European countries like France and Germany are reinstating lockdowns amidst the second wave of Coronavirus. Here in the United States, Texas continues on the path to reopen its economy. One of the latest measures comes from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) reinstating the state work search requirements effective November 1, 2020.
Work search is a federal requirement which was suspended in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the economy. Individuals will continue to receive unemployment benefits but must show an active effort to obtain new employment.
Individuals receiving unemployment benefits should refer to their work search notification documents for the number of designated work searches and the dates those searches begin. According to TWC, individuals with an initial or additional claim the week of November 1st would begin work search activities the week of November 8th. For individuals with existing claims requesting payment the week of November 1st, work search activities would be effective the week beginning November 15.
In addition, furloughed workers with a definite return to work date that is within 12 weeks of the layoff are exempt from work search requirements. TWC has the discretion to waive the work search requirement for those furloughed employees with return-to-work dates beyond 12 weeks. If they do not receive a definite return to work date, they should plan to search for full-time work and adhere to work search requirements when reinstated. Claimants directed to return to work by their employer must do so immediately.
Self-employed individuals who intend to reopen their business do not need to complete work search activities but must take steps to reopen their business. Claimants are required to undertake work activities to resume their business and must certify this when requesting payments for unemployment benefits bi-weekly. If the business will not reopen, Self-Employed claimants are required to perform work search activities, meet the minimum number of weekly work search activities, and apply for jobs suitable to their skills and talents. They also have a resume waiting for their completion in WorkInTexas.com, the opportunity to apply for work through WorkInTexas.com, and have the same resources available to them as other job seekers through Workforce Solutions offices.
See the TWC website for a list of acceptable work search activities.