Filing your unemployment insurance claim online has gotten a lot easier. The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is encouraging Unemployment Insurance claimants to file initial and weekly claims using the agency’s improved online system.
“If they would face a wait of a number of minutes on the phone, they could avoid that by going directly to the website and filing there,” said DWD spokesman John Dipko. DWD rolled out a number of improvements to online filing this fall.
Claimants who file initial claims online can take advantage of several improvements that were rolled out this fall:
· Added features to allow most initial claims to be completed online without the assistance of a claims specialist. Claimants also can save their work and finish their claim at a later time.
· A new employer search that makes it easier for claimants to add employer information to their claim.
· Enhanced search capability for claimants to select specific occupations.
· Online fact-finding capability to resolve certain eligibility questions online quickly, reducing the need to mail paper questionnaires to a claimant to complete by hand and mail back.
· User-friendly assistance for new claimants who are unfamiliar with the online system.
Those who file weekly claims online also have access to additional features, such as:
· Viewable, printer-friendly UI payment history with the ability to select a specific time period for review and print.
· Additional details of UI benefits paid, monetary issues, eligibility determinations and appeal information.
· An enhanced online UI benefits calculator with expanded functionality to provide more precise calculations for partial and full-time wages.
Wisconsin and other cold-weather states typically experience an increase in “unemployment” claims during the late fall and first half of winter. Dipko said DWD wants to get the word out about saving time online, but the agency is also taking steps to make the phone-in system more efficient as well.
“We’ll be extending call center hours as necessary during the upcoming weeks. And we’re also encouraging claimants who prefer to file by phone to do so on certain days of the week.”
Wisconsin’s unemployment rate recently reached a new post-recession low of 5.5%, but the expected seasonal increase in claims activity seen in cold-weather states is an annual occurrence that is independent of any general trend in unemployment rates.