Part 5: Computing Benefit Entitlement

Weekly Benefit Rate (WBR)

The weekly amount of unemployment benefits you are paid when you have no wages or other income during the week. It is 4% of the total high quarter wages from all covered employment.

The “Weekly Benefit Rate Chart” is a listing of all the weekly benefit rates and the amount of high quarter wages needed for each rate. This chart is available on-line at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/handbook/pdf/wbrchart.pdf

Benefit Year

You start a benefit year when you file a new initial claim application. A benefit year lasts 52 weeks. When one benefit year ends, the week that you file your next initial claim application will start a new benefit year. During the 52 weeks of each benefit year, there is a maximum amount of unemployment benefits you can be paid. This is called your maximum benefit amount (MBA). Wages that you earn during a benefit year will not increase your maximum benefit amount or your weekly benefit rate for that benefit year.

Computing Partial UI Benefits for a Weekly Claim When Income was Reported

The Department uses the "partial wage formula" to compute whether partial UI benefits are payable and if so, what amount should be paid.

The "partial wage formula" used to compute partial weekly UI benefits is shown below:

  1. Subtract $30.00 from the gross income.
  2. Multiply the remainder by .67 (67%).
  3. Subtract this new amount (including the cents) from your WBR.
  4. Round the remainder down to the nearest whole dollar. This is the amount of partial UI benefits payable for the week.

NOTE: The smallest UI payment that we will issue is $5.00, so if your calculation results in an amount which is less than $5.00, no payment will be made.

Example: WBR=$200 Gross Income=$250

  1. $250.00 (Gross Income) minus $30 = $220.00
  2. $220.00 multiplied by .67 = $147.40
  3. $200.00 (WBR) minus $147.40 = $52.60
  4. Round $52.60 down to $52.00

$52.00 is the amount of benefits payable for the week.

If you are not sure if you have too much income for a particular week to be eligible for a partial UI payment, you should file a claim for the week and report all of your gross income. The department will determine if any benefits are due.

The “Maximum Weekly Earnings Chart” is a listing of the maximum weekly earnings amount for each weekly benefit rate. This chart is available on-line at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/handbook/pdf/mwechart.pdf.

Effective 10/21/2012, no benefits are payable for any week in which you have earnings and/or holiday, vacation, dismissal/termination or sick pay that exceeds $500 or if you worked 32 hours or more in the week.

Verifying Your Earnings

The income you report on a weekly claim certification is verified with your employer(s) but your benefit payment is not held while we are waiting for the employer(s) to answer. We will issue your UI payment for the week based on the amount(s) you have reported. If an employer gives us a different amount than you reported on your weekly claim certification, we will use the amount reported by your employer to recalculate the benefits due. We send you notice of each adjustment.

When your employer reports a lower amount of income we send you an additional payment and an informational message (Form UCB-17I) that explains the payment.

When your employer reports higher income amounts and you have been overpaid benefits, we will send you a Notice of Benefit Overpayment (Form UCB-37). If you disagree with the amount the employer has reported or disagree with the requirement to repay, follow the instructions on the form to file an objection.

Child Support Deductions

If the department receives a child support order from a child support enforcement agency, we must withhold money from your payment to satisfy the obligation. The withheld funds are sent to the child support enforcement agency for distribution. You are advised, in writing, when we receive an order to make this deduction. If you disagree with the amount or feel the order is incorrect in any way, contact the child support agency. Only the child support agency can change or stop the deduction.


Updated: July 5, 2013

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