State reports that work search requirement to receive unemployment starts Sunday; here’s what you need to know

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Most Claimants Required to Complete Weekly Work Searches to Remain Eligible for Benefits

The Tennessee State Capitol Building in downtown Nashville is seen in this photo. A Tennessee state house panel voted on March 5, 2019, to advance a business anti-discrimination bill that advocacy groups fear would further an anti-LGBT agenda in the state.

TENNESEE (WATE) — The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce says that starting Sunday, unemployment claimants will be required to complete weekly work searches to remain eligible for benefits.

This a part of the ‘Reemploy Tennessee’ initiative.

What to know:

  • If a claimant chooses to continue receiving unemployment benefits, they must make at least three potential job contacts between Sunday, Sept. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 3. They will then report those work search activities during the certification week that begins Sunday, Oct. 4. This will be part of the weekly certification process moving forward.
  • If a claimant has a definitive return-to-work date due to a temporary layoff, or a COVID-19 related exemption, they do not need to complete this requirement. The system will not prompt exempt claimants to complete the work search portion of the certification process.
  • Most claimants are required to search for work. Self-employed individuals can fulfill this requirement by performing work activities.
  • If a claimant fails to complete work searches or activities, the system will automatically deny their benefits for that week.

If you are…

Out of work – Not Job Attached: Claimants who are out of work and do not have a job to return to, or a return-to-work date, are required to complete weekly work searches.

Self-employed: Work search activities for self-employed individuals can include calling on clients, advertising business services, posting business-related social media content, enhancing the business’s website, submitting bids or proposals, applying for contract or gig work, or attend training. Self-employed claimants need to continue taking proactive steps to reopen their businesses. If they do not plan to reopen their business, they must complete traditional work searches. 

Out of work – Job Attached: Claimants who are temporarily laid off or furloughed, and have a return-to-work date, 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.

Out of work as a result of 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. They must self-certify they are unable to look for work due to one of the approved COVID-19 designations but are otherwise able and available.

Need assistance?

  • Jobs4TN.gov 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 of these services are provided by the state of Tennessee at no cost to the job seeker.

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