What’s the hold up with unemployment checks

MADISON (WKOW) -- More than 400,000 Wisconsinites have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic started.

But many have been waiting more than a month for the money.

"We keep filing and filing, but there's no money," Amy Ferguson said.

She has been without a job since late March when her employer had to temporarily let her go.

She's been filing for unemployment but her application has been in pending every week.

"That's $1,400 that we do not have," Ferguson said. "On top of that our landlord is selling our home so we need that money to find another house."

The Department of Workforce Development has already paid out $250 million in unemployment benefits to people, less that 15 percent of the reserve.

It is urging people to keep applying even if they haven't gotten paid yet.

"Just because they haven't been gotten to yet, it just means somebody else has," Emily Savard, with the DWD says.

Savard says the biggest hangup has been the unprecedented volume of requests.

With record low unemployment in the months leading up to the pandemic, they had less than 60 staff on hand when the deluge of calls started pouring in.

They've brought in people from other departments but it's proven to not be enough.

They're working on compensating for that by hiring more people.

In the coming weeks, DWD will have 200 more staff to handle claims and 600 more people to handle phone calls.

"It's so frustrating not being able to[talk to anyone], It just hangs up on you, you dial and it hangs up, dial and hangs up," Ferguson said

Savard says issues like that should be ending soon.

"I don't want to say be patient because people have been doing that, but just bear with us a little bit longer with that," she said.

As for the extra $600 from the federal government, Savard says those payments will start coming out next week.

And while anyone with approved claims will get back payment for all the weeks they've been without, Ferguson says they need help now.

"I just really hope they can help all of us people out there with these pending unemployment cases, that would just be awesome," she said.

More at WKOW 27 News

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content