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Work Search FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the work search actions claimants must perform each week unless DWD provides a waiver.

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If you report that you are still working for your employer and you report weekly wages, you are not required to perform work search actions.

Yes. If your portal says "work search waived" for any of the approved reasons, you do not need to perform weekly work search actions.

When you file your initial claim application for benefits, you will be asked if you are expected to be recalled for work within 8 weeks. If you are not expected to be recalled within 8 weeks, you will be required to perform a work search. If you will be recalled within 8 weeks, your work search will be waived for 8 weeks. You will be advised the work search waiver is only valid for 8 weeks.

If you have not been recalled within the 8 weeks, but your employer expects to recall you within an additional consecutive 4 weeks (a maximum of 12 weeks total), your employer must contact DWD to request an additional 4-week waiver. Your employer must verify that you are expected to be recalled for work within the 4-week period after that initial 8 week wavier and provide your return-to-work date. Your employer can do this by calling the Employer Assistance Line at (414) 438-7705.

If you file an initial claim application for UI and will not be recalled within 8 weeks, but will be recalled within 12 weeks, your employer must contact DWD to verify a return-to-work date within 12 weeks of your first week claimed.

If your work search is waived because you are returning to work within 8-to-12-weeks of filing your initial claim application, but you start working sporadically before that 8-to-12-week period is up, you have two options.

Option 1: You may continue to file consecutive weekly claims. When you file a weekly claim for any week you worked, you must report your hours worked and wages earned during the claimed week. You will not receive a UI payment for any week you worked 32 or more hours or earned at least $500. If you earn less than $500 in a week, you may be eligible for a partial UI payment. However, your 8-to-12-week work search waiver will not be extended because you worked while filing consecutive claims. After you have filed consecutive weekly claims for 8-to-12-weeks, you will be required to conduct work searches if you continue to file consecutive claims.

To provide an example:

Week Claimed? Hours Worked Benefit Payment Work Search
Week 1 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 2 Yes 15 Partial Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 3 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 4 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 5 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 6 Yes 35 None Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 7 Yes 35 None Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 8 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 9 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 12 weeks
Week 10 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 12 weeks
Week 11 Yes 15 Partial Waived: returning to work in 12 weeks
Week 12 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 12 weeks
Week 13 Yes 0 Full Required
Week 14 Yes 0 Full Required

Option 2: When you work 32 hours or more in a week or earn $500 or more in a week, you are not eligible for UI. If you do not file weekly claims for any weeks your hours worked or wages earned exceed the threshold, you will need to file a new initial claim application each time you start filing again. However, filing a new initial claim application may allow you to receive a new work search waiver period.

To provide an example:

Week Claimed? Hours Worked Benefit Payment Work Search
Week 1 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 2 Yes 15 Partial Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 3 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 4 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 5 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 6 No 35 None N/A: no claim filed
Week 7 No 35 None N/A: no claim filed
Week 8 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
(This week becomes the start of a new 8-week waiver period.)
Week 9 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 10 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 11 Yes 15 Partial Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 12 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 13 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks
Week 14 Yes 0 Full Waived: returning to work in 8 weeks

Yes. Work searches are not automatically waived for the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s.

Yes. If you are starting a new job with a new employer within four weeks, your work search requirement may be waived.

Your new employer must verify the new employment information with DWD by calling the Employer Assistance Line at (414) 438-7705.

Your new employer will need to provide their UI account number, your name and social security number, and the start date for the new employment.

Yes, if you were notified you need to register, you are required to register within 14 days of filing your initial claim application.

Some individuals who apply for UI may be required to register for work, which means they must register with the Job Center of Wisconsin (JCW). You will be notified upon completion of your initial claim application if you are required to complete the registration and will be given instructions how to do so.

No. You must complete four valid work search activities during each week you are claiming UI benefits to satisfy the work search requirement and maintain your eligibility for UI.