Unemployment Insurance Handbook for Employers (UCB-201-P)


Wisconsin's Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program

What is the UI Program?
Unemployment Insurance (UI) laws are intended to provide a source of income to those temporarily unemployed through no fault of their own. The UI program provides weekly benefits to eligible unemployed workers. These benefits provide economic stability to workers and their families during temporary periods of unemployment and help lessen the effect of unemployment on the local economy.
How is the UI Program Financed?
The UI program is jointly financed through federal and state employer payroll taxes. The Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) is used, in part, to finance the administrative expenses of each state's unemployment insurance program and certain federal costs related to extended benefits. Employer payroll taxes collected under the Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance law and all other state unemployment insurance laws are used only to pay benefits to unemployed workers. The program is financed solely through employer contributions (taxes). The UI program is not operated as a part of the Federal Social Security system, the state Worker's Compensation program or any federal or state welfare program.

Wisconsin UI law requires each covered employer to fund an account with the unemployment reserve fund based on a payroll tax formula. UI benefits paid to a former employee are generally charged to the employer's reserve fund account.
Who Administers the UI Program?
The UI program is administered by the Unemployment Insurance Division of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). DWD does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the provision of services or in employment. If you need this material interpreted or in a different form or if you need assistance in using this service, please contact us by calling 414-438-7705 or 608-232-0633.
General Circumstances Regarding Eligibility
Unemployment benefits are typically available to employees with sufficient work history whose employment was terminated through no fault of their own. A list of eligibility issues is located in Section 1, Part 7. The two most common reasons for benefit disqualification are discharge for misconduct and voluntary termination. In addition to misconduct and voluntary termination of work, an employee may be ineligible due to a discharge for substantial fault.

Updated: January 22, 2016

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