Wisconsin Unemployment Application
In order to receive unemployment insurance benefits in Wisconsin, you will need to submit an initial application. This can be done online through the claimant portal or by calling the claimant assistance hotline.
Applying for Wisconsin unemployment benefits online
The simplest way to apply for unemployment benefits in Wisconsin is by using the my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov filing system. This system allows you to manage your unemployment benefits and communicate with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. This includes:
- Submitting an application for UI
- Filing weekly claims
- Updating personal information
- Viewing department correspondence
- Checking for updates on claims and payments
Applying for Wisconsin unemployment benefits by phone
If you need help with filing your unemployment application or don’t have access to the internet, you can call the claimant assistance hotline to submit your unemployment insurance claim. Representatives are available to help Monday through Friday, 6:15 am to 5:30 pm, and Saturdays from 7 am to 1:30 pm.
To help minimize wait times, the unemployment insurance division requests that you call based on the first letter of your last name:
A to M
- Monday to Friday 6:15 am to 12 pm
- Saturday 7 am to 1:30 pm
N to Z
- Monday to Friday 12 pm to 5:30 pm
- Saturday 7 am to 1:30 pm
Information needed to file for benefits
- Username and password for claimant portal
- Email address or phone number
- Social Security number
- Wisconsin driver’s license or ID number
- Work history for the past 18 months, including:
- Employer name
- Employer address
- Employer phone number
- First and last dates of work
- Reason for separation
- Alien registration number (if applicable)
- Form DD214, if you served in the military
- Form SF-50 or SF-8, if you were a federal civilian employee
- Union hall name and local number, if you’re a union member
How to create your my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov account
To create an account for Wisconsin unemployment benefits, visit my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov and click the “Sign up” button next to “Don’t have a username?”
Complete the registration form and review all claim information for accuracy before submitting.
Verifying your identity for unemployment benefits
You will need to give your personal information to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development in order to confirm your identity and give you access to the state’s online services. They will require your Social Security number, first name, last name, date of birth, gender, and address. If you have a Wisconsin driver’s license number, you will need to provide that as well.
To verify your identity, you will need to answer some security questions. These questions are generated by LexisNexis and will match your response to other government databases.
After applying for Wisconsin unemployment insurance
Once you’ve submitted an initial claim for unemployment insurance benefits, you’ll need to file weekly claims to maintain your eligibility for the Wisconsin unemployment insurance program and receive payment. Additionally, you must fill out a weekly work search activity record to fulfill the state’s work search requirements.
The state of Wisconsin requires you to perform at least four work search activities per week to find a suitable, full-time job. You will need to document these activities so that the department can verify them.
How to register for work
To keep receiving unemployment insurance benefits, you must register for the Wisconsin Job Service program. This registration is a requirement in order to remain eligible for UI benefits.
Furthermore, Wisconsin Job Service offers helpful services that assist you in getting back to full-time work.
To register with Wisconsin Job Service, you can go to their website at JobCenterofWisconsin.com/ui. The registration process involves three steps:
- Create a new profile or log in using your existing username/password
- Register for services—this will require you to provide your Social Security number
- Complete and upload a resume
What happens if my unemployment application is denied?
If your request for unemployment benefits is rejected, you will receive a Determination Letter outlining why you are not eligible. If you think that you were wrongly denied benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision by presenting your case before an administrative law judge.
When will I start receiving UI benefits?
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will assess your eligibility within seven days of receiving your initial application. If you are eligible for benefits, you will typically receive payment within seven days of completing your second weekly claim. You can estimate your weekly benefit amount by using the Wisconsin unemployment calculator.
The first week you qualify for unemployment benefits is known as the “waiting week.” You will need to meet all the eligibility requirements for the waiting week, but you will not receive compensation for it.
When does my weekly claim start?
You can start submitting your weekly claim certification on the Sunday following the submission of your initial application. It’s important to complete and submit your weekly claim certification by 3:00 pm on the Saturday that falls 14 days after the end of the week for which you are claiming benefits.
To continue receiving unemployment insurance, you need to file a weekly claim certification for every week you wish to receive benefits. By filing a weekly claim certification, you are letting the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development know that you are still unemployed or working fewer hours. If you don’t file a weekly claim certification for a particular week, you will not receive unemployment compensation for that week.
How do I check the status of my claim in Wisconsin?
You can check the status of your Wisconsin unemployment claim by logging into the my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov portal and clicking the “My UI Summary” tab. From there, you can see if a weekly claim has been accepted and whether payment has been sent.
You can also check the status of your UI claim by calling the claimant assistance hotline.
How do I contact Wisconsin unemployment?
If you have any questions regarding your unemployment insurance application or weekly claims, you should reach out to the Wisconsin claimant assistance hotline.
For inquiries about registering for work or if you need additional information about job searching resources, please contact or visit your local Job Center of Wisconsin.
Can I file an unemployment claim with another state?
You need to file for unemployment in the state you earned the majority of your base period wages. If you earned a portion of your wages in a state other than Wisconsin during your base period, you can file what’s known as a combined wage claim in order to increase your weekly benefit rate. You cannot file for unemployment benefits in more than one state.
What happens if I lie to get unemployment benefits in Wisconsin?
If you purposely provide false information or withhold important details to receive benefits, it is considered unemployment fraud under Wisconsin state law. Committing fraud can result in penalties, such as denial of benefits, repayment of benefits with additional fees, and even criminal prosecution.
Who pays for Wisconsin unemployment insurance?
Wisconsin’s UI program is financed by taxes paid by employers. This means that no money is taken from your paycheck to cover UI benefits.
Can I work part time and receive unemployment benefits?
If you work or receive certain types of payments while collecting UI, it can impact your weekly benefit payment. If you work, miss work, or receive holiday, vacation, severance, or sick pay for 32 hours or more in a week, no benefits will be paid for that week. However, if you worked fewer than 32 hours and your total earnings are less than $500, you might qualify for partial unemployment benefits.
Are unemployment benefits subject to taxes?
Yes. Unemployment compensation is subject to income taxes. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development allows you to request that 10% of your weekly benefit rate be withheld for federal taxes, and 5% be withheld for state taxes.
You will receive IRS Form 1099-G in January if you received benefits during the previous year.
Can I get unemployment if I am receiving a pension or retirement?
Yes, but you must inform the department if you have applied for or are currently receiving any retirement payments. Retirement payments can be in the form of regular monthly payments or a one-time lump sum from retirement plans like 401(k)s, 403(b)s, 457(b)s, or Railroad Retirement Benefits. It’s important to note that receiving Social Security Retirement benefits does not affect your eligibility for UI payments.
If a portion or all of your retirement payment was contributed by one of your previous employers during your base period, your weekly unemployment payments may be reduced. However, if you transfer the retirement payment to another retirement system within 60 days of receiving it, your unemployment payments will not be reduced unless you continue to receive payments after the transfer.
It’s worth mentioning that voluntarily retiring from your job may be considered quitting, which could result in disqualification from UI benefits.
What happens if I lose my job shortly after finding re-employment?
If you lose your job within one year of filing your previous unemployment claim, you can simply re-open your existing claim through the claimant portal and start filing weekly claims again, provided you have not met your maximum benefit amount. You will not need to complete the waiting week requirements again.
If, however, you lose your job and it has been more than one year since you last filed, you will need to fill out a new application and fulfill the waiting week requirements again.