How To File For Wisconsin Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Wisconsin. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Wisconsin Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Wisconsin unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

When Should I Apply?

Apply for unemployment benefits online when:

  • You are totally unemployed
  • You are partially unemployed (your weekly earnings are reduced) or
  • You expect to be laid off within the next 13 weeks and would like to start your benefit year early

All claims based on work done in Wisconsin are filed through Wisconsin, even if you now live in another state. Your claim begins the week you apply. To avoid any loss of benefits, apply the first week you are unemployed. Do not wait until the week is over.

Information needed when applying for Wisconsin unemployment

The following information will be needed when applying for unemployment benefits:

  • A username and password for filing online
  • A valid email or mobile number
  • Your social security number
  • Your Wisconsin driver license or identification number
  • Your work history for the last 18 months including employers business names, employers addresses (including zip code), employers phone number, first and last dates of work with each employer and reason no longer working with each employer
  • If not a US citizen, your alien registration number, document number and expiration date
  • Form DD-214 (Member 4 copy), if you served in the military in the last 18 months
  • Form SF-50 or SF-8, if you are a federal civilian employee
  • If you are a union member, the name and local number of your union hall
  • Your current address. You need a valid mailing address to receive important documents about your claim. Make sure you have notified your post office of any recent changes to your address

Applying for Wisconsin unemployment benefits

It is now required to apply for unemployment benefits online. Follow the steps below to apply online:

  • Apply online at
  • Read and accept Terms and Conditions
  • Create a username and password
  • Logon to access online benefit services
  • Complete your application

Apply Online During These Times:

  • Sunday from 9am to 5pm
  • Monday through Friday from 6am to 7pm
  • Saturday from 9am to 2:30pm

For help using online services or if you are truly unable to apply online call 414-435-7069 during business hours.

Completing Your Claim

Certain situations require additional information that they cannot collect via the Internet application at this time. You may be instructed to call the help center during business hours to complete your claim. Information already provided will be saved and available to help center staff when you call.

After You Complete Your Application

You will receive a Claim Confirmation and Instructions form in the mail. If you qualify for unemployment benefits, they will send you a notice with the amount of benefits you can receive. If you do not qualify for unemployment benefits, they will send you a notice that tells you why. If you are required to perform a weekly work search or if you work less than full-time (32 hours or more per week) you must register with Wisconsin Job Service and complete a resume within 14 days of the date you completed your application for UI benefits. To check the latest information on your claim online, click here. Sign up for direct deposit, update your tax with holdings, or print an official summary of benefits paid for income verification purposes.

Filing a Weekly Claim Certification

A weekly claim certification is the claim you file for a certain calendar week when you want to receive an unemployment benefit payment for that week. A calendar week for UI purposes always starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday. You must file a weekly claim certification within 14 days of the end of the calendar week you are claiming, but you cannot file your claim for a week until after the week has ended. You will need to answer several questions about the week(s) you are claiming, such as:

  • The reason you are no longer working
  • If you are currently unemployed or working reduced hours
  • Whether you are able to work and available for work
  • Whether you have refused any job offers or referrals to a job
  • Whether you are actively looking for work (unless waived)
  • Any pay or pension payment

Take time to answer all questions completely and correctly. It is your responsibility to follow the instructions to answer each question. You could be penalized if you give false information to get benefits. Each question asked contains step-by-step instructions for answering the question. If you do not understand the question, ask a claims specialist for assistance. For help using online services or if you are truly unable to go online call 414-435-7069 during business hours. When filing a weekly claim, will be asked about pay. You will be asked separate questions regarding the following:

  • Wages earned
  • Sick pay
  • Vacation pay
  • Bonus pay
  • Holiday pay
  • Dismissal/severance/termination pay
  • Other income types
When to Expect Your Payments

Wisconsin has a waiting week for unemployment benefits. For every new benefit year, no benefits are payable for the first week you would otherwise be eligible for benefits. After the waiting week has been claimed, benefit payments for subsequent weeks are usually made within 7 days after a completed weekly claim certification has been received (accepted), but payment could be delayed for a number of reasons. For example, an incomplete claim or an eligibility issue will delay payment.

Do not expect to receive your benefit payments on the same day or within the same amount of time each week. If you do not receive a payment (or an explanation for not receiving a payment) within 7 days of filing a weekly claim certification, you should first view the status online; For help using online services or if you are truly unable to go online call 414-435-7069 during business hours.

To file your weekly claim:

  • File online at
  • Logon to access online benefit services
  • File your weekly claim or seek answers to individual claim questions

File an appeal

To appeal you can file online or write to the department stating that you are appealing a determination. The appeal must be submitted, mailed, hand-delivered or faxed to the hearing office listed on the reverse side of your determination. To be timely, your appeal must be received or postmarked by the last appeal date shown on the front of the determination.


They encourage you to file your appeal online

Employers & Representatives:

You can file your appeal online (Follow the instructions on the form)

Make sure to include the following information when appealing:

  • Copy of the determination
  • Claimant's name and social security number
  • Dates and times when you and your witnesses and/or representatives cannot attend a hearing
  • Any special needs such as an interpreter or other accommodations