July 6, 2020
LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that the unemployment program is refocusing on reemployment strategies as Nebraskans continue to return to work. Job search requirements will be returning for workers claiming Unemployment Insurance benefits beginning with the week of July 12, 2020. Individuals wishing to continue to receive unemployment benefits (including the $600 federal supplement available through July 25, 2020) will be required to perform work search activities that had been waived since March 15.
Work search activities are required for those receiving benefits through regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Extended Benefits (EB). Individuals with an employer-confirmed recall date within 112 days of their layoff, as well as those in approved training, union members with a hiring hall, and those in a Short-Time Compensation program, will be exempt from the work search requirements.
All other claimants will be required to perform and report reemployment activities each week to remain eligible for benefits. Those applying for regular UI, PUA and PEUC will be required to perform five reemployment activities per week, including two employment applications. Those applying for EB must submit three applications per week. In order to qualify for EB, an individual must have exhausted both 26 weeks of regular benefits and 13 weeks of PEUC benefits.
Qualified work search activities include, but are not limited to: filing an application (online or in-person) with an employer; conducting work searches using Internet job banks; attending a job skills class or workshop; and meeting with a job coach or career counselor. Employers are encouraged to continue posting job openings on NEworks.nebraska.gov.
Job centers across the state are available to assist unemployed workers with these requirements by providing customized job searches through NEworks, reemployment services, one-on-one appointments, and workshops to help workers develop and refine skills and connect with employment opportunities and training programs. NDOL has served over 32,500 individuals in offices throughout the state since mid-March. For more information about services available through the job centers, visit dol.nebraska.gov and NEworks.nebraska.gov.
NDOL reminds unemployed workers that they should report any earnings (including PPP payments) and any work refusal when filing their weekly request for payment. Failing to do so will result in an overpayment of unemployment benefits. Any overpaid benefits (including the $600 federal supplement) must be repaid before an individual can receive any future unemployment benefits. Additionally, failing to report earnings and work refusals can be considered fraud and the individual could be subject to fines and criminal prosecution.