MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has taken the first step toward creating an emergency rule that would allow the agency to waive the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. The previous waiver created under 2019 Wisconsin Act 185 expired on February 6.

Earlier this week, DWD published a scope statement in the Legislature’s administrative register. If and when the scope statement is approved, DWD can begin drafting the rule. The earliest a new rule could take effect is March 5 at best.

The emergency rule is intended as a temporary measure to bridge the need for a waiting week waiver during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rule will offer relief to claimants who do not have to wait a week to begin receiving unemployment benefits, and to employers by ensuring that 50 percent of first week benefit payments are federally funded. Without a waiver in place, first week unemployment benefits must be charged to or reimbursed by employers.

For up to date information on current and proposed DWD emergency and administrative rules, visit https://www.dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/admin-rules/.

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