How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance in Wisconsin

Understanding how to apply for unemployment online will help to ensure a successful Wisconsin unemployment insurance (UI) application. Before you apply for unemployment benefits, you will need to learn about the Wisconsin unemployment insurance program, review UI application steps and gather important information. Your online application for unemployment will help the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development determine whether you are eligible to receive UI benefits in the state. If you successfully file for an unemployment claim, then you will receive weekly benefit payments to compensate a part of your lost income while you are out of work. To learn how to file for unemployment in Wisconsin, review the section below. For comprehensive information about eligibility requirements to collect benefits, download our national unemployment guide.

What to Know Before You File for an Unemployment Claim in Wisconsin

Before you file for an unemployment claim in Wisconsin, make sure you understand how the state’s unemployment insurance program works. Filing for unemployment successfully enrolls you in the Wisconsin unemployment insurance program, a federal initiative administered locally by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The purpose of the Wisconsin UI program is to provide temporary financial aid to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and meet Wisconsin eligibility requirements. Financial aid is provided in the form of weekly UI benefit payments to alleviate the financial impact of unemployment and allow workers to devote their energy to finding new work.

Your application for UI benefits is assessed by the Wisconsin DWD to decide whether to award you weekly UI benefit payments. The DWD also evaluates your unemployment EDD application to determine how much you should receive in benefit payments each week. Filing a successful unemployment application is an essential step to obtaining the benefit payments you need after becoming unemployed.

Before you file your application for unemployment benefits, learn more about the insurance program by downloading our detailed unemployment guide.

When and Where to Sign Up for Unemployment in Wisconsin

You should apply for unemployment benefits in Wisconsin as soon as you are separated from employment since you will not receive WI unemployment insurance benefits for any weeks you were unemployed before you file your claim. You may also begin your UI application if you have been reduced to part-time employment or expect to be separated from employment within the following 13 weeks.

File an unemployment claim for work performed in this state with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development even if you have since moved to another state. Determining where to register for unemployment benefits may be as simple as apply in the state where you earned the most or worked the longest. If you have worked in multiple states, then you should apply in the location where you will collect the highest benefit amount.

In terms of where to apply for unemployment in Wisconsin, you only have one option: online. File an online application for unemployment with the Wisconsin DWD through its online portal. If you require assistance, then you may contact your local DWD office for help with the online application.

How Can I Sign Up for Unemployment in Wisconsin?

To file an online application for unemployment insurance benefits in Wisconsin, visit the Department of Workforce Development online portal. Log into the online UI application system by creating a username and password, and then provide information on unemployment questions about you and your work background. When you file for an unemployment claim in Wisconsin, provide the following information:

  • Your name, phone number or email address and current mailing address
  • Your Social Security Number and Wisconsin drivers license or ID number
  • The names, contact information and employment dates of employers on whom you are basing your UI claim application
  • Your alien registration number, document number and expiration date if you are not a U.S. citizen

As you complete unemployment registration questions, ensure you provide thorough and honest answers. Providing false or misleading information on an unemployment EDD application in Wisconsin could result in denial of your benefits and legal penalties. If your application for unemployment includes issues or errors, then you may be subject to investigation by the Wisconsin DWD and your benefits will be put on hold. File for unemployment successfully by reviewing application steps and required information.

After Submitting an Online Application for Unemployment in Wisconsin

After you submit your online application for unemployment in Wisconsin, you may be told to call the DWD office to provide additional information. Once your UI application has been processed, the DWD will mail you a Claim Confirmation and Instructions notification. If your application for UI benefits has been approved, then you will receive a notice that explains the amount of weekly benefit payments you have been awarded. Otherwise, you will receive a notice that explains why your claim for unemployment insurance benefits has been denied. Once you are enrolled in unemployment benefits, you will need to file a weekly unemployment claim throughout the duration you need financial assistance and remain eligible. Information on unemployment claims completed weekly is similar to the initial application process.

How to File for an Unemployment Claim Certification in Wisconsin Each Week

Even if your online application for unemployment in Wisconsin has been processed and accepted, you are required to file for an unemployment claim certification with the DWD every week. After you file for unemployment initially, file your weekly UI claim certification within two weeks of submitting the application. In addition, enroll with Wisconsin Job Service and submit a resume within two weeks of filing.

You will need to file an unemployment claim certification every Saturday to receive payment for the most recent week using the Wisconsin DWD portal. When you file for an unemployment claim certification each week, provide information about your job search efforts. In addition, report any earnings from part-time employment, pension, vacation or sick pay or other sources of income. As with your initial Wisconsin application for unemployment, it is important that you answer questions on your weekly certification as honestly and thoroughly as possible to avoid being disqualified or penalized.