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 District Dialogue

Serving the Greater Northwoods

Oneida - Vilas - Florence - Forest

June 9, 2020

DWD Unemployment Update

Over the last couple of months, my office has been inundated with emails and calls regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI) Claims. Many of you have reached out with your frustrations and asked to request assistance in regards to getting ahold of DWD, and I will continue to do everything in my power to assist you with your UI claims. Many people who contact my office are struggling to make ends meet because they have not been paid in weeks. Their stories are heartbreaking and we are very sympathetic. Legislative offices are unable to expedite individual cases, however, we can reach out to DWD on your behalf with all the pertinent information and ask them to contact the constituent directly to resolve your case. My office has closed out many cases, but many more still remain pending even after weeks since their initial contact with my office, which is unfortunate. My office staff works primarily on UI cases every day and we will continue to work on all remaining cases until all cases are resolved.       

If you or someone you know is having problems filing your unemployment claim, please send an email to Rep.Swearingen@legis.wi.gov with the following information:

  • Full name of claimant (Last name, First Name, Middle Initial*):
  • Phone number:
  • Home Address:
  • Date of UI Application:
  • Date of Birth & Last Four of SS#*
  • Status of application (trying to file an initial claim, in appeal, etc.):
  • Reason for inquiry (can't get through by phone, unanswered questions, etc.):

* Adding the claimant's middle initial and date of birth/last four digits of their social security number helps the UI staff more quickly confirm the identity of the claimant in their system.

Email is preferred, but you can also call my office at (608) 266-7141 if you prefer calling instead.

CARES Act Funding

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Over the last month, Governor Evers' administration has announced plans for roughly $2 billion in federal dollars from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to be distributed throughout Wisconsin. Below are links to the announcements that have been made so far regarding where these dollars are being allocated.

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau also did a break down of the money Wisconsin was expected to receive with details about what the money could be used for. 

COVID-19 Small Business Assistance

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The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will be accepting applications for the "We're All In" small business grant program. The program, which is funded from the federal CARES Act, is aimed at helping small businesses during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 


The application window for the grant program will be open for one week beginning on Monday, June 15th, and ending at the end of the day on Sunday, June 21st. Wisconsin-based businesses with 20 or fewer full-time employees and less than $1 million in annual revenues will be eligible to apply for $2,500 grants to cover business operating costs.

Please click the picture above to view WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes as she outlines parts of the application process and gives business owners a head start in assembling documents and information that makes the process simpler. 

For more information, please visit the following link: https://wedc.org/programs-and-resources/wai-small-business-grant/

Additionally, to view frequently asked questions about the grant program, please visit the following link: https://wedc.org/wai-small-business-grant-frequently-asked-questions/

COVID-19 Testing Results Trending Downward

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Wisconsin received some great news with this past weekend’s COVID-19 testing results, which continued on a downward trend. In fact, the percent of positive cases on Sunday was the lowest on record at only 2.3%. 

Below are the results of testing this weekend:

  • Friday - 2.9% positive rate, with 357 positives reported on 12,322 tests.
  • Saturday - 2.7% positive rate, with 322 positives reported on 11,792 tests.
  • Sunday - 2.3% positive rate, with 264 positives reported on 11,329 tests.

It is important to note that since the testing was started back in March, over 300,000 people in Wisconsin have tested negative.

Hospitals remain strong with abundant capacity to handle any possible future waves. According to the most recent information available, the Department of Health Services (DHS) reports there are 308 patients in the hospital due to the virus, with 107 of those in intensive care. Hospitals are reporting over a quarter of hospital beds are immediately available. Just 301 of the state’s 1,272 ventilators are in use.

50 Piece Rule

Wisconsin state law prohibits legislators who are candidates for re-election to send out mass communications after April 15th. However, 2019 Wisconsin Act 185 exempts communications related to the COVID-19 public health emergency through June 10th. This will be my last e-update until after the elections


If you or anyone you know in the 34th Assembly District has any questions or concerns related to state government, my staff and I will continue to respond and assist with anything you need. You can contact my office at (608) 266-7141 or by email at Rep.Swearingen@legis.wi.gov. Over the summer, I will post informational updates on my website and social media accounts, so please be sure to follow those if you don't already.  

Additional Resources

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health Services website.

For information regarding Wisconsin unemployment benefits, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website.

For collective information regarding all Wisconsin State Agencies, please visit: Wisconsin COVID-19 Collective Information.

Public Service Commission: Internet Resources for Wisconsin Residents during Public Health Emergency

Local Health Departments

Oneida County Health Department

Vilas County Health Department

Florence County Health Department

Forest County Health Department

Local Chamber of Commerce Business Listings



Eagle River


St. Germain

Land O’ Lakes

Boulder Junction

Sayner-Star Lake


Three Lakes


Manitowish Waters (School Breakfast and Lunch Requests)

National Resources:

Center for Disease Control

World Health Organization