State loosens unemployment insurance requirements

The state of Florida issues its latest COVID-19 update for Friday, March 20. (MGN)
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RAPID CITY, S,D. (KOTA/KEVN) -
South Dakota state officials are waiving certain requirements for unemployment insurance.

Anyone applying for unemployment insurance will no longer be required to be actively searching for employment in order to receive benefits. The change will also accommodate those workers who are temporarily impacted by COVID-19, including those who are in an unpaid status or whose hours are reduced due to a shutdown or quarantine.

"This change applies to everyone filing for unemployment compensation," said Secretary Hultman. "While many job search efforts are conducted online, waiving the requirement to search for work is in line with the social distancing practices needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and potential exposure to the disease."

The changes will remain in effect until Governor Kristi Noem (R-SD) lifts the state of emergency.

While the requirement is waived, the state is still encouraging people to search for new jobs. Just as many industries have announced major layoffs, others are looking to hire. Amazon and Domino's Pizza officials say they both plan to hire 10,000 new employees and Walmart announced it is looking to hire as many as 150,000 through the end of may.

To file a weekly request for payment, visit raclaims.sd.gov or call 605-626-3212. The application will ask: "Did you make contacts for employment as instructed?" Claimants should select, "no" and write "not required" in the comment box.

People seeking information on COVID-19 should make sure it comes from verifiable, accurate sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the South Dakota Department of Health.