State Lawmakers Poised to Reinstate Work Search Requirements for UI Benefit Eligibility

A key state lawmaker is leading an effort to reinstate a rule by the end of May that will require the unemployed to look for work to qualify for benefits.

State officials suspended the rule requiring work searches last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and the unprecedented number of unemployment claims it spawned.

The rule on work searches is slated to go back into effect July 10, but Republican Sen. Steve Nass of Whitewater said Friday he is spearheading a plan to reinstate it by the end of May, about six weeks early.

Nass is a co-chairman of the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules, which has the power to change the rule on work searches.

“We need every able-bodied person to re-enter Wisconsin’s workforce to rebuild our economy. In the current situation, nearly every person on (unemployment insurance) should be able to find employment in a short period time if required to seek new work,” Nass said in a statement.

Once the rule is changed, the unemployed will have to perform four activities related to searching for work each week to obtain their benefits — as was the case before the pandemic.