MADISON – Starting May 24, 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will retire part of a 1990’s-era automated telephone system to file Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims, shifting virtually all filing of initial UI claims online using a computer, tablet or smart phone. Claimants can call UI help center staff for guidance in using the online process or, if they are unable to use online services, staff will file the claim over the phone.
Weekly claims will still be accepted through the automated phone system until the weekly phone system is retired in a future phase. In 2017, approximately 81 percent of all initial and weekly claims already are filed online.
“As a substantial majority of all UI claimants already file using our free, fast and easy online system, we will be working to support a smooth transition for the small number or claimants who still file initial claims by phone,” DWD Secretary Ray Allen said. “By transitioning more users to the online system, our staff can provide even better customer care to Wisconsinites by more effectively and efficiently processing claims.”
In addition to providing additional training to UI help center staff, DWD has cross-trained DWD staff who work in the state’s Job Centers and is communicating the upcoming changes to Wisconsin’s network of over 450 public library locations in communities across Wisconsin to help those without a personal computer or mobile device file their claims.
DWD began notifying claimants in late 2016 of plans to retire the 1990’s-era automated phone system with messages on the phone system, online and through direct mailings. In 2016, over 90 percent of all UI claimants had an active UI online account.
Secretary Allen noted the online claim filing services offer several advantages over the automated telephone system, such as:
- The ability to save work and conveniently finish a claim at a later time.
- Options to view information before submitting the claim to verify the accuracy of a claimant’s answers.
- Work search and wage entry screens to entered required data online, preventing potential payment delays associated with sending the information by fax or mail.
- Tips and answers to frequent questions during the filing process and how to videos to help claimants navigate the online system.
Additionally, customers can quickly access account information, such as:
- Individual claim information, payment status and remaining benefit balance.
- Printer-friendly documentation of payments received for housing or energy assistance.
- 1099-G tax forms. to view and print
- Personal information including the ability to update an address, tax withholding, payment method, and bank information.
To file an unemployment claim or seek answers to claims questions online, UI customers can log on to my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov and create a username and password.
For more information, please visit https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/