Claim-Filing questions in Wisconsin

Do you want to know the questions you will be asked when filing an unemployment claim in Wisconsin?

Unfortunately, Wisconsin does NOT provide those question beforehand to claimants. Wisconsin does NOT even any longer provide those questions in the Handbook for Claimants. Compare this 2010 handbook with the current version.

Other states do provide these questions to claimants. They even explain how to answer these questions. For example: Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, and PUA claim in New York. In Massachusetts, you can even go through the claim-filing process for PUA benefits without a user-id just to see what the system is like.

Through an open records request and some sleuthing on my part, the Department has finally produced what guidance it currently has.

Note: Previous requests to the prior administration for this information were denied. So, kudos to the current administration for making this information available and starting the process of making the claim-filing process more open and understandable.

As you can see, the claim-filing questions for regular unemployment benefits — both the initial claim and the weekly certification claim — are extensive, being 60 or more pages in length.

The weekly certifications for PUA benefits are also lengthy, being 29 and 35 pages in length themselves. The initial application for PUA benefits is only 6 pages, since little to no explanation of the questions and options is provided.

And, as noted already with the “able” question about being able to work full-time, these questions do NOT follow state unemployment law.

Finally, missing from this information are:

  • Any claim-filing questions or guidance in Hmong
  • Initial unemployment application for regular unemployment benefits in Spanish
  • Initial application for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in Spanish
  • Initial application for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in Spanish
  • Weekly certification for PUA self-employed claims in Spanish
  • Weekly certification for PUA non-self-employed claims in Spanish
  • Certification for Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) benefits in Spanish

Note: from my recollection, the weekly certification for regular unemployment benefits in Spanish is new. I do not think these forms existed prior to October 2020. This LWA benefits payment announcement indicates that Spanish continues to be an after-thought.

Update (6 Jan. 2021): It should also be pointed out that the claimant portal itself is English-only. Spanish-speaking claimants are simply told to get an interpreter.

Spanish portal options

Update 12 April 2021): Added an image for the post.


12 thoughts on “Claim-Filing questions in Wisconsin

  1. Hi again, although I was approved for PUA BENEFITS in PENNSYLVANIA they are telling me that I am not eligible for the additional $600 because I have no work history nor can they backdate my claim. I was to commence working in April (and showed evidence) but filed in July because the job was rescinded. Is this correct? Can they do this?
    From what I’ve read this is incorrect.

      • My job was rescinded in April, I was to start working April 17, 2020 and submitted a letter stating that as they requested. Although I filed in July I did state the place of employment had to close due to pandemic in March, therefore I no longer had a job to report to. What they are telling me is that because I have no work history they can not backdate nor am I eligible for extra $600. Are they right or should I keep fighting for what’s right?

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  4. Hello I have been waiting for my unemployment since March I have been denied twice and as of yesterday unemployment is Acting as if I never filed a claim at all and then I’m going to have to re-file for the third time and then when I contacted PUA I was instructed by the first individual who gave me even a second of his day, That clearly there was 1 million things wrong in my file that he felt the need to take it straight to the supervisor and that I was only being approved for two weeks of pandemic unemployment. I had one woman in Madison say to me that I need to shut my mouth and only respond with a yes or a no when she asks me a question. I was a bartender for a bit starting right before the pandemic. Prior to that I worked in mental health for 16 years and had to leave my career due to being raped, then was laid off, my daughter got COVID and I still started a whole new career while paying cash for my full time classes in coordination with my full time apprenticeship, a single mom and barely making ends meet. My bills are all behind, my credit is getting hit hard, my internet has been turned off so I used the internet on my phone for work. I worked my butt off to get here and have paid into my unemployment for years, this should be a simple open and close case. Since then I have had all my assets frozen by the IRS and don’t qualify for any assistance bc $15/hr is making to much for a family of 2. My house payment is $800 alone. My car had been repoed due to nonpayment of the title loan I HAD to take out to make ends meet. The levy that froze my assets was from fines in incurred less than 4 months prior. A levy was sent to my bank. I am looking at hiring a lawyer at this point. I have spent hours and days crying and fighting for my life back just from what happened to me alone, what I lost bc of it and now without that financial support I don’t think I’m gna be able to complete my program. I’m so far in debt bc of not being compensated that I go to different friends houses and eat there so I can eat. What I can afford for my house rn, is there so my child doesn’t go without. The people at unemployment should be ashamed of themselves.

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