Victor Forberger

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Previously, I reviewed the initial claims numbers and how hundreds of thousands of claimants in Wisconsin are still waiting for their unemployment checks. Here, I am reviewing what these delays mean legally to claimants and how the Department continues to make things worse. Late appeals By law, claimants only have 14 days to file an appeal of an initial determination. Far too many claimants are looking to their unemployment portals to get a handle…
There has been an unemployment meltdown in Wisconsin. Claimants wait and wait and wait for their cases to be decided, but no one is asking about the extent of these delays or why they are occurring. Here are some answers. Longer times First, take note of a statistic the Department has been reporting after the pandemic had been underway for a few months: the average number of days from initial application to first payment (or…
Besides regular unemployment benefits, there are now the $600 PUC benefits, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, Extended Benefits (EB), and now Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) assistance. This table explains the ins and outs of these various programs. Print it up and read carefully. Major thanks for Monica Halas of Greater Boston Legal Services for creating an initial draft of this table for Massachusetts and for Jenifer Bizzotto of Wisconsin
As previously noted, the executive order that created this program is full of problems. Further commentary has continued to remark about the suspect legality of this program. See here and here. But a possible something is better than nothing, and so Wisconsin has applied for benefits under this program. For Wisconsin, only those who receive $100 or more in unemployment benefits of some kind will be eligible for the additional $300 in…
One of the requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Pub. L. 116-127, was that states require employers to provide individualized notification of the availability of unemployment benefits to employees at the time of their separation from employment. This requirement was essential for some of the administrative funding available from the Families First Act. States that did not yet have this requirement, like Wisconsin, were to implement this requirement by emergency rule within…
Wisconsin Watch describes the continuing delays and denials by the Department in approving PUA benefits for SSDI recipients. In this article, the delays that now stretch on for months as well as denials are described in detail. WPR and Wisconsin Watch spoke to nine disability recipients who applied for PUA months ago. DWD as of Tuesday had yet to deliver on eight of their claims. But Wickman [the only one of the nine to receive…
Yesterday, the current president issued four executive orders, one of which has to deal with unemployment benefits. A law prof, David Super, has more information on the unemployment executive order than probably anyone wants to read. Here is the substance of the order: The President directs FEMA to create a new program using $44 billion in Disaster Relief Funds that would allow states to send an additional $400 per week to people receiving UC,…
When the pandemic started, unemployment claims skyrocketed to numbers never seen before. Others have focused on the total number of claims being filed. What may be more useful is comparing this increase in claims to what occurred when there was no pandemic — aka last year — and how the claims data has varied over time. So, what makes sense, then, is a ratio of new claims being filed for the equivalent week last year…
Now that the Department will allow disabled workers to receive PUA benefits, here is what folks should do to get that PUA money into their hands as quickly as possible. Filing a PUA claim If not already done, file a PUA claim with the Department by logging in at https://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov/ and then clicking on the file PUA claim link. If unsure of the status of your PUA claim, call the Department’s special PUA help…
Last night I received from a source a letter from the Employment and Training Administration for the US Dep’t of Labor. This letter explained that SSDI recipients are eligible for PUA benefits. Dear Secretary Frostman: The U.S. Department of Labor (Department) received your letter regarding Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) eligibility for State of Wisconsin recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. Your correspondence was forwarded to…