Unemployment Extension in Wisconsin


“How can I extend unemployment in Wisconsin?” is a common question of beneficiaries who need additional financial assistance. Unemployment benefits extensions in Wisconsin may be petitioned for if claimants can present good cases as to why their benefits should extend beyond the three-tiered program already in place. As it currently stands, unemployment compensation extensions can only take place once a qualified recipient has exhausted the 26 weeks of assistance. At its core, unemployment benefits in Wisconsin were never intended to last long. The program’s main goal is to provide some financial assistance while the worker seeks gainful employment. Therefore, if unemployment benefits are exhausted, the beneficiary may have to file for an unemployment benefits extension, or apply to other government assistance programs in the state. To learn more about how to get an unemployment extension and what is involved with applying for a federal unemployment extension, select from the topics below:

  • How to Qualify for Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits Extensions
  • What can I do to extend unemployment benefits in Wisconsin?
  • Unemployment Compensation Extensions Offered in Wisconsin
How to Qualify for Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits Extensions

Because of recent federal changes, unemployment compensation extension programs have been scaled back in every state in the U.S. Not everyone who petitions for the extension will receive it, even if he or she would have qualified, if the benefits are not currently active. Once the unemployment benefits extension program has been declared as open, then a claimant can make a good case to qualify for additional time and benefits. One way to qualify for an unemployment benefits extension is to continue to search for a job, and to remain organized with logging the search, as well as reporting finances (even if the worker has a part-time job). If the benefits are active in the state, then a beneficiary will be notified in the mail of his or her unemployment eligibility status. However, unemployment compensation extensions are not offered automatically. It is up to the claimant to determine whether or not he or she wishes to file the claim.

What can I do to extend unemployment benefits in Wisconsin?

For out-of-work residents of Wisconsin who are wondering, “What can I do to extend unemployment compensation?” the current state of the unemployment program makes receiving an extension unlikely. Unemployment compensation extensions are based on two deciding factors. First, the state of the economy in Wisconsin plays a large factor in the determination. Second, the situation of the worker who is petitioning for the extension is also taken into account when approving or denying benefits. If the program is activated, then anyone who is currently enrolled will receive a nmeotice and an unemployment extension of benefits form. To learn more about what an unemployment compensation extension notice includes, download our free guide.

Beneficiaries who would like to file an unemployment extension can do so when the extension program is active and is funded. The last time the extension program was activated, recipients only received a portion of the initial claim benefits, and only for an additional 20 weeks. Each time the unemployment compensation extension program is reopened, the rules are slightly refined.

Unemployment Compensation Extensions Offered in Wisconsin

There are two types of unemployment compensation extensions for which Wisconsin residents can petition. One type of unemployment extension benefits is the federal unemployment extension, and the other is the state-directed extension. The federal unemployment extension program is only activated when the state’s unemployment reaches a critical number. For this reason, most federal unemployment extension programs are never activated, as Wisconsin’s unemployment numbers, in comparison to the rest of the U.S., remain fairly low. So, the federal unemployment extension program is only enacted in times of great stress in the nation, and in individual states.

The state unemployment compensation extension is similar to the Federal Unemployment Extension program, in that it is only activated when the state, or a number of counties, report high numbers of unemployed residents. Each state is left to determine how and when it will enact its own unemployment compensation extension, but most adopt the ‘worst case scenario’ before making the funding available.

Residents in Wisconsin who are out of work and who wish to file unemployment extensions in their areas are urged to contact the nearest Department of Workforce Development (DWD) office to determine whether an extension is even a viable option. In most instances, they are not. If an unemployed resident of WI still requires financial assistance, especially if there is a family with children involved, there are additional governmental agencies in place to assist with such necessary items as food, shelter and medical care.