Posted April 15, 2020, by Sen. Van Wannggaard - WI (R)
Highlights of the COVID-19
Response Bill -
Here is helpful information and links for the various changes to unemployment insurance. Click on the headline to each paragraph for more information on each program.
Under Assembly Bill 1038, UI payments for COVID-19 related layoffs will not result in any charges to the employer’s “experience account”. The benefits will be paid from the UI trust
fund. However, if the UI trust fund balance drops below $1.2 billion on June 30th, solvency tax rates may be increased. The current balance of the UI trust fund is $1.9
If you are unemployed and have worked for a covered employer (an employer who pays UI tax) in the last 18 months please apply for regular UI benefits.
Provides most individuals an emergency increase of $600 per week in unemployment benefits
NOTE: Wisconsin plans to start making payments the week of April 26, 2020. Claimants DO NOT need to take action for the additional $600 per week benefit.
Provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to people not otherwise eligible for regular UI (e.g. self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history).
NOTE: Wisconsin plans to start taking applications the week of April 21, 2020. There is no need to call the Unemployment Help Center at this time. DWD is
: For up to date information click here asking you to wait to file because the system is
not yet set up to accept your application.
Provides an additional 13 weeks of emergency benefits for people who remain unemployed after they have exhausted their regular UI benefits.
Unemployment Wait Week
The wait week will retroactively be waived during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means prior applicants will receive payment for the initial week.
EMPLOYMENT (Effective 4/16/20)
Unemployment insurance; waiting period
Currently, a claimant must wait one week after becoming eligible to receive
unemployment insurance benefits before the claimant may receive benefits for a
week of unemployment. The waiting period does not affect the maximum number
of weeks of a claimant's benefit eligibility.
This bill suspends the application of the one-week waiting period for benefit
years that began after March 12, 2020, and before February 7, 2021. The bill requires
the Department of Workforce Development to seek the maximum amount of federal
reimbursement for benefits that are, during this time period, payable for the first
week of a claimant's benefit year as a result of the suspension.
Unemployment insurance; benefit charging
This bill requires DWD, when processing claims for UI benefits and evaluating
work-share plans, to determine whether a claim or plan is related to the public
health emergency declared by the governor under executive order 72. If a claim is
so related, the bill provides that the regular benefits for that claim for weeks
occurring after March 12, 2020, and before December 31, 2020, not be charged as is
normally provided. Instead, the benefits for those weeks are, subject to numerous
exceptions, to be charged to the balancing account of the unemployment reserve fund
(pooled account financed by all employers who pay contributions that is used to pay
benefits that are not chargeable to any employer's account) or, in the case of
employers that do not pay contributions (taxes) but instead reimburse DWD for
benefits directly (reimbursable employers), the benefits are to be paid in the manner
specified under current law for certain other circumstances involving benefits
chargeable to reimbursable employers.
The bill also requires the secretary of workforce development, to the extent
permitted under federal law, to seek advances to the state's unemployment reserve
fund from the federal government, so as to allow Schedule D of the unemployment
insurance contribution (tax) rates to remain in effect through the end of calendar
year 2021. Schedule D includes the lowest unemployment insurance contribution
rates specified under current law, and is in effect for any calendar year whenever, as
of the preceding June 30, the state's unemployment reserve fund has a cash balance
of at least $1,200,000,000.
Visit our COVID resource page for answers
to all your employer unemployment questions.
Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only. Check with your
accountant and/or banker for advice before proceeding with any business decisions related to the information posted here.