CHEYENNE – Unemployment claimants called back must accept work, the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) reminds unemployment claimants. To remain eligible for unemployment benefits, federal law requires that those who have been placed on a temporary layoff related to the COVID-19 pandemic must return to work if called back.

Not returning to work when there is available work could be considered a “refusal of work” and could potentially disqualify claimants from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.

Businesses may report this activity by reporting fraud here.

DWS advises that claimants called back to work should not cancel their unemployment claims but instead leave their claim open and do not file a weekly payment. However, if a claimant is called back but only working reduced hours, they may continue to file a weekly request for payment and must report all gross earnings for the week to possibly receive a partial benefit.

The CARES Act specifically provides for serious legal consequences for fraudulent cases. Individuals are responsible for paying back benefits deemed as overpayments due to ineligibility.