Unemployment Insurance

About Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is funded by employer contributions and provides temporary economic assistance to Wisconsin’s eligible workers. 

Each time you want to start receiving benefits, you must call to apply. All claims based on work in Wisconsin are filed by telephone, even if you now live in another state. The automated telephone initial claim system collects data for your initial claim application. In some cases, all the necessary information to process your claim is collected by this system. 

Your claim begins the week you apply. Use a touch-tone phone to file your new claim.

To find out more, please visit the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Unemployment Benefits page.

File an Initial Claim Application for a New Claim or Reopen an Existing Claim

  • Madison Area
    Phone: 608-232-0678
  • Milwaukee Area
    Phone: 414-438-7700
  • Toll Free Number
    Phone: 1-800-UC CLAIM (1-800-822-5246)
  • TTY (toll free)
    Phone: 1-888-393-8914

Automated Telephone Initial Claim System Hours

  • Sunday
    9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Monday through Friday
    6:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Saturday
    9:00 am to 2:30 pm

Claim Specialists Hours

  • Monday through Friday
    7:45 am to 4:30 pm
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