Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits Eligibility

Wisconsin State LogoThe Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is liable for managing and building the state’s workforce through delivering employment for youth and the disabled, as well as executing employment rights enforcement, unemployment insurance claims and worker’s compensation. The department makes use of a wide range of criteria to decide if a claimant is qualified for benefits, and how much benefit he or she is worthy of. In addition, applicants must attain some ongoing requirements so as to carry on to be paid on a weekly basis.

The department puts into effect set of laws that link to benefits eligibility, taking into consideration an applicant’s earnings during current employment and the cause for separation from employment. Claimants should also be available to accept suitable job offers.

Qualifications for Unemployment in Wisconsin

Wisconsin joblessness rules must be carefully understood, particularly if a worker finds themselves jobless, as there are strict criteria that should be met before benefit will be paid. There are also laws that point to further responsibilities of the claimant that must be met for continued weekly payments.

Job Loss

jobless menTo be eligible for unemployment insurance in the state of Wisconsin, you must have been removed from employment through no fault of your own. If you quit your job without good cause or obtain termination for excessive absenteeism, tardiness or misconduct, you are not entitled to collect benefits in Wisconsin until you earn subsequent wages.

  • In the case of quitting your job, you should earn 4 times your weekly benefit sum amount to be entitled.
  • In the case of a termination for absenteeism or tardiness, you must earn 6 times your weekly benefit amount.
  • In the case of a termination for misconduct, you must earn 14 times your weekly benefit amount.
  • In each case, the state also imposes a four- to seven-week suspension of benefits before granting you eligibility.

Work Availability

accept appropriate offers of workYour eligibility to obtain unemployment benefits in Wisconsin hinges on your availability to accept appropriate offers of work. If you decline work and don’t have good cause, the state puts off your benefits for 4 weeks and needs you to earn 4 times your weekly benefit amount before returning them.

In case you fail to make what the state considers a feasible job search might also exclude you temporarily. If you are not able or obtainable to work in a given work, the state examines the condition before deciding whether you remain qualified for that week.

Work Search

Job searchAn unending requirement to obtain unemployment insurance benefits is a weekly job search report. The Department of Workforce Development needs all people collecting benefits to get in touch with at least two employers each week. In some instances, such as when a claimant is in school or working part-time, the work search requirement can be given up by the department. The department at times requests documentation of a claimant’s job search actions and altering these documents can outcome in termination of benefits.

Weekly Reporting

In order to obtain benefits for a given week, claimants should present a weekly report that details their availability for employment, any wages earned during the week and any other sources of income such as income from self employment or vacation pay. These reports have to be filed no later than 14 days following the last day of the week benefits are being claimed for. Claimants are required to detail all work, hours and wages no matter the amount. Refusal with this requirement can lead penalties, overpayments or prosecution.


While claiming unemployment benefits, if you accept an offer of work, and are working fewer than 16 hours a week, the number of hours worked must be stated to the benefits office so that they may alter your benefit payment accordingly.

If case number of weeks worked are more than 16 then the claimant is not qualified to any benefit for that week. The state of Wisconsin lets a period of no longer than 6 weeks after losing a job to assess any offers of new employment.

A claimant is allowed to decline an offer of new work if the skills needed are different than they have, or the wage offered is considerably less than the person was earning before. After the initial 6 weeks, the claimant should accept any offer of work giving reasonable wages, hours and conditions. If a person does not accept any offers meeting this criterion, benefits may be canceled.

Monetary Eligibility


In order to meet the criteria for unemployment in Wisconsin, applicants should have earned definite amount money in the 4 quarters prior to the date of application, which is called the applicant’s base period.

Applicants should have earned wages in no less than two of the quarters in the base period. The least to be eligible is $1890 for the whole base period, if not the applicant has a previous unemployment claim in which case the earnings needed are dependent on 8 times the weekly benefit rate period.


Earnings in WisconsinOf the last 5 full calendar quarters, your earnings from the first 4 quarters are applicable to your eligibility for unemployment benefits. Your weekly benefit amount is 4% of your wages in the highest –earning of the 4 quarters. Since 2010, Wisconsin residents are qualified for unemployment benefits if they earned no less than $1350 in their “high quarter.” That would interpret to weekly unemployment benefits of $54, which is the existing minimum under state law; the maximum is $363 for inhabitants who earned $9075 or more in their high quarter. Your total wages from your 4 quarter base period must be up to at least 35 times your weekly benefit amount.

Partial Unemployment

You may be able to collect unemployment benefits in Wisconsin at a decreased rate if you work on a part-time basis. You have to report all income, including any income for paid time off such as holiday wages. The state calculates your partial wage rate by subtracting $30from your gross income and multiplying your remaining wages by 67%. It subtracts that number from your weekly unemployment amount and rounds down to the nearest dollar. That total is what you obtain in unemployment benefits for the week. You cannot collect a partial unemployment check for less than $5.