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Wisconsin Unemployment Benefit Questions

Do I have to report working if I have not been paid yet?

Yes. You must report working in every week that you work, no matter when you will be paid for the work. Also all wages must be reported on your weekly claim certification for the week in which they were earned, not in the week you are paid. If you do not report working in a week that you work, you could be penalized in addition to having to pay back any improperly received benefits. Keep track of your work and report it in time to avoid fraud.

I am currently unemployed and receiving unemployment. If I get a part time job, do I lose my unemployment?

No, the department uses a “partial wage formula” to compute your benefits each week that you have gross earnings. If your earnings would vary from week to week, so would your partial payments. But only the amount paid is subtracted from your remaining entitlement. If your working hours were cut and you work for less than 32 hours a week, you can claim UI benefits.

What is the best way to file a claim?

Filing your claim via Internet is the best and fastest option. This is because of the following reasons:

  • There is no rush. You can take your time to fill out the online forms peacefully.
  • Ample amount of help is available online. Its easier to review your answers on an online form too.
  • You also have the provision to take a printout of the questions and answers and keep it for your records.
  • Calling a claims specialist to complete your claim will be easier if done through the internet. This is because all the information a claim specialist needs will already be available online for them to review because your form was submitted online.

How long does it take for my first check to arrive post filing a claim?

If you qualify for unemployment benefits and if you have no pending eligibility questions on your claim, you will receive your first check within 7-10 days of filing your initial claim.  You must also know about your waiting week. The waiting week is the first week for an individual’s benefit year during which he/she is eligible for UC but the benefits are not paid. Unless the initial claim is filed, the department will be unable to count your waiting week as served. This means that it is vital that your file your claim at the earliest post losing your job.

Have questions on eligibility? Click here.

  1. Hello, It’s been over 21 days and I still haven’t gotten any calls or letters regarding the claim. I called the office and they gave the adjudicator name and number but he hasn’t returned any of my calls

  2. Its been over 21 days and I still haven’t gotten a call or anything in the mail. I called the office and they said the adjudicator been picked up my case and I’ve been calling and he hasn’t been answering

    • Tiara,

      Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity. There might be a delay due to the holiday season.

  3. It has been over 21 days and I have not gotten any word back in regards to my claim. No letters for a phone interview, no notices I mean nothing. What should I do they won’t let me talk to the adjudicator.

    • Mila,

      Please call the office and insist on an answer. Try and understand the reason for the file being on hold and if there is anything you can do to speed up the process. If need be, ask for a supervisor.

  4. I am receiving benifits now but need cancer surgery and will not be able to work for 2 months because of recovery time. Can I get an exception? Or other options. I have no addition funds to fall back on.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Claims Center for further information.

      Hope you get well soon.

    • I am not sure if there is waiver depending on the age group. Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  5. can I except an part time job before my work release date ( scheduled perm unemployed date )and still sign up for benefits

  6. My job is being eliminated with my current company due to a client leaving. I applied to numerous other positions within the company, but did not get offered any of them. I have accepted an offer from another company, but at a reduced pay, but the reduction in pay is only temporary. Do I qualify for assistance with the difference in pay?

    • As far as I am aware, you will not be eligible to receive UC benefits under such circumstances.

      You can call the Unemployment Office to inquire further.

  7. My friend in Wisconsin has been working 40+ hrs weekly, but her employer is closing the business. There is a job in her field available for 28 hrs weekly. If she takes this job is she eligible for any uc? If yes, for how long?

    • If it’s meant to be a part-time job, she will not be eligible.

      You may check further with the Unemployment Office in your state by calling them.

  8. couple months ago I was laid off for a week but never put in a claim. can I still put it in late?

    • You must have applied as soon as you laid off since the eligibility is determined on the basis of your employment in the last 4-5 calendar quarters.

      Please call the Unemployment Office in your state to confirm and apply accordingly.

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered.

      Please check with the Unemployment Office in your state.

  9. If a company is giving ‘Bonus’ checks to their employees and the checks are ‘printed’ one week through payroll and not actually given out to employees for another 2 or 3 weeks during a company meeting, when would employees have to ‘report’ this bonus on their unemployment weekly claim if they are currently on UC? Is the bonus reported in the week they are ‘handed’ the check even if it was not actually dated in that week?? Or how would this work?

  10. how can I access MY ANNUAL total earning benefits from UI IN 2015? TO BE SUBMITTED WITH TAXES FOR 2015.

    • Please ask for 1099-G for filing taxes.This statement can be obtained from the official website of the Unemployment Office in your state or by calling them.

  11. I am on unemployment now I have a job but it does not start until April.
    Do I still need to go to the in person session in Dodgeville Wisc.?

    • Please call the claims center on the phone numbers provided for advise.

      We do not have knowledge in this regard.

  12. my father died in December and I will be getting some money. will this effect my unemployment benefits? I live in Wisconsin.

    • Some states allow both while some don’t.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state.

  13. my employer has suspended me indefinetly for alleged sexuall harasment, that i did not do. and will not return my call for a meeting and return to work am i able to file for unemployment

    • You can consider applying. There will be a dispute from your employer and you should be able to prove otherwise.

  14. I been discharged from work for 5 weeks and have not received any unemployment at all I got a 1200.00 vacation check from work would that be why it is taking so long to get unemployment insurance payments.

    • Please call the customer service immediately for an update on status.

      Hope you’ve applied for benefits.

  15. my question is….if i have a doctor excuse for light duty for six weeks and my employer cut my hours from 40 down to 24 can i collect partial unemployment to cover the difference in wages…thank you for your time

  16. If I am currently on unemployment and take a four month contract with a definite end date in August, will I have access to unemployment at the end of the contract date in August?


    • Depends. Contracted employees are treated in a different manner(state wise) when it comes to UI benefits.I hope you have at least an year in employment.

      Please check with the labor dept in your state.

    • Seasonal employment is generally not considered for UI benefits.

      Please enquire with the labor dept in your state to check on how they they would treat the break in teaching.

  17. my husband works as a substitute teacher, he is off June thru Aug. can he collect thru these months until he goes back mid Sept? We have 2 young girls and my income helps but can’t pay all bills. just need things to work out better for us thru the summer months

  18. I am self employ working childcare due 2 certification is out dated .I cannot work until state come out to my home.that will take3 to 4 months.can I file? This is my only in income.

  19. I have not worked since Sept 2012 due to medical/surgery.
    My job was terminated in April 2013 because I was still on medical restrictions
    I have been receiving LTD benefits which will end in December.
    How do and can I apply for unemployment benefits?
    I have been looking for a job, but unable to get one so far.

    • I Am on short term disability doctor says Cant return to work Applied for Social Security Disability waiting for decision Can I still get unemployment Benefits while I Wait for social security to answer

      • Not sure if you will be eligible for unemployment insurance as you’re unable to work due to health condition.

  20. if I am having surgery and will not be able to call in or go online for a couple weeks what happens to my claim? Can I reapply when I am able to work again? This will probably be 3-4 weeks till I will be able to work again.

  21. 1) My former employer has provided severance pay. Am I also eligible for unemployment since the severance package does not cover all previous compensation?

    2) If not, will I be eligible for full unemployment benefits at the end of my severance period if I have not found a suitable job?

    Thank you.

  22. How long does it take to figure out if my job search will be waived if im attending a vocational program for diesel and heavy machinery technition?

    • If this is an approved program you should be able to find that information at the Wisconsin Unemployment website – look for information on approved training.

  23. I am waiting for my card for my unemployment benefits, I am wondering when it should arrive or how long it takes to arrive. I filed for the first time on July 28th, 2013

  24. Hello, I received a death threat from a co worker which I take VERY seriously. I have been very sick since feel unsafe at work and at home…anywhere I go i am looking over my shoulder. I brought this to the attention of my HR Director and manager and the threat was actually turned around on me and they questioned whether I was racist. I feel VERY insecure about going back to the office and do not know what to do. Would I be able to quit under these circumstances and be able to collect Unemployment Insurance until I could find another job?

    Thank you

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