Last E-Update for a While!

Wisconsin state law prohibits legislators who are up for re-election from sending mass communications after April 15 of an election year. Given the state of emergency, this rule has been exempted for communications related to the COVID-19 public health emergency during the state of emergency and for 30 days after the expiration of the declared public health emergency. This exemption expires today, so this will be my last E-Update until after the fall election.


As always my staff and I will still be responsive to any and all concerns related to state government. If you have questions, concerns or issues that require attention from my office, we are ready and willing to continue assisting you. You can contact my office by replying to this E-Update, emailing Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wi.gov, or calling toll-free at (888) 534-0021. I look forward to your continued communication with my office.


You can also follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook page to see updates in the coming months.

Unemployment Updates

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The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has shared a number of updates regarding unemployment benefits during these unprecedented times.


PUA Update

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) was established through the Federal CARES Act. PUA is available to certain individuals who became unemployed due to COVID-19 and did not qualify for Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI). DWD began accepting applications on April 21, 2020. Over 90,000 PUA applications have been received and DWD is making determinations on the applications in the order in which they were received. A new PUA Hotline has been established to share information about the PUA program and help constituents complete their PUA claims. If you are a PUA applicant you can call the PUA Hotline at (608) 318-7100.


Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

PEUC is 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 and hopes to begin making PEUC payments by the end of this month.


Extended Benefits (EB)

An increase in Wisconsin’s unemployment rate prompted Extended Benefits (EB). Individuals receiving Regular UI will be notified in their claimant portal prior to exhausting their benefits and will be able to submit a new initial application to continue their payment under the EB program. This program provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments to individuals who have exhausted Regular UI and PEUC. The EB program does not apply to individuals collecting PUA.


Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

FPUC is a temporary emergency increase of $600 per week in unemployment benefits. This increase is applied to individuals collecting Regular UI, PEUC, EB or PUA, and is automatically added to the weekly benefit rate. The week ending July 25, 2020 will be the last payable week for FPUC.


Still need assistance with UI or PUA?

If you are struggling to get through to DWD and have not done so already, email my office at Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wi.gov with the following details, and my office will begin communication with DWD:

  • Full name of claimant (Last name, First Name, Middle Initial)
  • Phone number
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of initial UI or PUA Application
  • Status of application (trying to file initial claim, pending, in appeal, etc.)
  • Reason for inquiry (can't get through by phone, unanswered questions, etc.)

We look forward to hearing from you.

Small Business Grants



A couple of weeks ago the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced the “We’re All In” Small Business Grant Program, which will provide $2,500 grants to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses to help small businesses respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, a business must:

  • be a Wisconsin-based, for-profit business
  • employ 20 or fewer full-time employees
  • earn greater than $0 but less than $1 million in annual revenues
  • have started operating prior to January 1, 2020, and have been in business as of February 2020

The online grant application period will be accessible for one week beginning at 8am on Monday, June 15, through 11:59pm on Sunday, June 21. The WEDC website includes information on how applicants can begin preparing for the one-week application period. Additionally, WEDC put together a page of FAQs on the grant program.

Useful Links