Claiming Benefits for Unemployment in Wisconsin
You may be eligible to claim unemployment benefits in Wisconsin if you are a resident of the state. This type of financial assistance is provided by the state government to help individuals who have recently lost their jobs by issuing them unemployment compensation payments as they look for new work. Claiming benefits for unemployment in WI is simple if you meet all requirements and present the necessary documents. However, once you complete an unemployment benefits claim, you must make sure to maintain your eligibility in order to keep receiving payments. Once your regular benefit period has expired, you may be able to apply for an unemployment benefits extension, but this option is only available during times of high unemployment in the state. To find out how to claim unemployment benefits in WI and to learn about maintaining your eligibility for UI payments, read the sections below:
- How to claim unemployment benefits in Wisconsin
- Maintaining your unemployment benefits claim in Wisconsin
- Wisconsin federal unemployment benefits and federal income taxes
Wisconsin Unemployment Resources
Appealing Denied Benefits
How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Wisconsin
If you are interested in learning how to claim unemployment benefits in Wisconsin, the first step to take is to learn the exact application process of the Department of Workforce Development. Applicants register to claim unemployment benefits either online or by phone. If claiming benefits for unemployment online is your first choice, you must visit the official WI DWD website and find the online application. Then, the system will prompt you to create an account where you will be able to enter your personal and employment information. Note that there are some instances when the department may need additional information from you and may instruct you to call a claims specialist to complete the process.
On the other hand, if you prefer to claim unemployment benefits over the phone, you must call during the assigned days, based on the last digit of your Social Security Number:
- If the last digit of your SSN is 0-2, call on Monday.
- If the last digit of your SSN is 3-6, call on Tuesday.
- If the last digit of your SSN is 7-9, call on Wednesday.
- Any claimant can call on Thursday and Friday (there may be longer wait times on these days).
Note that your unemployment benefits claim will begin on the week of your first call.
Maintaining Your Unemployment Benefits Claim in Wisconsin
If you intend to claim unemployment benefits in WI, you must first make sure to meet all the eligibility requirements set by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The most important factor in determining whether you can submit an unemployment benefits claim is the reason for your separation from your employer. In addition, you must also meet financial criteria concerning the wages earned in your base period. In any case, even if you are granted federal unemployment benefits, you are required to perform the following tasks in order to maintain your eligibility:
- Register with the WI Job Service.
- Perform job-seeking activities and report them to the WI DWD.
- Be mentally and physically able to work.
- Do not reject a job offer unless the salary is significantly lower than that of your last job.
- Report any income during your weeks of unemployment.
- Fill out weekly claim certifications with the DWD.
- Be prepared to start work immediately and make suitable arrangements for transportation or child care.
Wisconsin Federal Unemployment Benefits and Federal Income Taxes
Claimants of federal unemployment benefits in Wisconsin may need to pay federal income taxes. Unemployment compensation is considered a sort of income for federal and state tax purposes. You can ask to have taxes withheld from your unemployment benefits claim by contacting the department via phone or online. The amount that will be withheld for federal taxes is 10 percent of your weekly benefit amount, while the amount withheld for state taxes is five percent of your weekly benefit amount.
To request that your taxes be withheld online, you must complete the online application found on the official WI DWD website. If you would like to request tax withholding over the phone, you must call one of the initial unemployment benefits claim lines listed on the website. The department will mail you a 1099-G Form at the end of January each year to show you the amount of benefits you received.