Unemployment Law Changes for Workers
New Law Changes That Impact Your Benefits
Please note these law changes that may impact your unemployment benefits:
Effective January 5, 2014 --
Increase in Weekly Benefits:
Change to Requalification:
Effective with decisions issued on January 5, 2014 and later, the department will consider a two-tier standard for disqualifying claimants who are discharged. A claimant will be disqualified if they are discharged for misconduct or for substantial fault connected with the employment. An employee’s behavior may be substantial fault when the employee violates a requirement of the employer but the violation does not rise to the level of misconduct. Substantial fault does not include: minor violations of rules unless the employee repeats the violation after warning, unintentional mistakes made by the employee or not performing work because the employee lacks skill, ability, or was not supplied the equipment.
Currently, Wisconsin law allows benefits for claimants who quit if their circumstances fall within one of the 18 exceptions. As of January 5, 2014, eight of those quit exceptions are eliminated and four of the remaining exceptions are modified.
Effective January 5, 2014 the maximum amount of weekly benefits an unemployment claimant may receive will be increased from $363 to $370. The minimum amount will stay at $54 per week.
Currently, when a claimant is disqualified from receiving benefits as a result of quitting a job or refusing an offer of suitable work they must earn 4 times their weekly benefit rate in employment covered by the unemployment program and at least 4 weeks must have elapsed since they quit or refused suitable work. Effective with decisions issued January 5, 2014 and later, a claimant must earn 6 times their weekly benefit rate in employment covered by unemployment to requalify for benefits after a quit or refusal of suitable work.
Effective September 30, 2013 --
Pre-tax salary deductions and payments will no longer be included as base period wages upon request from the claimant
Effective July 7, 2013 --
New work search requirements
Effective with claims filed for weeks ending 07/13/13 and later, claimants required to look for work must complete at least four work search actions each week. This is an increase from the current requirement of two work search actions each week. Failure to search for work as required may result in a denial of benefits.
Effective October 21, 2012 --
New maximum weekly hours and wages impact eligibility for benefits
You will be ineligible for benefits in a week if you worked, could have worked, received or will receive holiday, vacation, dismissal pay or sick pay for 32 or more hours in the week.
You will be ineligible for benefits in a week you have earnings and/or holiday, vacation, dismissal or sick pay exceeding $500.
New consequences for fraud
Reduction of future benefits for acts of fraud increased to two, four and eight times the weekly benefit rate.
A new 15% penalty on fraudulent overpayments will be imposed.
Effective April 22, 2012 --
Recovery of overpayments
A reminder, if you owe money to Unemployment Insurance, be aware the department is authorized to recover benefit overpayments from your Federal Income Tax refund (Department of Treasury payment).
Effective January 1, 2012 --
A reminder, there is a waiting week for benefits. For every new benefit year, no benefits are payable for the first week you would otherwise be eligible for benefits.
See the Plain Language Summaries at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uibola for more details on law changes.
See the Waiting Week Frequently Asked Questions page at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/faq_waiting.htm for more information on the waiting week.
See the Claimant Handbook at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/handbook for more information regarding benefit eligibility and your responsibilities while filing for Unemployment Insurance.
There are also other legal resources available to you at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uibola.