Tip Line: 414-777-5808 | newsdesk@cbs58.com

In 1 week, Wisconsin DWD receives 4.7 million calls about unemployment

Credit: iStock/BrianAJackson

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released Monday, May 4, information related to the total number of unemployment calls received, applications filed, claims processed, and monies distributed in Wisconsin as of the week of April 26, 2020.

According to the DWD, nearly 500,000 people have applied for unemployment, and they received more than 4.7 million calls the week of April 26 about unemployment.

 Here's a look at the breakdown:


Unemployment Applications Received*



Weekly Claims Received*



Weekly Claims Paid


Total Benefits Paid


Weekly Benefits Paid


PUA Applications Received



UI Calls Received-Week of April 26, 2020


*Preliminary counts updated daily at HERE 

Regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits: If you're out of work through no fault of your own, and you've worked for a covered employer (an employer who pays UI tax) in the last 18 months, you may be eligible for and should apply for regular UI benefits. Regular UI is available for up to 26 weeks (dependent upon an individual's specific situation).
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): If you are not eligible for regular UI, you may be eligible for PUA. This is a temporary federal program that provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are not eligible for regular UI such as:  
o    individuals who are self-employed,
o    certain independent contractors,
o    individuals with limited recent work history, and
o    other workers not covered by regular UI.
"With almost a half million applications received since the onset of COVID-19, we continue to navigate uncharted waters," said DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman. "DWD is adding hundreds of new staff, multiple outside vendors, and working overtime to process and analyze the claims to help as many Wisconsinites as fast as possible."

Share this article:
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Post a comment
JamesMason414 16 days ago
They talking about they following the Law when it comes to distribution of the money owed to people but turn around and break the Law by not handling cases in a timely fashion there is no excuses as to why they haven’t given everyone their checks it’s a pandemic you know Millions of people will be applying! Like Many I’ve been waiting for my pending Issues to be resolved for a Month now no phone call or letter just pending everytime I check online but they say it takes 21 days to get a resolution for some reason they not complying with that rule but when it comes to money owed they will drag they feet acting like they have to be the perfect Law abiding distribution center of money so it just shows you in the middle of a pandemic you can’t depend on the very state that you have paid your taxes for years also not being lazy but a hard working citizen doesn’t pay off to them we all need to watch what’s going on and leave WI before or after this Virus has passed
Byd 22 days ago
To those of you who got through, what am I in for here? I have called over 1500 times, shotgunning it with 3 phones from my family. I can't get across to anyone and they've frozen my benefits all because i did something as trivial as being honest about reporting a one time sum of money.
Jo1303 23 days ago
I finally got a call this am about a pending issue.
All of a sudden this evening I had a pop up message that I needed to register with the job center. That was never there before. Now after research it says if not done within 14 days no benefits will be paid until then. So I fear If the pending issues is resolved now I won't get those weeks paid. I dont get why it just not popped up. When I was on unemployment for back in Sept it popped up immediately and I did it (I am still on the same period. I only used 2 weeks of unemployment) when I registered now though, I just had to reactivate my resume. Has anyone else had it randomly pop up, or did it pop up immediately when filing the claim, or not at all?
Jonute 24 days ago
It’s been 8 weeks and have not received a penny as of today.
Homer 24 days ago
Wisconsin, in 2019, had a TOTAL population of 5.8 Million people, men, women, children...

4.7 Million calls by 500,000 people equals about 10 calls per caller.

Job security for DPW.

For many of the rest of us... BENEFITS DENIED!!

Call again...
Rlittle29 25 days ago
So instead of combining unemployment with pua they made it seperate so that way you don't get on one you have to wait on another. Sounds like crooks.
Joey 26 days ago
Wisconsin DWD still hasn’t paid out on PUA applications yet. To claim that they are sending payment out of 600$ as part of the CARES act is misleading.
Punked 27 days ago
DWD has not undated their computers for 30 years. Where does their budget go! DWD is anti employee. They punk with you to stress you out to get a job. UC In part was created to reduce stress. Research shows this is necessary otherwise employees are downgraded which effects the whole economy. Making people homeless seems a betrayal of the intent of UC.
Tammy 27 days ago
I received the extra $600 on my check for last week and only 1 week of back pay. I am still owed 3 weeks of back pay. Some folks I talked to, received their back pay as 1 lump sum last week. I am concerned I will get screwed out of my 3 weeks. I am in Wisconsin, so of course I can't get through to anyone.
Elizabeth 28 days ago
Dwd holding on to fed money this is bs!
jason 28 days ago
If CBS 58 wants to help a engineer who got furloughed , look me up. My state has not paid me schit. I pay my taxes but they pay me schit. Because of 6 weeks of nothing, I'm now homeless. Fu dwd!
jason 28 days ago
Dwd can eat schit. 3/22 furlough, not 1 cent of the $600 backpay. I'm now forced to move out, lost my place. Overdue on Bill's. All no fault of my own. Because wi dwd are incompetent, disorganized pics of schit. All other states figured out how to pay there people. Not WI! Now I'm homeless fu WI!
naosha 28 days ago
I havent received my unemployment for 5 weeks or my 600 extra what's going on?
Monicasfedup 28 days ago
Has anyone received the 600 BACK PAY not the weekly claim from Tuesday .
Mike 28 days ago
The biggest problem I see with this chart is that over half a million people are still waiting for UI initial claims....yikes.
Schabs81 29 days ago
I'd like to know why retro payments haven't been made for the 600 from federal Wisconsin took so long to make the payments now waiting on weeks they didnt pay in time
Rezner1 30 days ago
I'm on 7th week without a change in my claim status or payment. Furloughed from my job that I am returning to.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?