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DWD Secretary: $600 payments going out, state hiring employees and contractors for unemployment backlog

DWD Secretary: $600 payments going out, state hiring employees and contractors for unemployment backlog


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance system has been hampered by the number of people who need help and a computer system from the 1970’s. Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman said the department just signed a contract to get more people answering the phone, and is in the process of getting more people to process claims.

“(It’s) meant to bring on approximately 500 staff to handle UI claims over the phone, answer questions about the status of folks' claims, and to also triage some of the more complicated calls,” said Frostman.

Frostman says the state is also getting two more call centers under contract and working on bringing in 300 additional state workers to get through the unemployment backlog. Currently, about a third of people who’ve filed claims still haven’t gotten a payment. Those claims are caught in the review process.

In one week DWD staff had “140,000 claimants with 240,000 issues,” said Frostman.

He said the agency brought back retired staff and borrowed employees from other state agencies to reprogram the state’s unemployment computer system. It dates back to the 1970’s and uses computer language from the 1950’s.

“Finding programmers that are familiar with the COBOL system has been a challenge,” said Frostman.

He said the department is making progress. After a glitch with paying out the extra $600 benefit people have been waiting on for weeks, the money started flowing Wednesday night.

“We’re moving forward likely tonight, with a much much larger batch and get the remainder out, Friday night’s batch over the weekend,” said Frostman.

Frostman said he’s proud of the work his staff has done dealing with an unprecedented number of people filing for jobless benefits, but he said there’s more work to do.

“May is going to be a really pivotal month for us to make sure we get everything stood up,” said Frostman.

Watch the full interview below:

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Ashley 18 days ago
I still have not received the back pay in my account even though it says on the unemployment website that it was paid 2 weeks ago. Cannot get ahold of anyone via phone. Does anyone know why I wouldn’t have gotten the money still?
robert 19 days ago
My retro pay finally showed up in my account...... Other than that not even my bank showed it was in limbo or anything
E 20 days ago
Been waiting a month to get my PEUC money but they have yet to update there system (they even stated it) to receive compensation. This is ridiculous.
Melindacarter8577 22 days ago
Be patient ppl it's coming they working overtime I just got my back pay so it's coming
Kayla Melindacarter8577 19 days ago
I think 7 weeks with no pay is being patient enough :)
JustainOlbinski 22 days ago

robert JustainOlbinski 21 days ago
How long did it take to be made available from your bank? Mine shows the same but no $ in my account... Bank says they don't see the $ neither. Idk
JustainOlbinski 22 days ago
If Owned a bar I'd open it up next week for a backpay party so people could bitch at me about how much money they spent having to much fun 😁!
AnnPaden 22 days ago
I am still waiting on my unemployment for past 5 weeks. It always says pending availability for work. Been trying to get through by phone or email for over a week. I'm wondering if it's due to the county I live in, Juneau county?
Call the unemployment fraud line! You'll get through much faster an see what they say! Wait till the am though
JustainOlbinski 22 days ago
JustainOlbinski 22 days ago
I checked it an hour ago an nothing...so they must be working overtime because of people like us lol!
JustainOlbinski 22 days ago
Its coming! I just checked mine and it updated for 4 weeks of backpay no cash in the account but it's coming people hold strong! Seriously I've been following this thread an others just as hard as anyone in need... You'll all be whole in a couple days!
MichaelProksch 22 days ago
How come when we go to unemplyement site all we see is still pending why cant they just give me a answer so I can either collect both or one UI or extra $600 can someone answer this question please it sucks 4 weeks no money owed back pay zee nothing
Alimbagirl 22 days ago
Do they make you satisfy yiur benefit reduction amount before they give you the federal money? I owe $985 more but im waiting for $3,000 in retroactive pay.
Tisha 22 days ago
Will they be giving back pay for unemployment
Alimbagirl 22 days ago
I have not received any of the $600 payments. I also had a benefit reduction so I have $985 left on that. Which ultimately means i have not gotten a dime since i was approved the week of March 22. This is ridiculous!!! And shameful. I can't believe I still don't have anything. I am beyond desperate.
CJ 22 days ago
A lot more people are reporting on Twitter that they have received their back pay of FPUC today. So it is going out. I suspect most will have it by the end of the weekend. Hang in there!
Leonkist1 22 days ago
If I was on unemployment before covid am I subject to the back as well? I can't find clear answers
Nate 22 days ago
Alot of people are still waiting they will keep paying out till every one gets there back pay
Nate 22 days ago
There going off last 4 of social ,,,I haven't got my back pay eather...there sending it in batches....there sending more Tonite and tomorrow...and so on till we're payed up
Pklapps 22 days ago
Why haven't I gotten the retro pay or the extra 600 from unemployment?? All my coworkers have gotten theirs! I need it as I have bills. We all need answers!
Tyresha 22 days ago
I received my $600 extra but there are no updates about my retroactive pay on my claim. Whats going on UI? My Rent is pass due from March and my utilities.. Please help me...
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