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Wisconsin Unemployment Benefit Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility_RequirementsQUALIFYING WAGES FOR Wisconsin Unemployment Benefit:

To qualify for Wisconsin Unemployment unemployment benefits you must have been paid wages from covered employment in at least two quarters of your base period. You need:

  • Enough wages in your high quarter to qualify for the minimum WBR;
  • Wages in your 3 lowest quarters that equal at least 4 times your WBR when added together;
  • Total base period wages equal to at least 35 times your WBR; and
  • If you were paid benefits in a prior benefit year which has ended, you must have worked since the beginning of that benefit year and earned at least 8 times the WBR of that claim. read more
MAXIMUM Wisconsin Unemployment BENEFIT AMOUNT (MBA):

The total amount of unemployment benefits the department could pay you during your benefit year. It is the lesser of 26 times your WBR, or 40% of your total base period wages from all covered employment.

Use your MBA as you would a checking account balance. As you are paid weekly benefits, simply subtract the amount you are paid from your MBA balance to know how much you can still be paid for that benefit year.

When to Apply For Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Benefits
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.
 
Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefit Amount:
The weekly amount of unemployment benefits you are paid when you have no wages or other income during the week. It is 4% of the total high quarter wages from all covered employment.
 
Benefit Year
You start a benefit year when you file a new initial claim application. A benefit year lasts 52 weeks. When one benefit year ends, the week that you file your next initial claim application will start a new benefit year. During the 52 weeks of each benefit year, there is a maximum amount of unemployment benefits you can be paid. This is called your maximum benefit amount (MBA). Wages that you earn during a benefit year will not increase your maximum benefit amount or your weekly benefit rate for that benefit year.
 
Income Taxes
Unemployment insurance is considered income for federal and state tax purposes. Each year all of your benefit payments are reported to the Internal Revenue Service and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. You can ask to have state and federal taxes withheld from your unemployment payments or make estimated tax payments.

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Unemployment Office Tips:

Tips to help you when visiting your local Unemployment Office:

  • Show Up Early: Your local unemployment office can sometimes be crowded. You must understand that there are a lot of people currently looking for work. So you will find a lot of people filing for benefits.
  • Be prepared to wait: With lots of people at your local unemployment office, if you are late you will have to wait. The best way to avoid the long lines is to get to the office early.
  • Be prepared with your Documents: If you are applying for unemployment benefits be sure to take with you all necessary information such as a job release letter, date of last employment and name of the company.
  • Have a Cool Head: With lots of people at your local unemployment office waiting to be seen it’s easy to get frustrated and loose you cool. Remember that counselors are there to assist you. Keeping a cool head and being courteous will help speed the process along.

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