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California: People must look for work to get jobless aid

California has waived its work-search rule since March 2020.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California will stop giving unemployment benefits to people who are not actively applying for jobs. 

Federal law requires people who are out of work to be actively looking for jobs to be eligible for unemployment benefits. But the federal government let states waive that requirement during the pandemic because so many businesses were ordered to close. 

California has waived its work-search rule since March 2020. Thursday, the California Employment Development Department said it would resume the requirement July 11.

“California offers many resources to help people to find safe and suitable careers and training opportunities that keep the economy moving,” said EDD Director Rita Saenz. “We want to make sure those on unemployment have enough lead time to start searching for work so they can remain eligible for benefits as they seek their next career opportunity.”

Since the pandemic began, California has processed more than 20 million unemployment claims and paid out more than $128 billion in benefits.

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