Frequently Asked Questions About
The Waiting Week

What is the waiting week?
The waiting week is the first week of an individual’s benefit year for which the individual is otherwise eligible for regular benefits. UI benefits are not paid for the waiting week.
Why do we have a waiting week now?
The change was created in the 2011 budget bill titled Wisconsin Act 32.
Where is the change in the law?
See statute 108.02(26m) and 108.04(3).
When does the waiting week go into effect?
The waiting week goes into effect with all benefit years starting as of January 1, 2012.
How many waiting weeks are possible in a year?
A claimant will have to serve one waiting week per benefit year.
If my employer lays me off several times a year, will I need to serve a waiting week each time I’m laid off?
No. The waiting week is served the first week of a benefit year you would otherwise be eligible for benefits. Only one waiting week is served per benefit year.
So, should I wait to file my claim until the waiting week is over?
DO NOT WAIT to file your claim. The department is not able to count a waiting week as served until you file your claim. If you are not filing claims, you are not serving your waiting week.
Will this waiting period reduce my maximum allowed benefit?
No. The waiting period does not affect a claimant’s maximum benefit amount.
What if I work part-time and file for partial benefits in a week? Can a week that I file for partial benefits count as my waiting week?
Yes. As long as you are eligible to receive any benefits in a week, that week can count as your waiting week.
After my waiting week is served, can it ever change to a different waiting week?
Yes. The resolution of an issue could result in a change to your waiting week. If it is later found you were actually not eligible for benefits in a week we had considered your waiting week (due to the resolution of an issue), a new waiting week will be assigned. You will receive notice if this happens.
How will I be made aware which week is my waiting week?
You will receive notice of which week is serving as your waiting week.
What if I disagree with my designated waiting week?
You can request a formal determination on the waiting week.