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Texas Workforce Commission to reinstate 'work search requirement' for people receiving unemployment

Starting Nov. 15, recipients making unemployment payment requests must have made at least three attempts each week to find employment...but there is an alternative.

DALLAS — The Texas Workforce Commission announced Tuesday it would reinstate the work search requirement for people getting unemployment benefits.

The requirement, which has been waived during the coronavirus pandemic, kicks in Nov. 1. 

So, starting Nov. 15, when people go in to claim their weeks of unemployment, they will need to have completed three work searches per week. 

The TWC attempted to reinstate the search requirement in June, but reversed their decision when cases surged shortly afterwards, and the state's reopening plans were scaled back.

In September, the TWC alluded to plans to reinstate the requirement, but made it official Tuesday.

What benefits recipients need to do

As job searches are mandated as a condition for getting benefits, anyone on unemployment will have to register at workintexas.com

Currently the site lists more than 705,000 open positions in Texas. 

Anyone receiving unemployment should register on the site now to look for jobs, if they haven't already.

Click here to see what TWC says counts as a work search.

If you are self-employed, and are newly eligible for benefits because of the pandemic, you are also required to take at least three steps per week toward reopening your business. This can be something as basic as making a call to potential customers or vendors or making a plan for reopening

Those who have a job, but are furloughed, are exempt from the work search requirement as long as they have a specific return to work date with their employer that falls within 12 weeks of their layoff.

Benefits recipients don’t have to show proof of their job search activity, unless TWC asks for it. Anyone on unemployment should keep detailed records of their work search activity just in case they are asked to produce it.

The TWC says they will allow successful completion of training videos on their website to count for a work search. The program, called Metrix, includes roughly 5,000 video training sessions for things such as how to use Microsoft Word or Excel. Many of the programs are 30 to 60 minutes long. Successful completion of one course counts as one job search, and there is no limit on how many you can do.

Click here to learn more about Metrix.