For many individuals, having to file for unemployment is an unfortunate, but necessary reality. No one wants to be in that position because of what it usually signifies: the loss of a job. However, if you do find yourself filing for unemployment, you will likely find yourself having questions as well.
Unemployment Benefits Eligibility
At the most basic level, you may be eligible for unemployment if you were fired by your employer. Generally speaking, if you quit, you are not eligible. However, there are exceptions. Other situations in which you may be eligible include a temporary layoff, an unpaid suspension, an a reduction in hours of work.
Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Wisconsin - Steps & Tips
There are some key points to remember when filing for unemployment, or during a fact-finding interview with a Claims Specialist from the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), some of which are commonsense, but some of which you may not know:
- Be honest. If you are untruthful on your application or with the DWD investigator, you can be denied benefits. If you are not initially denied benefits, there is a possibility that the DWD will learn what you did and seek repayment of benefits paid. These are not risks worth taking.
- Be concise. Answer the questions that are asked. Do not use each question as an opportunity to “tell your story.” If you need to take a moment to formulate your response before doing so to ensure that you fully know your answer, do so. When individuals think while they speak, they have a tendency to stray and confuse.
- Be factual. Using subjective adjectives such as “unfair” or unnecessary exaggeration can paint you in a bad light and create arguable points where none should otherwise exist.
- Be attentive. Read all documents carefully and, if you are being interviewed, listen to each question carefully.
If unemployment benefits are approved, you must continue seeking employment from, at minimum, two employers per week to continue receiving benefits.
If unemployment benefits are denied, the denial determination can be appealed, at which point the case will be set for hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
Regardless where you are in the process, if you have questions, you need answers. Contact us if you have been denied unemployment benefits, it is even more important to contact an attorney.
Unemployment Denied – Appealing in Wisconsin
What to do if your claim was denied
After you complete your initial unemployment claim paperwork, you’ll potentially speak with a Claims Specialist, and a decision about your unemployment benefits will be made. It is possible your benefits will be denied. If your unemployment benefits are denied in wisconsin, you have the option to appeal the decision.
If you appeal, your case will be assigned to an Administrative Law Judge, where you will argue your case for receiving benefits. What you (the appellant/claimant) have to prove to the Administrative Law Judge depends on why you are no longer working.
The most common scenario in such an appeal is that the appellant/claimant was terminated and denied benefits based on the reason(s) provided by the former employer for the termination. The standard by which these cases are decided is called “misconduct.” Misconduct is defined as intentional and substantial disregard of an employer’s interests. As an example, if an employee was repeatedly intoxicated on the job, the employer warned the employee that if he was intoxicated at work one more time he would be fired, and the employee subsequently showed up intoxicated again and was fired, that would qualify as “misconduct” and benefits would justifiably be denied.
If it is determined by a Claims Specialist that you were terminated for misconduct, the burden is on you to prove otherwise. However, if a Claims Specialist grants you unemployment benefits and your former employer appeals, the burden in on the employer to prove misconduct.
The same applies to any other contention a former employer wishes to raise against a former employee’s receipt of benefits. If the employer is the appellant, it carries the burden.
The Walcheske & Luzi, LLC Difference
At Walcheske & Luzi, LLC it is our pledge to provide open and honest advice, taking the time to listen, counsel, and advise. We will work closely with you on your workers’ compensation issue. Tell us about your situation , we’re ready to help.