DWD says it's processed about 15 percent of unemployment-claim backlog

Agency: Bottleneck stems from need to review each claim by hand

Published On: Nov 16 2012 09:52:48 AM CST   Updated On: Nov 16 2012 10:10:50 AM CST
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MILWAUKEE -

The state Department of Workforce Development said it's making progress on backlogged unemployment claims, including some that dated back to July.

The agency has processed about 1,400 claims in the past three weeks, although it still has just less than 8,000 remaining. If the department maintains that rate -- about 466 claims cleared each week -- it could process the remaining 8,000 in a little over 17 weeks; however, the agency said it anticipates making “significant progress" sooner -- in the next 10 weeks.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported most of the claims are being reviewed by hand because the applicant received an overpayment after misreporting wages, mistakenly or on purpose. Other claims are being reviewed to make sure claimants have used up all their state benefits before filing for a federal extension.

Department spokesman John Dipko said all affected claimants will receive all benefits for which they're eligible.

The department is in the process of hiring 35 part-time employees to help deal with the backlog.