Wisconsinites to start seeing PUA payments, says DWD

Coronavirus

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsinites eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will be notified via USPS and in their claims portal after the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) began issuing determinations and payments for applicants on May 21.

DWD says a link will go live in the claims portal that will allow weeks to be claimed for benefits.

DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman issued the following statement on Wisconsin beginning to issue PUA payments:

“Due to PUA being a brand-new federal program and in order to ensure accurate payments, DWD conducted additional testing prior to deployment. While understanding the potential impacts of a minor delay in deployment, -we felt it prudent and responsible to prevent any widespread issues that could cause even greater delays and hardship. We understand many claimants have been patiently waiting for PUA. Please know that DWD is committed to paying out eligible benefits as fast as possible.

“It is important to note that PUA is not like our normal UI process, so it takes much longer to process an application. Most claimants have probably heard all about our antiquated, inflexible base benefits system, but it is important to explain how it affects our payment of PUA: When you apply and enter all of your information in the online portal, our staff has to take the information you enter and then manually enter it into our benefits system. Then we can begin processing your application, which involves a DWD staffer manually assessing your PUA eligibility, reviewing your 2019 income, and creating your new PUA monetary and weekly benefit rate. Once your application is fully processed, your dashboard will be updated with “Your PUA application has been processed…” and present a link to file PUA weekly claims.”

Frostman says DWD has received over 80,000 PUA applications since April 21. There is now staff dedicated to processing the determinations and more will be onboarded over the coming weeks.

“It will take some time, but please know we are working to process your application and send out eligible benefits as quickly as possible,” Frostman adds.

Last week, DWD reported it paid more than $1 billion in unemployment benefits in Wisconsin between March 15 and May 16.

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