Skip to main content

Additional details on expiration of COVID-19 related exemptions

October 2, 2021

Vermonters currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits received an email with the following information on Friday, October 1. Click here to view the email sent to claimants. 

At the start of the pandemic, legislation was passed so that unemployment insurance benefits could be extended to those who were forced to separate from employment for a COVID-19 related reason. 

COVID-19 related reasons included those who needed to leave their job:

  • As a direct result of an order issued by the Governor or President
  • For a COVID-19 related isolation or quarantine
  • To care for a family member who is sick or isolated as the result of COVID-19
  • To care for a child who has had their school or childcare center closed in response to a COVID-19 outbreak

If you are filing for one of the reasons outlined above, please review the information below to better understand what changes you will see when filing your weekly claim. *If you are not filing for any of the reasons above, please disregard this email and continue to file your weekly claims as you normally would.

Steps for impacted Claimants

  • If you are not currently filing for a COVID-19 related reason
    • You will still be able to file weekly claims each week you are unemployed until you have exhausted your benefits, or your benefit year expires.

    • You will be required to conduct work search activities starting next week (October 3 – 9) and report those activities the following week (October 10 – 16) when you file your weekly claim

    • You must be able and available to accept work if it is offered to you. If you are not able and available, you must report this to the Department so a review of your eligibility can be conducted. 

  • What you need to do starting next week (October 3-9)
    • File your weekly claim as you normally would. This will be the last week you are exempt from the work search.
    • Create a Vermont Job Link account. This can be done anytime but must be complete before submitting your weekly claim for the following week (October 10 – 16).
    • Complete three job searches next week. For each week you are unemployed, you will need to conduct three job contacts and report those activities the following week.
  • What you need to do starting the following week (October 10-15)
    • When you file your weekly claim, you will notice there will not be an option to indicate you are exempt from the work search on the online claimant portal. You will now need to enter work search information for the work search activities you completed between October 3 – 9. 
    • A valid work search consists of three job contacts each week, which you will need to provide when you file your weekly claim.

Click below for more information about the COVID-19 exemption ending, including Frequently Asked Questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Valid vs. Invalid Work Search Activities

  • Valid
    • Applying for a job you are reasonably qualified for.
      • This may be done in-person or online (through Vermont JobLink or other employment websites)
    • Contacting your former employer to see if they are able to bring you back to work.
      • As a reminder, you can only use that employer as one contact within a five-week period.
    •  Inquiring about an open position or a job posting that results in an application for work.


  • Applying for the same job more than once in a five-week period.
  • Browsing online job boards without applying.
  • Calling a business and asking if they are hiring without discussing a specific position and failing to follow up with submitting an application as directed. 
  • Posting your resume on an employment website. For this to be valid, you must submit an official job application or job inquiry for it to be considered valid.
  • Creating a Vermont Job Link account by itself is not a work search.

Information you need to submit for work search contacts

When you file your weekly claim, you will be required to report the following information:

  • Date you contacted the business/employer
  • Position you applied for
  • Employer’s name
  • Employer’s address
  • Name of the individual you communicated with
  • Method of contact (e.g., phone, email)
  • Result of the contact

UI Claimant Work Search

Important Reminders

  • If your employer plans to bring you back but hasn’t provided you with a verified return-to-work date within 10 weeks of submitting your initial claim, you must complete the work search requirement each week.
  • If you are working part-time, you will still be required to complete the work search requirement, but your part-time work may count as one of your job contacts. You can continue to work part-time and search for additional part-time work to return to full time work status. 

If you are experiencing any issues with your unemployment insurance claim, please contact the Claimant Assistance Center Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 5:30 pm at 877-214-3332.