Wisconsin Unemployment Guide

If you've recently lost your job in Wisconsin, you may be eligible for Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance benefits. This is a guide to filing your claim for Wisconsin unemployment benefits. Since each situation may have its own unique circumstances, make sure you check with the contact numbers and websites listed below to make sure you get the maximum benefits you can claim.

Filing for Unemployment:

Unemployed Wisconsin workers can file an initial claim for unemployment benefits one of two ways:

  1. Online – File your initial unemployment claim online
  2. Telephone – File your unemployment claim at 800-822-5246 (Sunday 9:00am to 5:00pm; Monday - Friday 6:00am to 7:00pm; Saturday 9:00am to 2:30pm)

File your claim right away after you've stopped working – don't delay. Your claim starts the week you file. Unemployment benefits are not retroactive, so if you delay you may lose benefits.

  • Name, address & phone
  • SSN & date of birth
  • Name, address, phone number, gross earnings, occupation, dates worked, and reason for separation for all employers for the past 18 months
  • If you were discharged from the military in the last 18 months, you'll need Copy #4 of your DD Form 214
  • If you were a Federal employee in the last 18 months, you'll need SF 8 or SF 50 (or W2 or pay stubs)
  • If you are not a US Citizen, you'll need your Alien Registration Number, expiration, and type
  • Wisconsin Driver's License or State ID
  • Union name and number, if applicable

After filing your initial unemployment claim, you will receive a benefit computation, describing benefits, eligibility and giving additional information.

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Filing Your Weekly Claim:

Wisconsin weekly unemployment benefits are based on approximately 50% of your the average weekly earnings, with a minimum of $54 and maximum of $363 per week. Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) currently adds an additional $25 per week to your benefit.

  1. Online – File your weekly unemployment claim online
  2. Telephone – File your weekly unemployment claim by calling 800-978-7887 (Sunday 9:00am to Midnight; Monday - Friday 1:00am to Midnight; Saturday 1:00am to 3:00pm)

You should expect your first unemployment check within 2 weeks. Weekly benefits are paid by check or direct deposit to your account. You should expect weekly unemployment checks within 7 days after filing, and direct deposit availability within 3-4 business days after weekly filing.

Unemployment Benefits:

Health care benefits may also be available through the Health Coverage Tax Credit - Check COBRA and The IRS for details.

Wisconsin workers may be eligible for online career and training assistance. You may also find career and training assistance at a local Wisconsin Job Center.

Filing for extensions:

If an extended benefit period is declared, based on unemployment rates, and it appears that you qualify, you will be notified with instructions to extend your unemployment benefits.

Ending Unemployment:

When you return to work, file for credit for the remaining few days you didn't work, and report wages earned for the week. Then, just stop filing - when you stop weekly filing, your unemployment benefits automatically end.


Make sure to keep a copy of your work search record. You may be required to supply copies to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development - Unemployment Division.

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