Wisconsinites trying to collect unemployment benefits will now have to wait a week for them to kick in.
Department of Workforce Development spokesman John Dipko says a one week delay was built into the program as part of the state budget approved last June. The wait will apply to anyone starting a new benefit year in 2012. The changes took effect with the start of the new year.
Dipko says the change is expected to save the state about $45.2 million a year by “allowing time for staff to calculate appropriate benefit amounts for claimants.” That’s expected to help the state avoid overpayment and result in other cost savings for the program.
The one week delay does not actually reduce the amount of benefits laid-off workers are eligible for, which is 86 weeks of unemployment with a maximum weekly benefit of $363.
Dipko adds that the delay will typically fall during the time most workers are still expecting a final paycheck from their former employer.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:01)