MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released unemployment data from March 15 to October 10, 2020revealing that approximately 92% of the 7.26 million weekly Unemployment Insurance claims that have been filed since March 15, 2020, have been processed.

Unemployment Insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate UI program with state-specific laws and rules, but states must also follow the same guidelines established by federal law. Any answer given on a claim raising a question regarding a person’s eligibility must be fully investigated before benefits may be paid; this is referred to as the adjudication process.

Adjudication is the investigation and resolution of eligibility issues raised on unemployment insurance claims. Adjudication is a manual process that requires interested parties be provided due notice to respond to the eligibility issue. Eligibility issues arise from several places including the initial claim, weekly claim, employer contact, claimant contact, and tips from the public. Under normal conditions, adjudication typically takes 21 days to process.

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits: If you are out of work through no fault of your own, and you have worked for a covered employer (an employer who pays UI tax) in the last 18 months, you may be eligible for and should apply for regular UI benefits. Regular UI is available for up to 26 weeks (dependent upon an individual’s specific situation).

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): A temporary program that provides up to 13 additional weeks of payments to individuals who have exhausted their regular UI benefits.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): If you are not eligible for regular UI, you may be eligible for PUA. This is a temporary federal program that provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular UI such as:

  • Individuals who are self-employed;
  • Certain independent contractors;
  • Individuals with limited recent work history; and
  • Other workers not covered by regular UI.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): A temporary emergency increase of $600 per week in unemployment benefits. FPUC provided an additional payment to individuals who are collecting regular UI, PEUC, EB, or PUA. It was automatically added to the weekly benefit rate. FPUC benefits ended on July 25, 2020.




The information below is for March 15, 2020 – October 10, 2020.

Approximately 532,371 claimants have been paid over $3.9 billion since March 15, 2020. The weekly Claims in Process in the table below represents approximately 80,758 unique claimants with around 131,695 issues requiring adjudication. A claimant could have one issue or many holding up one week or many weeks.

Weekly Claims Received* (includes all programs) 7,265,108
Weekly Claims in Process (includes claims awaiting wage verification, adjudication, etc.) 590,197 (8.12%)
Weekly Claims Resolved (paid + denied) 6,674,911 (91.88%)

*Weekly claims received are not a count of people filing claims.



Weekly Claims March 15, 2020 – October 10, 2020



Applications & Claims Submitted Cumulative Since March 15, 2020 Submitted Week Ending
October 10, 2020
Regular UI Initial Applications** 952,108 14,730
Regular UI Weekly Claims 6,142,466 108,774
PEUC Initial Applications 39,038 5,151
PUA Initial Applications 115,771 2,852

**Applications are not a count of people filing claims. Preliminary counts updated daily.



Benefits Paid Cumulative Since March 15, 2020
Total Benefits Paid $3,918,167,158
FPUC Benefits Paid $2,485,683,414
PUA Benefits Paid $134,699,840
PEUC Benefits Paid $58,035,027


UI Calls Received – week ending October 10, 2020 – 61,789

Average number of days from application to payment for regular UI – 25

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