Implementing the Continued Assistance Act

The Continued Assistance Act became law on December 27, 2020. It amends parts of the March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and creates new provisions related to Unemployment Insurance. The Act extends many of the Unemployment Insurance programs from the CARES Act beyond their original expiration dates.

DWD is working to implement these new Unemployment Insurance provisions, but our antiquated computer system does not allow all of these programs to be launched at once. Our IT programmers must complete extensive software coding for each program, then deploy them one at a time. A modernized system would allow for faster, simultaneous implementation of these programs.

Continued Assistance Act Programs

Complete Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Launched
In Progress Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) Target Launch Date:
March 4, 2021
In Progress Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Target Launch Date:
April 21, 2021
In Progress Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) Target Launch Date:
April 28, 2021

Progress Tracker

The graphics below show DWD's progress on each Continued Assistance Act program and program extension based on the five key implementation steps. These graphics will be updated weekly on Mondays. Last updated 3/01/2021

In Progress

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

Steps to Launch a Program

All states must receive guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) before administering Unemployment Insurance programs or updates. Based on this guidance and how it may apply under each state's unique laws, states are then able to supply the necessary requirements to their IT staff to begin programming their systems. DWD received the required initial USDOL guidance for the Continued Assistance Act's Unemployment Insurance programs between December 31, 2020, and January 8, 2021.

  1. Requirements Gathering

    Evaluate guidance from USDOL and request additional information as needed. Determine how to incorporate the law into business requirements in order to pay out benefits, develop an implementation plan, and estimate the time and IT resources needed to complete the work.

  2. Subsystem Coding

    Develop thousands of lines of software code for each new program. Every program or extension requires the creation of software code for each of these subsystems:

    • Initial Claims
    • Monetary
    • Continued Claims
    • Check-writing
    • Disputed Claims

    Software programming for all five subsystems must be finished before deployment on the mainframe and other computer systems.

  3. Code Deployment

    Deploy software for all subsystems on the state's mainframe and other computer systems.

  4. Testing

    Perform rigorous testing to ensure errors do not impact claimant eligibility or payments. If errors are discovered, return to Step 2 (Subsystem Coding), modifying code as necessary to fix errors uncovered during testing.

  5. Launch

    DWD can officially "go live" and begin distributing benefits under the program. DWD will announce the availability of Continued Assistance Act programs and extensions on the DWD website, including this page, and claimants will be notified through their claimant portal.

More Wisconsin UI statistics can be found on DWD's Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Initial and Weekly Claims Filed page and Weekly Snapshot of UI Division Activity page.