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Work search requirements for Tennessee unemployment resume

Posted at 12:44 PM, Sep 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 22:17:09-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The work search requirement to remain eligible to receive Tennessee unemployment benefits resumed Sunday, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

If a claimant of unemployment chooses to continue receiving unemployment benefits, he or she must make at least three potential job contacts between Sunday and Saturday this upcoming week. That work search activity must then be reported during certification the week of October 4.

This process will be weekly moving forward.

If work search activity is not reported, unemployment claimants will automatically be denied unemployment benefits for that week.

The process for reporting looks different depending on the type of unemployment one faces.

For those who are out of work and do not have a job to return to or a return-to-work date, reporting work search activities is required. For those who are out of work but are only temporarily laid off or furloughed, and have a job to return to, weekly job searches are not required.

Rather than reporting on work search activity, 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 must continue taking steps to reopen their businesses. If they do not plan to reopen their business, traditional work searches must be reported.

Union workers who attained employment through their union hiring hall are not required to complete the weekly job search.

Unemployment claimants who are out of work due to a COVID-19 reason listed by the CARES Act may be exempt from reporting job searches. They must self-certify they are unable to look for work due to one of the approved COVID-19 reasons, but are otherwise able and available.

Job search requirements are part of the Reemploy Tennessee initiative, which also begins Sunday.

To assist with fulfilling the work search requirement, unemployment claimants can use the Jobs4TN website to access more than 200,000 job openings across the state, career services and job training opportunities.

One-on-one assistance with career specialists is also available. Career specialists work with job seekers to provide customized job searches, job fairs, Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment appointments, and help them determine if job training assistance is available. They 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 Tennessee for free.