) Prospective employers of the claimant seldom place orders with the public employment office for jobs requiring occupational skills similar to those of the claimant.
(e) The claimant is registered for work with a union and satisfies the requirements of the union relating to job referral procedures, and maintains membership in good standing with the union.
(f) The union enters into an agreement with the department regarding the requirements of this subsection.
(5) The claimant is summoned to serve as a prospective or impaneled juror.
(6) The claimant is enrolled in and satisfactorily participating in a course of approved training under s. 108.04 (16), Stats., in a work share program under s. 108.062 (10m), Stats., in a self-employment assistance program, or another program enacted by the Wisconsin or federal legislature and the program includes that claimants who participate in the program shall be waived by the department from work registration requirements.

Expect work search waivers to decline both in number and length under these now implemented regulations.

Job searching and temp agencies: Weekly contacts now mandated

Back in August 2014 I described the lack of information available to claimants about one of the new requirements instituted by 2013 Wis. Act 20 — that former employees of temp agencies need to contact those temp agencies once a week as one of their four weekly job searches.

In December 2014, the Labor and Industry Review Commission issued a decision on this issue, Brown v. Seek Career/Staffing Inc., UI Hearing Nos. 14402929AP (18 December 2014). In this case, a claimant’s assignment at a temp agency ended, and she filed a claim for benefits. The temp agency had previously indicated to her that she needed to contact the temp agency more than once a week for follow-up assignments after the original assignment ended.

The Commission found that the new temp agency contact requirement in Wis. Stat. § 108.04(2)(i) applied, and the claimant had to return benefits for three weeks she had NOT contacted the temp agency. At the hearing, the claimant argued that the Department of Workforce Development had not made her aware of this new requirement.

The employee further states that neither the Handbook for Claimants nor a claimstaker advised her of the requirement to contact the employer. However, the law does not require the department to provide that information. The law requires the employer to inform the employee that she must contact the employer about available assignments. The employer is also not required to inform the employee that she might be ineligible for benefits if she fails to contact the employer. What the employee was allegedly told after the fact is not relevant to whether she performed a search for work in the weeks at issue.

The Commission reached this conclusion even though a departmental investigator found that this requirement to contact the former temp agency did not apply to her because the temp agency here wanted the former employee to contact the agency more than once a week — i.e., more than what was required in the statute. For the Commission this initial decision by the investigator was irrelevant because the Commission had not previously addressed this temp agency contact requirement.

The adjudicators found that Wis. Stat. § 108.04(2)(i) did not apply to the employee because the employer required that the employee contact the employer more frequently than weekly. The ALJ found that, for unemployment insurance purposes, the employee was not required to contact the employer more frequently than once per week. However, she was still subject to the requirement of Wis. Stat. § 108.04(2(i) to contact the employer at least once per week in order to be eligible for benefits. An interpretation of a statutory provision which disregards a contrary long-standing interpretation by the commission constitutes departmental error. Parker v. Cady Cheese Factor Inc., UI Dec. Hearing No. 05200982EC (Aug. 12, 2005). Wis. Stat. § 108.04(2)(i) is a recently enacted provision of the unemployment insurance law and this case is the commission’s first occasion to interpret and apply its language. The adjudicators did not disregard any settled or long-standing interpretation of Wis. Stat. § 108.04(2)(i). While the commission and the ALJ have a different interpretation of that provision than the adjudicators’ interpretation, the commission cannot conclude that the adjudicators’ interpretation was unreasonable so that waiver of the recovery of overpaid benefits is required.

So, in 2014 the claimant’s handbook had no information about this requirement. But, the Commission found that this requirement still applied regardless of whether the Department told claimants about it.

And, keep in mind that the current claimant’s handbook still has no information about this requirement:

Part 4: Work Search, Registration for Work and Re-employment Services
Work Search
When You Must Perform Work Search Actions

You are required to perform at least four work search actions each week unless the department clearly tells you that your work search is “waived” and that you do not have to look for work.

In some cases, you will not have to look for work if you are working part-time. Do not stop looking for work just because you start working part-time. Call a Claims Specialist to find out if your part-time work allows us to waive your work search.

If you do not make an adequate search for work, you may lose benefits.

If applying for Wisconsin UI Benefits from another state and Wisconsin tells you to register for work or report in person, you should go to the public employment office nearest your home.

Weekly Work Search

You are required to perform at least four work search actions every week if you are told that you have to look for work.

If you are required to look for work, the UCB-12 weekly work search notice will provide you with detailed work search instructions and a sample work search log. Do not stop looking for work unless you are advised by the department your work search is waived.

The department may request evidence of your work search at any time. You are required to keep a record of your weekly work search actions for one year. If you file your weekly claim certifications online, you are required to report work search actions as part of completion of the claim. The Department will keep copies of work search records you submit online. Falsely reporting any information on your work search form may be an act of concealment. (See Part 7: Fraud and Quality Control.)

Registration for Work

If you are required to perform a weekly work search you must register for work with Wisconsin Job Service online at https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com/ui and complete a job match profile within 14 days of the date you completed your application for UI benefits.

If you fail to register by the deadline provided, you will not be eligible for benefits for any week prior to the date you registered. If you have questions or feel you have justifiable cause for not registering as required, contact a Claims Specialist.

If you have previously registered. you must logon to https://jobcenterofwisconsin.com/ui to verify that your registration and job match profile have not expired.

Re-employment Services

Help in Finding Employment

For re-employment services logon to http://jobcenterofwisconsin.com or contact your nearest job center. To locate the nearest job center call 1-888-258-9966 toll free or search online at http://wisconsinjobcenter.org/directory. If you reside in another state contact the nearest public employment office.

Re-employment Programs

If you are registered with Wisconsin Job Service, are required to seek work, and reside in Wisconsin or a border ZIP code, you are required to complete an online orientation and assessment. When you complete the orientation and assessment, you will be notified whether you have additional requirements to participate in re-employment services. Participation in re-employment services is intended to help you return to work faster.

If you fail to participate in the re-employment services, you may lose benefits. If you cannot participate within the deadline given, contact the Job Center immediately to reschedule.

Participation in any of these required re-employment services will satisfy your work search for the week in which you participate. However, attending other employment workshops on your own can only be considered one work search contact, even if the workshop is conducted by a Job Center.

Updated: March 9, 2015

In other words, if you work at a temp agency and want to claim unemployment benefits after the assignment ends, you will need to contact that temp agency every week of your unemployment as one of your four job searches. It does not matter that no one has told you about this requirement as long as the temp agency itself has informed you that it wants you to contact the agency every week after your assignment ends.

Whether you have to accept each assignment offered you is a question for another post.

UPDATE (26 May 2015): The May 2015 Advisory Council’s activities report at p.7 has the following information about this requirement to contact temp agencies on a weekly basis:

2013 Wisconsin Act 20 provides if a claimant’s last employer was a “temporary help company,” the claimant must contact that employer weekly for an assignment or the claimant is considered to not have conducted a reasonable search for suitable work.

The temporary help company must provide written notice of the fact that the claimant did not contact the temporary help company to the department within 10 business days after the end of that week. There are three exceptions to this requirement:

1. The claimant has been waived from work search actions by the department;
2. The temporary help company did not require the claimant to contact it or failed to give the claimant written notice of the requirement that the claimant must conduct weekly contacts with the temporary help company seeking assignments, or;
3. There is good cause for the failure of the claimant to contact the temporary help company.

If the claimant does contact the temporary help company, the claimant will have satisfied one of the required weekly work search actions.

Primary Statute Created: Wis. Stat. §108.04 (2) (i).

The new work search requirement for temporary help companies resulted in 138
disqualifications due to failure to contact the company, protecting UI program integrity and saving thousands of dollars for the UI Trust Fund.

So, the Department is actively applying this requirement without even including this requirement in the claimant’s handbook.

New Wisconsin job search emergency regs in effect

The Legislative Reference Bureau just published new emergency regulations for job search and job registration.

These emergency regulations significantly alter DWD 126, 127, and 129. A slight change is also made to DWD 128.01(2)(a).

Job registration changes

Weekly claim certifications will now be part of a weekly work registration requirement. And, claimants will have to complete their weekly claim certifications via an on-line system unless a claimant can show good cause for not being able to use a computer-based system. Good cause is defined as physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitations.  The presumption of work registration when filing weekly claim certifications is eliminated.

There is no indication yet that DWD is providing on-line access for weekly claim filing in multiple languages, that instructions and help are available in multiple languages, and that different browsers and devices are being considered when using this on-line system.

Florida implemented similar on-line filing requirements in 2011, and the US Dep’t of Labor found that Florida’s on-line system was discriminatory.

Job search changes
The four job applications now mandated are a minimum. Under the new rules — DWD 127.06 — after four weeks of unemployment DWD may require claimants to increase their weekly efforts to five job applications a week, comply with the Department’s job search requirements (not sure what this compliance requirement actually means since claimants have to comply with these requirements anyway), or develop a work search plan that is approved by the Department.

This last requirement probably links to what the Department has been discussing with the Advisory Council about connecting claimants to employer vacancies at the Job Center of Wisconsin website. It appears that after four weeks of benefits, DWD may begin sending claimants specific employers to which an application must be made in addition to the four applications they already have to make.

The Department will also be asking claimants to verify their work search efforts. Verification will need to be done via “computer-based programs,” and those verification records need to kept for 52 weeks now. Yes, that number is correct. The Department wants claimants to retain their job search records for 52 weeks.

These job search records should include the following information.

  • job applications: the date on which the claimant made an employer contact; if available, the name and address of the employer and the name of the employer representative contacted; the type of work applied for; the method used to contact the employer and the results of the contact; or other verifiable information of the application.
  • civil service exams: the date on which the claimant took an examination, the location of the examination and the position for which the examination was taken.
  • union hiring hall or job placement agencies: the date on which the claimant registered and the name and address of the facility.
  • public employment office or reemployment service: the date of the visit, the name and address of the public employment office, training program or similar reemployment office and the name of the person with whom the claimant met.

Currently, DWD has forms available for recording this information.

Job search and registration waivers
Waivers are now limited in the following ways.

  • When still working for your customary employer, you now must work at least twenty hours with that customary employer before receiving a waiver for that week. Before, a waiver was available when any work was done for the claimant’s customary employer.When on layoff, the employer must now verify to DWD that the employer has a reasonable expectation of returning the claimant to work within eight weeks (an extension of an additional four weeks is also possible). Before, this reasonable expectation of returning to work was based on the employer’s prior layoff history and any specific reemployment dates that were available. Now, the waiver is based solely on what the employer says is his or her reasonable expectation of returning a claimant to work within that eight week period.
  • When starting a new job, the employer verifies to the Department that the new employer expects the claimant to begin working within the next four weeks.
  • When on layoff from a union hiring hall position, the union maintains records of its hiring hall activities, provides to the Department at its request any referrals the union has sent to the claimant (a new requirement), and the claimant maintains his or her union membership. Previously, the only information the Department asked for was whether the claimant was registered with the union hiring hall.

These changes to the waiver requirements are not yet effective, however, because DWD needs to re-program its computer systems to account for these changes. All of the other changes are effective now and will remain in effect until 25 February 2014. Hearings on making these rule changes permanent will take place on 4 November 2013.

New job search requirements go into effect

DWD has begun implementing the new job search requirements that went into effect with the budget act.

You now need to apply for work with four employers each week you claim benefits. And, you will need to keep these job search records for 52 weeks.

DWD has created a specific form — UCB-12 — for recording your job search efforts. You can download various versions of this form at this link.