Work Search Requirement to Receive Unemployment Starts Sunday

Most Claimants Required to Complete Three Weekly Work Searches to Remain Eligible for Benefits
Friday, September 25, 2020 | 01:30pm

NASHVILLE – The Reemploy Tennessee initiative begins Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reminds unemployment claimants that is the day the work search requirement resumes to remain eligible to receive benefits.

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 moving forward.

If a claimant has a definitive return-to-work date that is within 16 weeks from the date of their 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.

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 attending 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.

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.

Reemploy Tennessee can assist claimants with fulfilling the work 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.