MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released information related to the total number of unemployment calls received, applications filed, claims processed, and monies distributed in Wisconsin as of the week ending May 30, 2020.

The Department announced, based on preliminary numbers, there were 22,835 initial applications filed the week ending May 30. This is compared to 26,384 the week prior (week ending May 23). This is the ninth week in a row of gradual declines in regular unemployment initial applications.

Unemployment Insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate UI program, but all states must follow the same guidelines established by federal law. Any answer given on a claim raising a question regarding a person’s eligibility must be fully investigated before benefits may be paid.

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits: If you’re out of work through no fault of your own, and you’ve worked for a covered employer (an employer who pays UI tax) in the last 18 months, you may be eligible for and should apply for regular UI benefits. Regular UI is available for up to 26 weeks (dependent upon an individual’s specific situation).

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): A temporary program that provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments to individuals who have exhausted their regular UI benefits. DWD is currently in the process of programming PEUC – programming is not yet complete. DWD hopes to start making PEUC payments by the end of June.

Extended Benefits (EB): A temporary program that provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments to individuals who have exhausted regular UI and PEUC. DWD will start programming EB after programming for PEUC is complete.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): If you are not eligible for regular UI, you may be eligible for PUA. This is a temporary federal program that provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular UI such as:

  • individuals who are self-employed,
  • certain independent contractors,
  • individuals with limited recent work history, and
  • other workers not covered by regular UI.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): A temporary emergency increase of $600 per week in unemployment benefits. FPUC provides an additional payment to individuals who are collecting regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA. It is automatically added to the weekly benefit rate.

“DWD is working hard to code and implement the new PEUC and EB programs into our mainframe benefits system,” DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said. “There is nothing more important to the leadership of DWD than claimants receiving the benefits they deserve as quickly as possible. Our work on behalf of Wisconsin claimants won’t cease until all claims under all programs, state or federal, are paid in full.”

The difference between weeks claimed and weeks paid- 743,892 weeks- includes weeks that will never be paid (because of denials, suspensions, or waiting weeks before Act 185 took effect) and weeks requiring adjudication to determine eligibility. This number of weeks does not equal a count of workload, nor a count of people. The approximately 425,000 weeks currently held for adjudication (16% of all weeks claimed) represent approximately 144,000 unique claimants with around 236,000 issues requiring adjudication.  A claimant could have one issue or many holding up a week or many weeks. DWD is prioritizing all adjudication work by earliest date to pay the claimants who have been waiting the longest first.

Adjudication refers to the investigation and resolution of eligibility issues raised on unemployment insurance claims.  Adjudication is a manual process that requires interested parties be provided due notice to respond to the eligibility issue.  Eligibility issues arise from several places including the initial claim, weekly claim, employer contact, claimant contact, and tips from the public.


Grand Total Claims Allowed*/ Paid Claims Denied Claims in Process

(Includes claims awaiting wage verification, adjudication, etc.; may be paid in future)

March 15 – May 30, 2020 72.7% 11.3% 16.0%

*Includes weeks with BAR or serving waiting week if benefit year started pre-Act 185 implementation.

TOTAL NUMBER: March 15 Through

May 30, 2020

Unemployment Applications Received** 601,402


Weekly Claims Received** 2,655,408


Weekly Claims Paid 1,911,516  
Total Benefits Paid

(including FPUC and PUA)

FPUC Benefits Paid $993,526,275


PUA Applications Received


PUA Benefits Paid $953,897  
UI Calls Received- Week of May 30, 2020 2,803,031  
**Neither applications nor claims received equate to a specific number of individuals. Preliminary counts updated daily at:


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