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PolitiFact Wisconsin on unemployment insurance backlog and juvenile justice claims

Posted at 8:36 PM, Mar 26, 2021

When the pandemic hit a year ago, Wisconsin struggled to keep up with a surge in unemployment claims, and it created a huge backlog of people waiting for their money.

In December, the agency's secretary-designee Amy Pechacek said the backlog of unemployment claims had been "cleared."

PolitiFact Wisconsin went back to look at the number of claims.

"The claims had been assigned to someone to handle them, it didn't necessarily mean that everyone who had been in the backlog had received their money already," said Eric Litke with PolitiFact Wisconsin.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says the Department of Workforce Development assigned thousands of cases to an adjudicator to be processed, but a backlog still existed.

"The other side of this is, there was still and is still a backlog of appeals of almost 15,000 people who were initially denied who had appealed that claim and have not yet received a response on their appeal," said Litke.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim Half True.

Juvenile justice claims

A proposal by Gov. Tony Evers to raise the age from 17 to 18 for when teens are automatically treated as an adult for criminal charges is gaining some support.

"Backing that proposal, State Rep. LaKeshia Myers said Wisconsin was one of only nine states left where 17-year old's are treated this way by default," said Litke.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says the Milwaukee Democrat is on point, but off on the number of states. Wisconsin is now one of three, not nine, where 17 is the cut-off age.

"We've seen several states have taken action to do essentially what Evers is proposing now, moving that 17-year-old cutoff up to 18, " said Litke.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim Half True.

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