The evidence is clear that Evers’ DWD failed to prepare for the onrush of unemployment claims when he closed the state in March. It took them weeks to begin reacting and months to get new people in place to handle the load. Based on the stonewalling by the Evers’ administration below, I highly doubt that he took any proactive steps to shore up the DWD when he issued his new order restricting restaurant capacity. There are a lot of cooks, servers, and other staff that will be looking for help from the DWD. Will they be able to get it?
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says it’s made significant progress processing unemployment claims. But tens of thousands of claims are still waiting to be processed while people struggled to get by.
However this week, the Department of Workforce Development announced progress. It says about 91 percent of claims have been processed, but that still leaves more than 80,000 people waiting for their money.
And now, as COVID-19 cases surge, Gov. Evers issued a new executive order limiting stores, restaurants and other businesses to 25 percent capacity. That could lead to a new unemployment spike.
CBS 58 Investigates asked DWD if it’s ready but they did not return calls or emails for comment.
During a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Evers said he’s confident they can handle it.
“We are in the last couple of weeks, we have made significant changes within the process of issuing money to claimants on unemployment insurance,” Gov. Evers said.
We asked the governor’s office for specifics about those changes and details about the plan to prevent another backlog. We didn’t hear back.