MADISON -- Today, Wisconsin Democrats announced a package of legislation to expand access to unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for Wisconsinites and expedite the processing of cases during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
One of the bills, LRB-6244, would repeal Wisconsin’s statute prohibiting all Social Security Disability (SSDI) recipients from receiving unemployment benefits. This bill was introduced by State Senator Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset) and Rep. Greta Neubauer (D-Racine). Wisconsin is one of only two states that prevent people with disabilities who are able to work from receiving unemployment benefits. This bill would bring us in-line with the majority of the U.S.
Sen. Schachtner issued the following statement in support of LRB-6244:
“As an advocate for our disability community in northwestern Wisconsin, I was very concerned to learn that people who have meaningful jobs could not receive unemployment benefits when those jobs were lost due to COVID-19. This proposal ends a discriminatory practice in state law and empowers people with disabilities to be treated like all working people.”
Rep. Neubauer issued the following statement in support of LRB-6244:
“For many of us, this restriction came to the forefront in calls with constituents in the wake of COVID-19’s arrival in Wisconsin, like when Mary called my office for assistance with her unemployment claim. Mary, like so many Wisconsinites with disabilities, receives SSDI benefits and works in our community. When COVID-19 came and her position disappeared, Mary found out that our unemployment system left her and other working SSDI recipients behind.
“Working Wisconsinites deserve equal access to our social safety net, regardless of disability. I’m proud to work with Sen. Schachter and our other coauthors to help Mary and other Wisconsin workers with disabilities to access unemployment during this crisis.”