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Claimant Handbook
A Guide to Unemployment Insurance

English  |  Español


This Handbook has important information about Unemployment Insurance (UI) and your legal rights, including:

  • How to apply for benefits
  • How your eligibility for benefits is determined
  • What you must do each week to receive a benefit payment

You must read this Handbook. The information in this Handbook is an overview of UI. It does not cover every topic or answer all questions.

You are responsible for the accuracy of the information you give to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

If you do not understand or have questions, please contact DWD for help.


Table of Contents

  • Section 1 - Overview of UI
    • About the UI Program
      • Funding for the UI Program
    • We Are Here To Help You
    • Change of Address or Phone Number
    • Why We Need Your Social Security Number
    • Your Security Credentials
  • Section 2 - To Apply for Benefits
    • When To Apply
    • How To Apply
      • Information You Need To Apply
  • Section 3 - Eligibility for UI
    • Eligibility Issues
  • Section 4 - Payment of Benefits
    • Waiting Week
    • When To Expect Your Payments
    • Options For Receiving Payment
      • Direct Deposit
      • Visa® Pre-Paid Debit Card
    • Reductions
  • Section 5 - Maintaining Your UI Eligibility
    1. Mandatory Registration For Work
    2. Work Search
    3. File A Weekly Claim
      • When To File Your Weekly Claim
      • To File Your Weekly Claim
    4. Reporting Earnings
      • When To Report Earnings
      • What Earnings To Report
      • How To Calculate Gross Earnings
      • Verifying Your Earnings
  • Section 6 - Getting You Back to Work
    • Re-Employment Services
      • Help With Finding Employment
      • Re-Employment Programs
    • When You Find A New Job
      • Full-Time Work
      • Part-Time Work
  • Appendix A - Legal Disclosures
    • Equal Opportunity Information
    • What To Do If You Experience Discrimination
    • Accommodations For Individuals With Disabilities
    • Your Privacy Matters To Us
  • Appendix B - Glossary
  • Appendix C - Resources

Language and Disability Assistance

DWD is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Free services are available to assist to you if you do not speak English. For assistance in a language other than English, please contact the UI Division at (414) 435-7069 or toll-free at (844) 910-3661.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a voice impairment, please dial 7-1-1 for the Wisconsin Relay Service.

If you have a disability and need to an accommodation or want to request information in an alternate formation, please contact the UI Division at (414) 435-7069 or toll-free at (844) 910-3661.


A proud partner of the American Job Center network

Publication Number: UCB-10-P

Chapter 108 Wisconsin Statutes


Updated: August 31, 2022