State issues back unemployment payments for one-week waiting periods

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced it would begin to payout waiting-week unemployment benefits.

The announcement came in a press release from DWD Tuesday morning.

Payments will go out between Tuesday and Thursday. DWD said it would send benefits to 154,332 people.

Traditionally, those who filed unemployment claims needed to wait one week before they could begin to collect benefits. Last week,the Legislature passed and the governor signed into law a bill which, among other provisions, temporarily eliminated the one-week waiting period.

Applicants can receive payment for the first week after their initial claim through Feb. 7, 2021.

Those who made their initial unemployment claim during or after the week of March 15 will get paid for their one-week waiting period, according to DWD.

Wisconsin's unemployment system has slowed almost to a standstill under the immense weight of mass layoffs spurred by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The week of April 5, the DWD's unemployment received over 4 million calls.

The agency announced plans last week to hire 200 more staff for its unemployment office. Prior to the pandemic, the office employed 57 people.

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