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Massachusetts Bringing Back Work Search Requirement For Unemployment Claims

Originally published May 20, 2021

BOSTON (CBS) -- Anyone seeking unemployment benefits in Massachusetts will soon have to show they are actively searching for a job. The Baker Administration announced Thursday that starting the week of June 15, work search requirements will be reinstated for all regular unemployment insurance claimants.

It applies to those receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, as well as people on extended benefits. The work search requirements have been suspended since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

The state says claimants "will need to keep a detailed written log of their work search activities" and complete at least three per week in order to remain eligible for benefits. Work search activities include submitting job applications, registering with a local Mass Hire Career Center, looking up job listings, contacting professional associations and networking.

There were a record 200,000 job listing in Massachusetts last month, the state said.

Massachusetts is set to fully reopen on May 29, and Gov. Charlie Baker said he will lift the state of emergency on June 15. After that date, claimant's won't be able to cite COVID-related reasons to waive the work search requirements.

"Refusing work because a UI claimant would rather collect more money in unemployment benefits is not reasonable in any circumstances and is considered fraud," the Baker administration said in a statement.

Click here for more information about applying for unemployment in Massachusetts.


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