MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today released information related to the total number of unemployment calls received, applications filed, claims processed, and monies distributed in Wisconsin as of the week ending May 23, 2020.

Unemployment Insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate UI program, but all states must 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.

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits: If you’re out of work through no fault of your own, and you’ve 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 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 provides an additional payment to individuals who are collecting regular UI or PUA. It is automatically added to the weekly benefit rate.

“DWD will continue its diligent work to get the people of Wisconsin the benefits that they need,” DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said. “The benefits paid from programs like PUA are the added injection that our small businesses and independent contractors need to survive these unprecedented times.”

TOTAL NUMBER: March 15 Through

May 23, 2020

Unemployment Applications Received* 577,213


Weekly Claims Received* 2,413,467


Weekly Claims Paid 1,684,980  
Total Benefits Paid $1,351,027,535 (including FPUC)

$481,965,260 (excluding FPUC)


FPUC Benefits Paid $869,062,275


PUA Applications Received


PUA Benefits Paid $108,424  
UI Calls Received-Week of May 16, 2020 3,099,071  
*Preliminary counts updated daily at:




Grand Total Claims Allowed*/ Paid Claims Denied Claims in Processing

(Includes claims awaiting wage verification, adjudication, etc.; may be paid in future)

March 15 – May 23, 2020 72.4%






*Includes weeks with BAR or serving waiting week if benefit year started pre Act 185 implementation.

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