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Part 2: To Apply for Benefits

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When to Apply

When to Apply: You must file an initial claim application in the first week you want to receive an unemployment payment or within 7 days of the end of that calendar week. If you wait to file your claim, you could lose benefits. Your claim does not start until you apply and benefits will not be paid for earlier weeks. The initial claim application is filed in the following situation: 

For help using online services or if you are unable to go online call (414) 435-7069 or toll-free (844) 910-3661 during business hours.

Important: Do not attempt to certify for benefits while you are outside of the United States, a U.S. Territory, or Canada for any reason. Your certification will be blocked and your benefits will be held. Certifying that you are ready, willing, and able to work while you are out of the country or giving your security credentials and/or SSN to another person to certify on your behalf may lead to severe penalties. These penalties can include overpayment, loss of benefits, monetary penalties, criminal prosecution and prison.

If Your Application Raises an Eligibility Question

If any of your answers on your application raise a question about whether you can be paid benefits, you may be scheduled for a fact-finding interview or be contacted by telephone or mail.

You must contact or provide information to the department if told to do so, even though your application is considered complete and accepted. If you do not take part in a fact-finding investigation, you could lose benefits.

Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA)

The Federal Trade Act was established for workers who lose their jobs due to elements of foreign trade, such as imports or off shoring and includes paying for training, finding new jobs, and paying weekly benefits.

Federal law mandates strict deadlines for receiving benefits and services available from the Trade Program. To be eligible for weekly TRA benefits, you must be enrolled in or waived from TAA training within 26 weeks of the certification date of the Department of Labor petition or within 26 weeks of your last day of work at the Trade certified employer, whichever is later. Failure to meet deadlines can result in the loss of TRA payments. For further information, visit https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/trade.

Updated: January 31, 2020