Wisconsin Unemployment Extensions Information

Unemployment Benefits Extensions in Wisconsin

Getting an unemployment benefits extension in Wisconsin is only possible in times of high state unemployment. Unemployment compensation extensions are not a regular option for WI residents who have exhausted their standard unemployment benefits. Rather, there are special programs that are launched by the Department of Workforce Development to help unemployed citizens during periods when the state is experiencing adverse economic conditions. The main purpose of these unemployment extension programs is to provide additional weeks of financial assistance to unemployed individuals if they are unable to find a job due to a lack of job openings. This is considered a critical situation and such emergency benefits are provided for a limited amount of time. However, while the programs are in effect, benefit recipients must still make sure to actively look for employment and not reject work if it is offered. In addition, not all unemployed workers who receive regular benefits will be eligible for unemployment compensation extensions. Typically, the department decides who will continue to receive benefits based on various factors, and the eligible individuals will be promptly notified.

So if you are wondering, “How can I extend unemployment benefits?” you can find the answers you seek in the sections below:

  • How to get an unemployment extension in Wisconsin     
  • Federal unemployment extension programs in Wisconsin

How to Get an Unemployment Extension in Wisconsin 

If you are wondering “What can I do to extend unemployment benefits for myself in Wisconsin?” you must first learn about the program’s specific eligibility requirements and regulations, which are set by the Department of Workforce Development. Note that, if you are considered eligible for regular unemployment assistance, you still may not be eligible for an unemployment benefits extension. In this case, you should contact your nearest unemployment insurance office and ask how to get an unemployment extension, given your situation.

Normally, the department notifies the candidates who are eligible for extended benefits, and their federal unemployment extension is processed automatically. However, the department only processes applications while the emergency programs are active. This means that if your regular benefit period has expired, you will not be able to apply for unemployment extensions unless your state has an extended benefit period in effect. If you are eligible for an unemployment compensation extension, the amount of the extended benefits will be equal to the amount of your standard, initial benefits. 

Federal Unemployment Extension Programs in Wisconsin

Wisconsin federal unemployment extension programs are activated when the state experiences high unemployment in a given period of time. At the moment, there are no active unemployment compensation extension programs, and only payments for regular unemployment benefits are being issued. However, if the economic situation in Wisconsin requires it, the following federal unemployment extension programs may be activated:

  • The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) Program
  • The Extended Benefits (EB) Program

The EUC federal unemployment extension program is launched as a three-tier program in WI, with each tier offering a different number of weeks. For instance, the first tier offers 20 weeks of additional assistance; the second tier provides up to 14 weeks; and the third tier adds 13 weeks. Wisconsin used to have a fourth tier lasting six weeks, but this tier is no longer available.

The Extended Benefits Program becomes active once EUC benefits are exhausted. If the state is still experiencing adverse economic conditions and you have not been able to find suitable employment, you may be eligible for EB. This program is activated when the unemployment rate is extremely high and funds for unemployment benefits extensions are provided by the federal government. Unlike the EUC, the EB program provides only 13 additional weeks of unemployment compensation extensions. However, each state’s economic situation is different, and if there is a lack of funds, these programs may be cut short or deactivated altogether. 

All unemployed workers on the UI program must maintain their eligibility at all times, even during times of high unemployment, in order to continue receiving benefits. Failure to comply with the regular program requirements can result in the termination of your benefits and your ineligibility for a federal unemployment extension. In any case, it is crucial for all benefit recipients to actively look for work in order to support themselves financially and not rely solely on government assistance. 

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