Victor Forberger

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There is already a heart-wending report about unemployment problems described at this public hearing. Note: The news article, however, continues to report the Department’s weekly claims data — 74,000 claimants — as the number of still outstanding claims. As many of the people who testified at the public hearing, those waiting includes those waiting for a hearing, which is a three to five month process right now (and getting longer). So, the actual number should…
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits are the creation of the CARES Act and completely federally funded. Their purpose is to get unemployment benefits to groups of workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment for various reasons. Note: for an explanation of all the different kinds of unemployment benefits connected to this pandemic, see this lengthy table. Numerous attorneys and claimants are reporting that the Department is denying most PUA benefit claims. And,…
The last public hearing in 2018 was a tepid affair, and the 2016 public hearing led to an avalanche of testimony about winter work search waivers but no changes in unemployment whatsoever. So, a public hearing in the midst of this pandemic is nothing to be excited about. In light of the pandemic, this hearing is split across two days and takes place via webex, a difficult on-line conferencing tool that is great in corporate…
Do you want to know the questions you will be asked when filing an unemployment claim in Wisconsin? Unfortunately, Wisconsin does NOT provide those question beforehand to claimants. Wisconsin does NOT even any longer provide those questions in the Handbook for Claimants. Compare this 2010 handbook with the current version. Other states do provide these questions to claimants. They even explain how to answer these questions. For example: Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey
Other states with easier to use claim-filing processes have been hit hard by identity theft issues. Wisconsin has not seen a comparable surge in such cases. But, the problem is still happening here to some extent, and a Fox6 report indicates that it can be near impossible to fix once it happens. Fischer filed for unemployment insurance online, as the state encourages. As a result, her banking information was in her unemployment portal. She says…
Not much to say about the reporting by the Verge on the disaster that is FoxConn in Wisconsin. The picture presented in this article is of vaporware: no actual product plans were ever in place for anything in Wisconsin and the company has struggled since to come up with something. Still, I do wish I could have raced some of those golf carts around the empty warehouse. That sounded fun. The sad news is that…
Dedoimedo has an excellent commentary of the state of the Linux desktop. He notes that usability has plateaued in many ways. I agree. The basic functionality and speed I had with Xubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) was stellar. Now running Xubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) on both newer and faster desktop and laptop computers, I have had problems with graphics cards, samba networking is a bust that I work around, and connecting my iPhone for file transfers…
The pandemic rages on, and unemployment remains an economic lifeblood for hundreds of thousands in Wisconsin. Yet, unemployment has also been a dangerous option for some time now, because the Department considers any claim-filing mistake to be fraudulent. When a mistake is discovered, the Department presumes the mistake was intentional, and the claimant must then explain why that mistake was actually not intentional and just an accident. The Department considers any apology for a mistake,…
Much has been made during this pandemic about how woeful the computer systems in Wisconsin are for handling unemployment claims. The Century Foundation has released an extensive report on October 5th about the efforts to modernization unemployment systems. This report is timely because, first, unemployment has become a major part of the economic response to the pandemic. After all, 695,000 new claims in October 1982 was the previous highest number of initial claims filed…