Work search requirement resumes for unemployment claimants

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) will once again ask unemployment claimants to complete weekly work searches beginning Sunday, Oct. 4.

Claimants who choose to continue receiving unemployment benefits will start work search activities during the week of Sunday, Sept. 27. They will then document those searches during their weekly certification for Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, and each week after that date.

Claimants who have a definitive return to work date due to a temporary layoff do not need to complete this requirement.

Self-employed workers can fulfill the requirement by completing business improvement or enhancement activities.

  • Out of Work: Not Job Attached: Claimants who are out of work, and do not have a job to return to, will be required to complete weekly job searches.
  • Self-employed: Work search activities for those individuals who are self-employed and on the PUA program may include calling on clients, submitting bids or proposals, applying for contract or gig work, and or attend training. They should continue taking proactive steps to reopen their business.  If they do not plan to reopen their business, they must complete a work registration and seek work. 
  • Out of Work: Job Attached: Claimants who are temporarily laid off or furloughed, but expect to return to their previous employer, are not required to complete weekly job searches.
  • Union Workers: Claimants, who are union workers, and attained employment through their union hiring hall, are not required to complete weekly job searches.
  • COVID-19: Claimants who are out of work due to one of the COVID-19 reasons listed in the CARES Act may be exempt from performing job searches if they self-certify that they are unable to look for work due to one of the designations and are otherwise able and available.

The Reemploy Tennessee program can assist claimants with fulfilling the job search requirement and put them on the path to new employment or job training. combines the Department’s Unemployment Division and its Workforce Services Division into a powerful workforce development tool for Tennesseans searching for a new job. This integration allows claimants access to more than 210,000 current job openings across the state, career services and job training opportunities – all online.

For one-on-one assistance, career specialists at Tennessee’s more than 80 American Job Centers can work with job seekers to provide customized job searches, job fairs, Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) appointments, and help them determine if job training assistance is available.

Career specialists can also work with a claimant to find free or reduced costs for transportation, childcare, uniforms or other requirements needed to make a successful return to Tennessee’s workforce.

All these services are provided by the state of Tennessee at no cost to the job seeker.

Traditional job search methods also satisfy the requirement to remain eligible to receive benefits.

If a claimant fails to complete their work searches, they will be denied benefits for the week they did not meet eligibility requirements.

You can find more information about the work search requirements by clicking this link.

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