Wisconsin DWD handling 'unprecedented call volume,' wants people to apply for unemployment online

Wisconsin unemployment hit record low in December
Posted at 5:34 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 08:47:08-04

WISCONSIN — Due to the high volume of people calling in to apply for unemployment, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is urging people to apply online instead.

From March 22 through March 28, DWD saw 115,679 new applications for unemployment. While the DWD has an online phone bank where you can apply, they are asking people to apply online instead.

According to the DWD, the online process is much faster and more efficient than calling. DWD would like to keep the phone lines open for those who were specifically directed to call, or for those who don't have access to a computer.

In one week, the DWD said more than 1.5 million calls. On one occasion, they saw over 400,000 calls within a four-hour window. The sheer number of calls overloads their system, and they do not have enough staff to maintain it.

In a press release, the DWD said, "DWD is diligently working to increase both staff and technology capacity. The department has increased the number of calls UI is able to send and receive, allowing for 690 simultaneous calls, which is up from the 450 simultaneous calls it was previously able to handle."

While they are making adjustments, it is still better to apply online, so if you can, please do.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip