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Unemployment claimants must show proof of work searches

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Beginning in April, significant changes to the unemployment insurance system will require in-person case management and documented work searches for nearly 56,000 claimants.

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Karla Davis said the state received word last week from the U.S. Department of Labor outlining new requirements for select claimants to continue receiving unemployment benefits.

“The reality is that as the state unemployment rate drops there will be fewer weeks of unemployment available,” she said.

“These new requirements will make sure claimants are on track to find employment and not get caught off guard when their benefits expire.”

All claimants receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation — or EUC 08 — must complete two work searches weekly and provide documentation to Labor and Workforce Development upon request.

Additionally, claimants must participate in case management at a Tennessee Career Center including orientation, eligibility review, assessment of skills, participation in remedial workshops and commitment to a work search plan.

“The federal government has raised the bar on accountability for claimants,” Davis said. “Claimants will be required to prove that they are looking for work, and they will be engaged face to face with our job service employees.”

She added, “If these requirements are not met, they will no longer be eligible to receive benefits.”

In February, federal legislation was enacted extending the deadlines for federally funded unemployment benefits through December.

The changes to the structure of federal benefits reduced the total amount of benefit weeks, but did not create additional benefits for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits.

For up-to-date information visit http://goo.gl/INpH2, or follow the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Twitter at twitter.com/TNLabor.