Secretary Gassman Warns Unemployed Against Deceptive Web Sites Charging Fees to File Claims

Labor Secretary says only DWD can authorize claims, provides help at no cost

MADISON – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today warned Wisconsin residents against deceptive Internet sites that charge fees to file benefit claims and could expose individuals to identity theft.

“Unemployment claims must be filed with the Department of Workforce Development, and we help individuals file their claims absolutely free,” Secretary Gassman said. “Going to one of these sites can delay payment of benefits. These sites add an unnecessary step to the process, charge fees when people have no pay check, and they put people at risk of identify theft.“

Secretary Gassman said the web sites appear similar to the official sites of Wisconsin and other states in an attempt to lure claimants. The sites typically offer a free consultation and suggest fast action and guaranteed results, even though the claims ultimately must be filed with the state and benefit payments are not automatic.

“We work hard to process claims in a timely manner, taking great care to ensure that people get the benefits they are entitled to receive,” Secretary Gassman said. “No one can guarantee payment of benefits, but we can guarantee this: We will help people file their claims at no cost to them, and we will keep their information confidential. Furthermore, we can help them search for work, write resumes, apply for jobs and prepare for interviews, also at no cost to them.”

Secretary Gassman said filing for unemployment in Wisconsin is not only free of charge, but quick and easy. Individuals can file a claim by calling the Division of Unemployment Insurance at one of the following numbers: 414-438-7700 for the claims office in Milwaukee, 608-232-0678 for the claims office in Madison, or the statewide toll free, 1-800-822-5246. A special (TTY) number for the hearing impaired is also available at 1-888-393-8914.

Applications may also by filed on the Internet by visiting the DWD Division of Unemployment Insurance website at: http:// HYPERLINK “” , formerly at http:// HYPERLINK “”

# # #