New State Unemployment Work Search Requirement

May 24, 2021

If you have been collecting COVID-related unemployment, please know that there are upcoming changes that will affect the way you file for and receive your benefits.

Last year, Connecticut Department of Labor waived the mandatory work search requirement as part of Connecticut’s public health response to the pandemic. The waiver allowed unemployed individuals to receive benefits even though they were not actively searching for work.

Beginning Monday, May 30, 2021, the work search requirement will again be in effect and will require those receiving unemployment to document their efforts to find a job.

What Will Now Be Required

If you, as a claimant, have been collecting COVID-related unemployment, you must now make reasonable weekly work search efforts by:

  • Contacting an employer: Claimants must contact at least one employer per week for work for which the claimant is reasonably suited based upon prior work experience, skills, knowledge, and ability. Claimants may initiate contact online, in person, by phone, or by mail. They must ensure the employer has their call back information for hiring purposes.
  • Documenting your work search efforts.

Claimants must also engage in at least two of the following or other similar work search activities (either in person or virtually):

  • Participate in a job interview.
  • Attend a workshop at an American Job Center or a job fair.
  • Participate in reemployment service activities at an American Job Center.
  • Create a reemployment plan.
  • Create and post a resume to
  • Create a personal user profile on a professional networking site.
  • Contact another employer for a job for which the claimant is reasonably suited as outlined above.

You can record your work search efforts using this form HERE. Beginning in July, claimants will be required to report this information when you file your weekly claim. If you fail to provide this information, it could result in your being denied unemployment for that week.

For a list of frequently asked questions regarding the work search requirement, click HERE. You may also contact the Consumer Contact Center by clicking HERE or by calling 203-941-6868 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Back to Work CT Program

With this upcoming change to unemployment benefits, I wanted to also remind you that on Monday, May 17, 2021, the state announced they would soon launch the Back to Work CT Program. The goal of the program is to incentivize long‑term unemployed people who live in Connecticut to return to the workforce. If eligible individuals meet certain criteria, they will receive a one‑time, $1,000 incentive payment from the State of Connecticut when returning to work. The program has not yet launched, but you can click HERE to track its progress.