Wisconsin DWD rolls out new online unemployment portal

DWD Unemployment
Courtesy: Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development is rolling out a new user interface aimed at making applying for unemployment online easier to use and understand.

The new unemployment claims portal will be available starting Tuesday night. Officials at the DWD say the new portal will include new features like the ability to securely upload needed documents, a message center to talk directly with claims specialists and adjudicators, the ability to sign up for text notifications, and a design that’s more friendly if the portal is being used on cell phones.

“This is all about making the process easier,” DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said in a statement. “The ability to upload certain documents instead of mailing or faxing, a message center where claims specialists and adjudicators can share and request information directly through the portal—these are critical upgrades.”

The DWD says it is also moving into another phase of its “plain language project,” which works to make the unemployment insurance application easier for people to understand, so they don’t accidentally answer a question incorrectly.

The improvements come after a year of frustration over the state’s unemployment system, which was overwhelmed by claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.