Part 3: Filing a Weekly Claim Certification
What is a Weekly Claim Certification?
A weekly claim certification is the claim you file for a certain calendar week when you want to receive an unemployment payment for that week. A calendar week for UI purposes always starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday.
You must file a weekly claim certification within 14 days of the end of the calendar week you are claiming, but you cannot file your claim for a week until after the week has ended.
Important: The system will not let you file a weekly claim certification for a benefit payment if the last week you claimed ended more than 14 days earlier. When this happens you must reapply for benefits.
Filing a Weekly Claim Certification:
You will need to answer several questions about the week(s) you are claiming, such as:
- the reason you are no longer working
- if you are currently unemployed or working reduced hours
- whether you are able to work and available for work
- whether you have refused any job offers or referrals to a job
- whether you are actively looking for work (unless waived)
- any pay or pension payment.
Take time to answer all questions completely and correctly. It is your responsibility to follow the instructions to answer each question. You could be penalized if you give false information to get benefits.
Each question asked in the application contains step by step instructions for answering the question. If you do not understand the question, ask a Claims Specialist for assistance.
Important Points to Remember When Filing a Weekly Claim:
All questions apply to the specific calendar week for which you are claiming. For example, when asked if you quit a job, you are being asked if you quit during the week you are claiming. If you did not quit during that week, answer "NO."
If you are truly unable to use online services to file your weekly claim, contact a Claims Specialist at 414-438-5395 during business hours. Claims Specialists are available to assist you.
When filing a weekly claim, will be asked about pay. You will be asked separate questions regarding the following:
- wages earned
- sick pay
- vacation pay
- bonus pay
- holiday pay
- dismissal/severance/termination pay
- other income types
You are responsible for any inaccurate or incomplete information that you provide. If you receive more income than you reported, you are responsible to immediately contact the department to correct previously reported earnings. Failure to correctly report all work and earnings could result in overpayments and penalties. (See Part 7: Fraud).
If you start a shift on Saturday that ends on Sunday, the hours worked and wages earned during that entire shift must be reported on your weekly claim that includes the Saturday.
Hours: Report hours and minutes worked.
Wages: Wages include any type of pay for full-time (32 hours or more per week) or part-time work you do in the week. Wages must be reported in the week they are earned, even if they will not be paid until a later week.
If you worked at a company through a temporary help agency you are considered an employee of that agency, not of the client company where you did the work.
- Worker's Compensation payments must be reported on the claim for the week to which the payment applies.
- Bonuses and profit sharing income must be reported on your weekly claim the week you are paid the bonus.
- Commission Sales: There is a special way to report work and wages from commission sales. If you worked, you must report the hours and minutes that you worked even if you earned no commissions. If a commission is earned, it must be reported on your weekly claim, usually for the week in which the sale is made.
You must report all work, hours, and wages regardless of the amount. Failure to do this may result in overpayment of benefits and penalties, including prosecution.
- Volunteer Fire Fighter or Volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). (If you are unsure if your services as a fire fighter or EMT are "volunteer," call a Claims Specialist.)
- Jury Duty (Payments made by the court are not reportable; however, if you receive a wage from your employer for time spent serving on Jury Duty, these wages are reportable.)
- Inactive Duty for WI National Guard and Military Reserves (i.e., weekend duty)
Retirement pay. You must tell us if you have applied for or are receiving a retirement payment, but you do not report the retirement payment as wages on your weekly claim certifications. Your weekly unemployment payments may be reduced if you are receiving a retirement payment. (See Part 6 for more information about Retirement Pay Reductions.)
Instructions for reporting other types of income not mentioned in the Handbook for Claimants are available online at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/other_income.htm.
If you are truly unable to use online services and have questions on reporting other types of income, contact a Claims Specialist for assistance.
Holiday, vacation and dismissal pay must be reported for the week to which it is assigned, even if you receive the pay in a later week.
Call your employer if you are uncertain whether these types of pay have been assigned.
If You Make a Mistake When Filing Your Weekly Claim Certification Before Claim Acceptance
Your weekly claim certification is considered incomplete and is erased if you stop the weekly claim certification before the system or a Claims Specialist tells you that your claim has been accepted. The system does not save a record of an incomplete weekly claim certification.
If you are using online benefit services and think you have given a wrong answer to any question, you can navigate back to the question within the application and correct it.
How You Know Your Weekly Claim Certification Filed is Complete (Claim Acceptance)
You will be instructed that your claim for the week ending (the week you claimed) has been accepted and have the opportunity to obtain a summary of your claim.If you think you have given a wrong answer to any question and your claim has already been accepted, you must call a Claims Specialist.
If Your Weekly Claim Certification Raises an Eligibility Question
If an eligibility issue is raised, you will be told to call a Claims Specialist within 5 days if you have not already given information about the issue to the department. You will be given a special telephone number to use for this call.
The Claims Specialist may take a short statement from you immediately or you may be asked to provide information at a later date. You may be scheduled for a fact-finding interview or be contacted by telephone or mail. Even though you are told that your claim has been accepted, you MUST call a Claims Specialist if told to do so. If you do not call a Claims Specialist as you are told, you could lose benefits.
Wisconsin has a waiting week for Unemployment Insurance benefits. For every new benefit year, no benefits are payable for the first week you would otherwise be eligible for benefits. After the waiting week has been claimed, UI payments for subsequent weeks are usually made within 7 days after a completed weekly claim certification has been received (accepted), but payment could be delayed for a number of reasons. For example, an incomplete claim or an eligibility issue will delay payment.
Do not expect to receive your benefit payments on the same day or within the same amount of time each week.
If you do not receive a payment (or an explanation for not receiving a payment) within 7 days of filing a weekly claim certification, you should first check the status online; For help using online services or if you are truly unable to go online call 414-438-7713 during business hours. You must create a PIN to access telephone inquiry services. A PIN is a 4-digit number you make up when you call. To find out if a payment has been issued, choose the option (1) which gives information about your payment for last week.
- If a payment was not issued for the week in question, and it has been at least 7 days since you filed your claim for that week, call a Claims Specialist immediately.
- If your payment was issued for the week in question but you have changed your address, call a Claims Specialist immediately.
- If a payment was issued for the week in question and you have not changed your address, wait until 12 days have passed since the payment was made. If you still have not received the payment after 12 days have passed, call a Claims Specialist to file a "Missing Check Inquiry."
Cashing Your Own Checks
Only you can endorse and cash your benefit checks. Never endorse the check until you cash it.
If you lose your UI check or if it is stolen, call a Claims Specialist. It takes at least 60 days after filing an inquiry about a lost or stolen check to receive a replacement check, with some exceptions.
The department is phasing out the use of paper checks. Beginning 07/18/2013, if you file a new claim or re-open a current but inactive claim, you can receive payment either by direct deposit or Visa pre-paid debit card, as explained below.
You may enroll online by going to https://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov and selecting Payment Method Option after logging in. You will need your user name and password to access the system. If you have not yet created a user name and password, you must do so to enroll online. For more information about signing up for online services, please visit http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/faq_online_services.htm.
Another option to enroll is to print and mail a completed Direct Deposit Authorization form (http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/forms/ui/ucb_9400.htm). You must also provide a voided personal check or a document from your financial institution which clearly identifies the bank routing number and your savings account number to ensure the account number and financial institution’s routing number you provide are correct.
Your Direct Deposit Information only needs to be submitted once, unless your bank information changes. You DO NOT need to resubmit a Direct Deposit Authorization each time you file for Unemployment Benefits. For more information, please see the direct deposit FAQ page.
Visa® Pre-Paid Debit Card
If you do not have a bank account or prefer not to use direct deposit, your benefit payments will be deposited onto a Visa pre-paid debit card. The funds are then immediately available, and the card can be used anywhere that Visa debit cards are accepted. You can check payments and current balance, and even pay bills online. For more information about the Visa pre-paid debit card, please see the Visa pre-paid debit card FAQ page.
The weekly claim system will ask if your address has changed since your last claim. If it has, follow directions the system provides to change your address. If you are not filing for benefits at the present time but wish to change your address on our records, go online at https://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov or call one of the telephone numbers available at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/services.htm.