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Possible impacts of new restrictions on unemployment

DWD discusses impacts of unemployment rate in June
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 6:48 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Many Wisconsinites are still waiting for unemployment as we enter July.

"Why are we waiting four months when we've lost our jobs due to COVID?" Nicole Warner asked as she described being laid off in March.

Between March 15 and June 27, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) received more than 3.7 million applications and is still processing more than 500,000.

"Everything is taking so long, because of the fact that we had more than 240,000 individuals apply for unemployment benefits within a two-week period of time when the pandemic hit," Emily Savard, Policy Analyst with the Department of Workforce Development said.

As Dane County tightens business restrictions starting Thursday morning at 8 a.m., the question stands: How could it impact unemployment claims?

"If another spike happens or if another or if more people become unemployed, we will continue working as hard as we possibly can," Savard said. "We will continue focusing on oldest to newest claims."

And those who have been waiting for approval since March hope to get paid before anything else unfolds.

“I lost a job that I really liked due to COVID,” Warner said. “That’s not my fault, so why am I not getting the help needed due to that?”

In May, the DWD said that if money runs low in its trust fund used to pay unemployment, the agency will ask for federal assistance. The last time that happened was during the Great Recession, more than 10 years ago.

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