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How to File for Unemployment

Did your company recently perform a mass layoff? Did you get fired for an incident in which you were not responsible? If either of the above applies to you, continue below. You will find out more about the unemployment program in Wisconsin, and how to collect benefits via unemployment insurance. In the state, you can file for UI:

Applying for Unemployment Online

If you are planning on filing for unemployment, the Department of Workforce Development in Wisconsin allows you to do so online. Though the DWD website, you will be able to fill out your UI application. The benefits of applying online include that the system is fast, safe and secure, in addition to being mobile-friendly, in case you need to fill out your application by smartphone. In addition, you can save your application in the middle of the process, in case you need to continue (the system will preserve your application for up to 14 days after) at a later time.

All you need to do in order to get started with your UI application online is to create a valid user name and password. In order to complete your claim, you may be required to call a Claims Specialist. Note that all of your information stated on your unemployment application will be saved in the DWD system, and easily accessed by the support representative that assists you.

Instances that may require you to call a UI Claims Specialist in Wisconsin include:

  1. If you work for an educational employer.
  2. If you did not work for one of the employers stated in your file.
  3. If you need to request a backdate more than one week from your claim process start date.

You can call a Claims Specialist Monday through Friday, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Applying for UI Benefits by Phone

If you cannot access the online UI benefits application online, and you prefer to file your Unemployment Claim by phone, note that there are certain rules you must abide by. For instance, your Social Security Number will determine when you are able to call for assistance. The schedule is as follows:

  1. Call on Monday from 6 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Last digit of SSN is 0 to 2.
  2. Call on Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Last digit of SSN is 3 to 6.
  3. Call on Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Last digit of SSN is 7 to 9.
  4. Call on Thursday and Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. – All SSNs, but you are subject to wait times.

Note that your unemployment claim by phone will begin the first week you placed your first call. Even if the system asks you to call back on a Thursday or a Friday, your claim will be started prior to that second phone call. During the hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, only individuals filing a claim by phone can call based on SSN, while all callers can touch base on Thursdays and Fridays.

You can apply for UI by calling 414-438-7700 or 608-232-0678.

If you are deaf or hearing impaired, call the TTY toll free number: 888-393-8914.