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Old 05-05-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
5,852 posts, read 3,886,527 times
Reputation: 10018

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Help! My husband lost his job six months ago and has been sending in job search forms to Wisconsin Unemployment every week. He received several checks in FEBRUARY for "back payments" but nothing at all since then, and it is now MAY 5th ! He has called and called the offices and no one ever answers the phone. He has written several letters to the Unemployement Offices and his letters have been ignored. We have gotten so little information from them that we don't even know how many weeks he is eligible to receive unemployment.

What are we supposed to do? We have spent all of our savings and aren't able to pay our bills. My husband is afraid that if we go to the offices in person and cause a ruckus he won't get the past due money that is owed to him. But what else can we do? It has been almost TEN WEEKS since we heard from the Unemployment Office. This seems an unreasonally long period of time to not hear from them. How are people supposed to buy food, pay their mortgage and survive in gereral?

Thank you for any suggestions of what we can do.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,387 posts, read 19,182,015 times
Reputation: 6883
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Help! My husband lost his job six months ago and has been sending in job search forms to Wisconsin Unemployment every week.

Wisconsin does NOT require job search forms be submitted for initial unemployment benefits. If job search forms are submitted at the beginning of the claim, you will confuse their computers. If your husband claimed in November, he should have routinely been receiving weekly his 26 weeks' benefits - assuming his earnings qualified him for the full benefits - all this time. I think the job search form submission is part of your problem and has confused your case.

It is possible to claim weekly online and have direct deposit the next day. I have done this from the beginning in September 2009 and never had a problem. I have NEVER submitted a job search form - ever.

He received several checks in FEBRUARY for "back payments" but nothing at all since then, and it is now MAY 5th !

Why was there a "back payment" issue? When did your husband first submit his claim for benefits? Was he receiving his payments regularly on a weekly basis until February, or was February the only time he was paid? Did his employer dispute his claim causing a delay in benefits resulting in the "back payment?"

He has called and called the offices and no one ever answers the phone.

I have found the best time to call is later in the day. Keep calling, and eventually you will get into a queue and someone will answer.

He has written several letters to the Unemployement Offices and his letters have been ignored.

You can also email. There is a link on the site or use this address:

UI@dwd.wisconsin.gov

I have received a response within a day or two of writing.

We have gotten so little information from them that we don't even know how many weeks he is eligible to receive unemployment.

What did your original determination letter say last November?

What are we supposed to do? We have spent all of our savings and aren't able to pay our bills. My husband is afraid that if we go to the offices in person and cause a ruckus he won't get the past due money that is owed to him. But what else can we do?

Being proactive about your benefits will not result in DWD refusing to pay them.

What office did you plan to visit? There aren't any in Wisconsin that I know of. Everything is done via phone or internet.

It has been almost TEN WEEKS since we heard from the Unemployment Office. This seems an unreasonally long period of time to not hear from them. How are people supposed to buy food, pay their mortgage and survive in gereral?

I had an issue with halted payments due to a benefit recalculation because of a pension payment I reported. Benefits were halted for about eight weeks because WI computer data input was so backed up.

I finally emailed Gov. Jim Doyle's office directly and also DWD. Got a phone call from Doyle's office two days later saying money was in my account. Sadly, Gov. Walker's office will ignore you, I am sure, but nonetheless, send an email to him. You might have some luck that way.

Email:
govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

http://walker.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=1714&locid=177 (broken link)
Submitting job search forms at the beginning of a claim is your problem, I believe. The DWD website clearly stated at one time that if you submit job search forms for anything other than Extended Benefits, which Wisconsin stopped paying on April 16, your claim will be delayed. I think that is what has happened to your husband.

Your husband is entitled to state benefits and most probably EUC tier benefits, but it may be your claim is being handled as an Extended Benefit claim because of the job search forms. As I said, WI does not pay EB right now.

Your husband really needs to call and keep calling until he gets through to someone. Try later in the day or just before 7 a.m. in morning and keeping redialing. I got a very pleasant, helpful rep one afternoon about 4:45 p.m. Make sure he explains he is a new claimant and is NOT on
Extended Benefits and has been submitting job search forms in error.

Good luck. Let us know what happens.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 05-05-2011 at 06:12 PM..
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
5,852 posts, read 3,886,527 times
Reputation: 10018
Thank you very much for all of your information. My husband and I are both 59 years old and this is the first time, thankfully, that either of us has needed to apply for Unemployment Compensation and it seems that he/we did many things incorrectly. He was originally denied unemployment compensation (which may be common) and filed for a hearing. He then "won" the hiring and received a few back payments in February (for the earlier weeks). He never received any weekly payments after that. Each week that he was umemployed he sent in a paper form that he found with other Unemployment information that says " Sample Work Search Record, Weekly Work Search Report, UI Week No, ..." Not having any experience with UC we had no idea that this wasn't what we were supposed to do. Since my husband had called and called and no ever answered the phone at the UI office he concluded that, obviously, things must need to be done by mail.

In retrospect, it was a very poor decision on my part to spent my entire savings, work extra jobs & borrow money from my relatives for all of these weeks that my husband wasn't getting his UI checks, But I/we truly didn't know what to do. I am now insisting on taking over the responsibility for his UI. I got home from work too late to try to call the UI office today but next week I will keep calling and calling until I am able to speak with a human being about this problem. He can concentrate on job hunting and I will concentrate on getting his Unemployment Compensation.

I will also try your other suggestions. Thank you again for all of your help.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:43 PM
 
398 posts, read 754,125 times
Reputation: 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I am now insisting on taking over the responsibility for his UI. I got home from work too late to try to call the UI office today but next week I will keep calling and calling until I am able to speak with a human being about this problem. He can concentrate on job hunting and I will concentrate on getting his Unemployment Compensation.

I will also try your other suggestions. Thank you again for all of your help.

It is actually illegal for someone else other than the claimant to handle their own UI claim unless that person is disabled in some way and cannot do it himself.

That would be grounds for rejecting further UI benefits if they discover or if you reveal that you are handling his UI benefits for him.

You can ASSIST your husband, but he should be there with you at all times & you cannot collect on the claims for him.
I also think he should be the one speaking to the agent, so perhaps you can put the call on speaker phone so you can both listen & speak to the agent together.

As an example, here is the warning on the NYDOL website:
Who can use this system
The only person who can use this system is the person claiming unemployment insurance. If you let another person use this system, you are both committing fraud, and you could lose up to 20 weeks of benefits. The only exception is - if you need help from someone else to access the system. In this case only, you may allow another person to help, but you must be present each time your helper uses the system. This includes the time your helper enters your PIN. You will be responsible for your helper's actions, and may be subject to penalties, including losing your benefits, if you are not present.

Last edited by raymond2; 05-06-2011 at 05:52 PM..
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,387 posts, read 19,182,015 times
Reputation: 6883
Quote:
Originally Posted by raymond2 View Post
You can ASSIST your husband, but he should be there with you at all times & you cannot collect on the claims for him.
Agree with this. Hubby must be with you on the phone.

If DWD does not have record of any claims beyond those for which you were paid in February, most likely the claim has been closed. Hubby may have been sending in forms but, as I said, the system is not designed to accommodate that. If two weeks go by without a 'claim,' the claim is closed. Reopening the claim should not be difficult, if that is all it is. Payments should be timely after that - unless there are other problems and your husband's employer is appealing the appeal. That happens all the time. However, you should have been notified if that was the case.

Henceforth, claim online. It is very easy to register, provide your bank account, etc. Every Sunday I get on that site and claim for the previous week. Verify with DWD when you call - once the claim is again open - that you can now register and claim online.

Good luck. Let us know what happens.

Last edited by Ariadne22; 05-06-2011 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
5,852 posts, read 3,886,527 times
Reputation: 10018
To Raymond2. Thank you. I will ASSIST my husband in getting his UI benfits.
To Ariadne22. Thank you again. I wish that I would have found this site months ago. It would have saved me quite a few tears and sleepless nights.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,387 posts, read 19,182,015 times
Reputation: 6883
One other thing. If the claim was inadvertently closed, it might be possible for DWD to reopen and send you retroactive payments which might help a bit in getting caught up financially. Ask about that when you call.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:36 PM
 
398 posts, read 754,125 times
Reputation: 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
In retrospect, it was a very poor decision on my part to spent my entire savings, work extra jobs & borrow money from my relatives for all of these weeks that my husband wasn't getting his UI checks, But I/we truly didn't know what to do.
Your husband should be careful about taking any low paying jobs during his regular UI eligibility period because that could result in his benefits being recalculated and the payment amount lowered.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
14,387 posts, read 19,182,015 times
Reputation: 6883
Quote:
Originally Posted by raymond2 View Post
Your husband should be careful about taking any low paying jobs during his regular UI eligibility period because that could result in his benefits being recalculated and the payment amount lowered.
For now, HR4213 does protect against that so he shouldn't be affected at his bye this year for a few months at least. However, next year, it is anyone's guess what Congress will do on the extension of unemployment benefits or HR4213.
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Old 05-06-2011, 07:05 PM
 
1,096 posts, read 2,491,621 times
Reputation: 1038
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Help! My husband lost his job six months ago and has been sending in job search forms to Wisconsin Unemployment every week. He received several checks in FEBRUARY for "back payments" but nothing at all since then, and it is now MAY 5th ! He has called and called the offices and no one ever answers the phone. He has written several letters to the Unemployement Offices and his letters have been ignored. We have gotten so little information from them that we don't even know how many weeks he is eligible to receive unemployment.

What are we supposed to do? We have spent all of our savings and aren't able to pay our bills. My husband is afraid that if we go to the offices in person and cause a ruckus he won't get the past due money that is owed to him. But what else can we do? It has been almost TEN WEEKS since we heard from the Unemployment Office. This seems an unreasonally long period of time to not hear from them. How are people supposed to buy food, pay their mortgage and survive in gereral?

Thank you for any suggestions of what we can do.
Yes it's frustrating dealing with the gov and even mre frustrating when your already frustrated with being unemployed, bills, etc but why must you cause a ruckus when you go to the unemployment office. Coudln't you go down there and inquire without causing a ruckus?
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