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In December 2014, an audit was performed on the Wisconsin Unemployment System. The audit found that in FY 2013-2014, 1.7 million calls to the call centers, which was 60.2% of the total calls, were blocked because the queue was full. The audit showed significant issues and vulnerabilities in the process, which should have sounded the alarm for Republican leadership, but they took no action to modernize the system.

 

Instead, Republicans put into place more than a dozen new hurdles in just eight years that Wisconsinites have to jump over in order to receive the benefits they have earned. One wrong step, and the claimant has to go down a long road of investigations, eligibility questions and fact finding, which only prolongs the process. These excessive policies have resulted in frustration and delays for too many Wisconsin workers.

 

View my full statement on the Wisconsin UI Barriers here. 

 

Sincerely,

 

JON ERPENBACH
State Senator
27th District

 

Mental Health Awareness Month
DHS: Tools to Thrive
While one in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. For this year's Mental Health Month, the Department of Health Services (DHS) partnered with Mental Health America to offer practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health. Including:

Learn more here. 

 

 

Resources for Helping Kids and Parents Cope Amidst COVID-19
Thank you to William Swift, the Consulting Child Psychiatrist at the Sauk County Human Services for passing along these resources! 

 


 

Resources - 

During this difficult time it is worth reminding Wisconsinites that 211 exists to help when you don’t know where to turn. 211 is a resource managed by the United Way of Wisconsin. Call 2-1-1 or visit their website.

Office of Crime Victim Services

End Abuse Wisconsin 

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1-800-799-7233, text LOVEIS to 22522, or go to thehotline.org for free and confidential support.

Disaster Distress Hotline 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Veterans Crisis Line 

Vets for Warriors 

Military One Source 

Resilient Wisconsin

Department of Corrections Helpline: The call center can be reached by members of the public Monday through Friday from 7:45am–4:30pm at (608) 240-5700.

Wisconsin Farm Center 

LGBTQ Crisis Line 

HopeLine Text Service 

Wisconsin Elder Abuse Hotline 

 


CARES Act Funding for Health Clinics

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced $10 million in funding for health care providers serving the state's most underserved populations. The funds, provided through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will reimburse clinics for expenses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemicApplications will be accepted starting June 5 and must be submitted by June 30.

Learn more. 

 

 

CARES Act Funding for Local Governments

The “Routes to Recovery: Local Government Aid Grants" are aimed at helping local governments address some of their most urgent and unique COVID-19 recovery needs. Administered by the Department of Administration (DOA), Routes to Recovery Grants will be allocated to every Wisconsin county, city, village, town,​ and federally recognized tribe. The effort is funded by $200 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars.  ​

Learn more.

 

From DATCP: Shop Locally, Shop Responsibly During COVID-19

You may have seen some empty shelves at your local store, but it's not because there is no food. In most cases, it simply means the store is in the process of restocking, or is working to manage its supply to ensure all shoppers can buy what they need. Similarly, you might see higher sticker prices than you are used to on some items. This doesn't necessarily mean the store is trying to dishonestly pocket more of your money. In fact, in many cases that higher price reflects legitimate cost increases further up the supply chain. Although many of us only see the price we pay in the grocery store, it's important to remember the multitude of factors that can change that price.

The fact is that there is and will be food available in Wisconsin. There's no shortage of food; there are disruptions in the usual flow of the food supply chain.

Learn more about ways you can help here. 

 

Request for Public Comment: IRIS Waiver Renewal

 From DHS: The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is planning to submit a request to renew the 1915(c) IRIS waiver for the IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) program to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This waiver gives Wisconsin authority to provide Medicaid services in home and community-based settings.

Comments are due by June 29, 2020

Learn more here.

 

Where Can I Get Tested for COVID-19 and Can I Get an Antibody Test? 

DHS has created a map that displays current COVID-19 community testing sites in Wisconsin. This map will be updated daily. Please noe that each site may have different requirements. 

Testing site information changes frequently. For the most up-to-date information about each testing site you may wish to contact your local health department.

View the map here. 

If you you had symptoms of COVID-19 and have since recovered, or if you think you may have had it but did not show symptoms, you may also be able to get an antibody test. Antibody tests will not tell you if you currently have COVID-19, but can let you know if you had it at some time in the past.

Community testing sites are not providing antibody testing at this time. If you would like an antibody test, contact your doctor to ask for one.

Learn more.

 

DWD Secretary Frostman's Remarks to the Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform

On May 27, The Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform held an informational hearing on Unemployment Insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is an excerpt from Secretary Frostman's Remarks: 

"While it has publicly been suggested to take shortcuts and make payments quicker, our statutes, which require legislative action to change, do not allow it. The federal government does not permit this. The Department of Labor has consistently enforced a requirement that UI benefits only be paid when due and not to pay benefits until all issues that affect an individual’s entitlement to UI are adjudicated after giving both the claimant and the employer the opportunity to be heard during the adjudication process."

View his full remarks and learn more here. 

 


 

Looking for additional resources? If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to my office at Sen.Erpenbach@Legis.WI.Gov, or call (608) 266-6670. 

 

 
 
Contacting My Office

Feel free to contact me with any inquiries. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.