Wisconsin awarded $1 million to improve unemployment insurance program

Wisconsin state outline

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Wisconsin $1 million to improve its unemployment insurance program.

It is one of 43 states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to receive federal grants of varying amounts that total $39 million to be used for unemployment insurance program improvements.

Wisconsin state outline
Wisconsin has been awarded $1 million to improve its unemployment insurance program.

Half of Wisconsin’s grant will be directed to increasing the integrity of benefit payments and improving program performance, while the other half will be used in avoiding employee misclassification.

The state has committed to using the State Information Data Exchange System for the program integrity and performance improvement portion, and can also use that funding for expand its involvement with the Treasury Offset Program; complete information security upgrades; and develop fraud detection strategies.

The worker misclassification grant can be used to catch errors in employer classification of employees or employers’ failure to report wages paid. This can be accomplished through employer audit programs, employer education, and other initiatives.

“For more than 80 years, the unemployment insurance system has been a crucial lifeline for millions of working people who lost their job through no fault of their own,” said Thomas Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor. “These grants will help states use every tool at its disposal to ensure payments are available to those who are eligible, and take important steps to reduce and recover improper payments. The funds will also identify new ways to level the playing field for responsible employers.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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