MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today announced plans to make it easier for Wisconsinites to file for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by updating the language for both its initial and weekly UI claim applications.
DWD is currently seeking public input on the updated draft application questions online at https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiapplicationsfeedback/.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored existing barriers to applying to receive UI benefits. To improve the UI application process, DWD has updated the questions to feature “plain language” as much as possible. “Plain language” is intended to be understandable to all individuals who are likely to use the UI application process, regardless of educational background or regional/cultural language differences, and to ensure application and question clarity. Changes to the application process will help ensure all those who are filling out either an initial or weekly UI claim can understand the questions quickly and easily and prevent inadvertent or erroneous answers that might otherwise prompt further action or investigation and delay an individual’s claim from being processed.
To improve the UI application process, DWD has updated the questions to feature “plain language” as much as possible. “Plain language” is meant to be understandable to all individuals who are likely to use the UI application process, regardless of educational background or regional/cultural language differences. Further, it is to ensure all those who are filling out either an initial or weekly UI claim can understand the questions as quickly and easily as possible.
“Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites applied for and received UI benefits in 2020,” DWD Transition Director Amy Pechacek said. “But we know many had to wait longer than necessary because they incorrectly answered a question on the application and that triggered an investigation into their eligibility. DWD is making sure that the questions asked of claimants are clear and concise so that people who are applying can answer questions completely and accurately on the front end. Updating the application will not only help our customers but also improve UI operations.”
The deadline to submit public comment on the draft questions is January 8, 2021. DWD job centers will also host virtual focus groups with selected volunteers from around the state to collect additional feedback on the application process. The Department will review and incorporate all feedback before it begins the necessary IT programming in February and plans to post the updated web applications in March.
To provide your feedback, please visit: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiapplicationsfeedback/.