CHEYENNE – Unemployment claimants called back must accept work, the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) reminds unemployment claimants. 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.

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, claimants called back but only working reduced hours may continue to file a weekly request for payment, though they must report all gross earnings for the week to possibly receive a partial benefit.

Those receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC) 13-week extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits must also be registered in Wyoming@Work and must be actively seeking employment. PEUC benefits are an extension of regular Unemployment Insurance, and the law requires those claimants to complete job searches weekly.

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.

Businesses may report employees who have refused to return to work by reporting fraud at