Unemployment Benefits Coverage and Duration in Wisconsin


Residents of Wisconsin may claim unemployment benefits in a number of ways. Not all unemployment benefit claims that are submitted are accepted, but following the guidelines of the application process precisely will improve the applicant’s chances of receiving benefits in a timely manner. Making sure applicants are eligible for claiming benefits for unemployment is also critical to the process, saving potential beneficiaries time and effort if they do not qualify. To learn more about how to claim unemployment benefits, and how long the benefits will last, select from the topics below:

  • How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Wisconsin
  • How Long Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits Claims Will Last
  • Unemployment Benefits Extension Requests in Wisconsin
How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Wisconsin

Wisconsin workers claiming benefits for unemployment have to do so through the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), either online or by phone. Federal unemployment benefits are controlled by the United States Department of Labor, who works in conjunction with the Wisconsin DWD. Wisconsin takes the federally allocated funds and distributes them to qualifying workers who have lost their jobs. Even though unemployment benefits claims are funded by the federal government, it is the state of Wisconsin that determines unemployment eligibility for its residents.

A worker in Wisconsin can file an unemployment benefits claim if he or she was paid wages of a sufficient amount in at least two of the quarters in what is considered a “base period.” In other words, the worker must have made at least six times the amount of the benefit claim in order to be qualified. Once an applicant has filed an unemployment benefits claim form, then a benefit computation will be sent to the worker the next day. This will list the employment for which the worker would be paid, by quarter, from unemployment. Those who are qualified to claim unemployment benefits will receive form UCB-700, while those who do not qualify will receive form USB-736. Both forms will list why the decision was rendered.

How Long Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits Claims Will Last

As a general computation for unemployment benefits claims, a worker will receive four percent of the money made in the highest-earning quarter while employed. These benefits will last 26 weeks, and will be issued from a minimum of $54 a week to a maximum of $370 per week. However, if the economy in Wisconsin has a high unemployment rate, the government will extend those unemployment benefits claims.

Wisconsin utilizes a tiered plan for workers to claim unemployment benefits, and each tier offers a different level of coverage. Download our guide to review more information on the tiers of unemployment benefits. As with all unemployment benefits claims, beneficiaries must be willing to conduct regular, weekly job searches, to keep logs of the searches and to accept jobs, if offered, as long as the job is comparable in salary to the job that was lost. These requirements for receiving unemployment benefits are amended if the worker has gone a full year without finding comparable work.

Unemployment benefits claims may also be submitted, even if the worker has returned to school. However, the worker must still be able to apply for – and accept – work in the daytime, should it be offered. There are circumstances in which this would be waived, for example, if the student was going back to school to learn a trade.

Unemployment Benefits Extension Requests in Wisconsin

Wisconsin unemployment benefits extensions can be petitioned for if a worker meets certain criteria. First, the worker must have gone through the regular benefits period, progressing through all of the tiers. Next, the out-of-work employee must continue to file unemployment benefits claims, and meet the requirements of the program, such as being willing to work and continuing the job search. If a Wisconsin out-of-work resident exhausts all the state has to offer, he or she may attempt to receive another extension from the federal government. Federal unemployment benefits are extended to the state if the unemployment rate is at or over eight percent. If enacted, the worker will be able to claim unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks. In Wisconsin, unemployment benefits extensions are not awarded frequently. These benefits are usually available under oppressive economic situations in the state, or within an area of the state. The unemployment benefits claims that are submitted are generally paid until the funding runs out for the year, even if the worker qualifies further.