Wisconsin Unemployment Benefit Questions
Navigating the Wisconsin unemployment insurance program can sometimes be confusing. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions claimants have about the process:
How do I file a claim for unemployment benefits in Wisconsin?
How much is unemployment in Wisconsin?
As of 2023, the maximum unemployment weekly benefit rate is $370. You cannot earn more than this amount, no matter how much you previously earned. The current minimum is $54.
You can calculate your estimated weekly benefit rate by visiting our Wisconsin Unemployment Calculator.
How long does Wisconsin unemployment take to process?
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will review your eligibility within a week of receiving your initial unemployment application. If you meet the requirements for benefits, you will usually receive payment within seven days of completing your second weekly claim.
The first week that you qualify for unemployment benefits is called the “waiting week.” While you do still need to meet the eligibility criteria for the waiting week, you won’t receive payment 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 claim 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.
In order to continue receiving unemployment insurance, you need to file a weekly claim certification for each week you want to receive benefits. By filing a weekly claim certification, you’re letting the department know that you are still unemployed or working fewer hours. If you don’t file a weekly claim certification, 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 unemployment claim by logging into the my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov portal. After you’ve logged in, click the “My UI Summary” tab to see your weekly claim status and whether payment has been processed.
Additionally, you can also call the UI claimant assistance hotline and a representative can give you more information about the status of your unemployment claim.
How do you contact Wisconsin unemployment?
If you have any questions regarding filing your unemployment insurance application or weekly claims, you should call the UI 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 office.
Can I file an unemployment claim with another state?
No, you cannot receive unemployment benefits from more than one state. You will need to file in the state where the majority of your wages were earned.
If most of your wages were earned in Wisconsin, but you have some that were earned outside the state, you can file a combined wage claim to increase your weekly benefit rate.
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. No money is taken directly from employee paychecks to cover UI benefits.
Can I work part time and receive unemployment benefits?
Yes. However, any work or income you receive will 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.
If your total hours for the week are fewer than 32 and your total earnings are $500 or fewer, a “partial wage formula” is used to calculate partial weekly UI benefits. Here’s how it works:
- Subtract $30.00 from your gross income.
- Multiply the remaining amount by 0.67 (67%).
- Subtract this new amount (including cents) from your weekly benefit amount.
- Round down the result to the nearest whole dollar. This is the amount of partial UI benefits you will receive for the week.
What wages do I need to report?
It’s important to report any money you earn from work. This includes income from full-time or part-time jobs, temporary or odd jobs, and tips.
You should also report any work you do if you receive a payment that is not money. This includes the value of any type of compensation or payment you receive for your work, such as room and board, cash payments, tips, commissions, or working to pay off a bill.
In addition, you need to report any other earnings or benefits you receive. This includes bonus pay, sick pay, holiday pay, vacation pay, or paid time off. It also includes payments like termination pay, severance packages, pay instead of notice, dismissal pay, pension or 401(k) from a previous employer within your benefit year, or any worker’s compensation benefits.
Are unemployment benefits subject to taxes?
Yes, you will need to report any unemployment compensation you receive on your annual income taxes. You can opt to have the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development withhold 10% of your weekly benefit rate for federal taxes, and 5% for state taxes.
You will receive Form 1099-G the following January of each year you receive benefits. You will need to use this form when filing income taxes.
Can I get unemployment if I am receiving a pension or retirement?
You must inform the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development 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 unemployment insurance payments.
It’s important to note 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 reemployment?
Should you lose your new job shortly after starting, you can log into the my.unemployment.wisonsin.gov claimant portal and reopen your claim, provided you have not reached your maximum benefit amount for the year. You will also not need to meet the waiting week requirements again.
If it has been more than one year since you filed for unemployment benefits, you will need to file a new application.