(MADISON) – Today, Senator Patty Schachtner (D-Somerset) has announced that her staff will be supporting the Department of Workforce Development’s (DWD) Unemployment Insurance (UI) call center to help get people the UI benefits they have earned.
“We have been working for weeks to determine whether Legislative staff would be able to temporarily spend some of their time answering the phones for DWD and speed up the unemployment claims process. Thankfully, we have figured out how to train my staff to spend some of their time each week handling unemployment calls, while still directly handling the other needs of my constituents during the rest of the week,” said Senator Schachtner.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Wisconsinites have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced. Prior to this crisis, the UI call center consisted of 57 employees, yet during the week of March 22, 2020, those employees were overwhelmed by more than 1.5 million calls, an increase of 6,208% over their previous busiest week. So they’ve been working hard to bring in more staff, hire additional staff, and temporarily transfer those that can support their work from other agencies.
“My staff has already helped dozens of constituents follow-up on their unemployment claims through my office, but they will now be able to serve them directly from the UI division. I am grateful to have this partnership with DWD so that we can continue to do our part to support Wisconsinites through this difficult time,” continued Senator Schachtner.
State Senator Patty Schachtner proudly represents Wisconsin’s tenth senate district with 178,250 constituents. The district covers parts of Burnett, Dunn, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix counties.