COVID- 19 Unemployment Update

For a lot of people who are applying for unemployment, especially those applying for the first time ever, the claims process can be confusing. Sometimes the questions are poorly worded, and if a claimant accidentally clicks the wrong button they receive an error message and are unable to do anything further until someone from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) contacts them. They can’t even go back in and fix their own error which can be frustrating. This frustration is undoubtedly compounded by other negative effects of losing a job due to no fault of their own, so the clunky system and massive backlog doesn’t help.

If a claimant needs to fix an error or supply additional information, such as verifying identify which is required for first time claimants who live in Illinois and work in Wisconsin, it is incredibly difficult to get through to talk to a claims specialist. DWD has reportedly added hundreds of employees and contracted with call centers to help, however DWD has also stated that they have been slow to get these new additional resources up and running due to the training involved.

My legislative office is doing everything we can to help individuals who reach out to our office, including those who may work in the 31st Assembly District, but live in Illinois. Many people who contact my office are struggling to make ends meet because they haven’t been paid in weeks and are very scared and desperate for help. Their stories are heartbreaking and we are very sympathetic. Legislators are unable to expedite individual cases, but we can reach out to DWD with all of the pertinent information and ask them to contact the constituent directly to resolve the case. My staff tracks every person who asks us for help, stays in regular contact with them, and continues to ask DWD for updates for them. We have closed out many cases, but many more remain pending even after several weeks since their initial contact with my office, which is unfortunate. My two office staff work primarily on UI cases all day every day and we will continue to work on all remaining and new cases until every single one is resolved.

If you are struggling to get through to DWD, email my office at with the following details, which we need in order to submit the case to DWD:

1. Full name of claimant (Last name, First Name, Middle Initial):
2. Phone number
3. Address
4. Date of Birth
5. Date of first UI Application
6. Status of application (trying to file initial claim, pending, in appeal, etc.)
7. Reason for inquiry (can't get through by phone, unanswered questions, etc.)

Once we have that information, we submit a unique request to DWD. The information helps the DWD correctly identify the claimant and review the claim before making contact. Once we reach out to DWD, it’s taking about 14 business days for them to reach out to the claimant, depending on the complexity of the case. We typically follow up with the constituent in 10-12 days to see if they have heard anything and follow up again with DWD if they are still waiting. After that we continue to touch base weekly until the claim is resolved.

CARES Act Funding

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. That document can be found here.

Rule of 50

I appreciate the opportunity to communicate with you through E-Updates over this legislative session. Pursuant to s.11.33, of Wisconsin Statutes, a Representative who becomes a candidate for office may not use public funds to distribute 50 or more pieces of identical material after the first day for circulation of nomination papers.

This means that after April 15th, I can no longer send out the E-Update to you as it conflicts with the beginning of campaign season. However, Assembly Bill 1038 makes one change to this, which will allow me to send E-Updates relating to the public health emergency until June 10th. This will be my last E-update until after the election. 

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!

 ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Even though Governor’s Evers Safer at Home Order is no longer in effect, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) continues to collect and report pertinent data regarding COVID-19 related symptoms, COVID-19 test results and cases, and hospital and health care system capacity and readiness. DHS's “Gating Criteria” Indicators and Metrics are updated daily at 2 pm CST on the DHS website.

Beloit Daily News- Unemployment system struggling with claims

My capitol office is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.

 If you have any comments regarding the subject of this E-Update, please feel free to contact me.   

Rep. Amy Loudenbeck 
State Capitol, Room 304 East
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 529-0031 or (608) 266-9967| |