These people have been directly affected by Wisconsin's unemployment system.
Alan and Jacque Graveen - Alan is self-employed as an Elvis tribute artist. Most of his events are held at senior living facilities. The couple filed for unemployment at the beginning of July. At last check, they are still waiting for their benefits.
Caitlin Proehl - Caitlin is 29 years old. She was working at an automobile auction in Caledonia when she was furloughed in May. She said she filed her claim on May 17, and it is still in adjudication.
Chris Vold - After our Oct. 14 Zoom call, Chris Vold told us he received 23 weeks of benefits which equaled about $13,000.
Chris worked as a project manager for a custom ornamental metals company in Menomonee Falls. As a part-time job he worked at Miller Park and for the Milwaukee Brewers. He waited for about six months for his benefits.
Denise Ploof - After doing the October 14 Zoom call, Denise received about $25,000 in benefits. She was a restaurant manager and lost her job. She said she went through $14,000 in savings while waiting about seven months for her unemployment benefits and that was while she was living with family members. She now lives in Kentucky.
Diane Hansen - She told TMJ4 News she has been filing for unemployment since the first week of August and that she had no other income.
She emailed us on October 26 saying she received her unemployment back pay.
Don Kaldunski - He lost his job during COVID-19. He did pricing for a manufacturing company in Brookfield. When Don first reached out to us, he had been waiting on his unemployment payments since the middle of May. He told TMJ4 News he was calling the DWD weekly but never reached anyone.
Since our Zoom call, Don emailed us letting us know all of his claims from early May have now been paid. The unemployment insurance payments totaled $12,000.
Doug Brzycki - The 70-year-old was laid off in April from a manufacturing company in West Allis because of COVID-19. His unemployment claim was held up due to "identity theft".
He's worked full-time for 52 years. Doug emailed TMJ4 News with an update on October 30 and said he received his benefits.
Irving Cedeno - He worked as a consultant for a financial service company. He lost his job and was denied regular unemployment benefits, so he applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and was denied that as well. He has filed an appeal.
The 41-year-old said he had to move back in with his mother as he tries to get back on his feet.
Jim Wichgers - Jim lost his security guard job at Potawatomi Casino. He says he was let go after being written up twice when patrons either removed their mask or weren't wearing one. He says every time he calls the DWD, he is told his case is still waiting to be assigned to an adjudicator.
Jim told TMJ4 News he has five weekly claims pending and his family has had to make tough decisions to either buy food or medicine.
Karrie Suhr- Karrie has been waiting since June for her benefits. She worked as the manager of the Cedarburg Community Pool and has done that job for more than 25 years. She also worked part-time at Summerfest, which she couldn't this year as it wasn't open for 2020.
Karrie was re-diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in September. She was diagnosed the first time with the same cancer almost two years ago to the exact month and day. She told TMJ4 News she has been struggling to pay her health insurance and medical bills since April.
Kim Purucker - She's been working two jobs for the last fifteen years and needs both incomes. One job is at a local hospital part-time, and the other is a consultant with a travel company. She filed for regular unemployment and PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance). She has filed an appeal and says she is running out of money and unable to keep up with her monthly bills.
Kimberly Mallegni - She's a teacher who worked for a company based out of Brookfield. She's been waiting for her unemployment benefits since June 3. She believes she's owed about $10,000. She says she filed an appeal and her case is in adjudication. She says she has called more than eighty times since June and can't get answers from the DWD.
In November, TMJ4 heard from Kimberly. She has received all of her benefits.
Nikki MacMillan - After our October 14 Zoom call, the single mom received her benefits after seven months of waiting. She told TMJ4 News she is still waiting for more benefit money she's owed.
She worked as a purchaser at a manufacturing company in Genoa City for about two and a half years before leaving for Florida.
Out of work, she moved in with her grandparents and said she was struggling to put food on the table for her kids. Last month, she told TMJ4 News her 4-year-old-son is staying with his dad in Texas right now because she couldn't provide.
Rayshon Sykes - On the October 14 Zoom call, Rayshon told TMJ4 News he's been waiting 20 weeks for his unemployment benefits and had to dip into his savings.
He was living independently but had to move back in with his mom. He said he calls the DWD at least twice a week.
Rita Gray - She had a contract position in the Human Resources field. She's been waiting since May 17 for her benefits. She was told she hasn't been assigned an adjudicator. She has a 96-year-old mother and she's her only daughter. She says she needs her unemployment benefits to help her mom and to get back on her own feet. She reached out to Community Advocates and received rent assistance help. She also qualified for food share.
Robbie Baer - The 48-year-old worked for a lighting company and was terminated after 25 years. He filed for unemployment benefits on June 26 and is still waiting to be paid.
He explained that because the company he worked for was bought out, DWD thought he was terminated from more than one employer, even though that wasn't the case. He told TMJ4 News he and his wife have exhausted all their savings and have borrowed as much money as they can from family members. His wife has Multiple Sclerosis and he's deeply worried about her health. He said right now, his family can't pay rent and basic utilities.
Shree Bennett -Shree Bennett's father, Lee, attended the October 14 Zoom call since Shree had to work at her other part-time job. During COVID-19, Shree lost her job as an assembly line worker in Glendale. Shree has been waiting about six months for her benefits. Her father told us he is paying her rent and it's been a financial burden on his family.
At last check, Shree is still waiting for her benefits. Her father tells us she has found full-time work at a factory in Milwaukee and is trying to get back on her feet.
Theodore Rehman - The 50-year-old worked at Amazon in Kenosha. He takes care of his mom, who suffered from a stroke about six months before the pandemic. He says when people started getting sick at work, he stopped going because he was worried he would get COVID-19 and get his mother sick. He was fired on August 11. He went through $12,000 in his savings.
He still hasn't received any unemployment benefits. In November, he told TMJ4 News he did receive food share, but he says living with his parents has been a burden on them and he might have to start living in his truck.
Thomas Madlon- He worked at the UW-Milwaukee campus at the UWM Union Station, but when the campus shut down during COVID-19 he couldn't work. He filed for unemployment benefits in March. He hasn't heard anything. He has two part-time jobs and says he is living paycheck to paycheck with no savings left and has had to borrow money from family to pay bills.