Unemployment benefits to change at end of yearAt the end of this month, the state's unemployed will only be able to collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.
By: By Lindsey Moon, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Wisconsin residents can currently collect unemployment benefits for up to 63 weeks through a combination of state and federal programs. But at the end of this month, the state's unemployed will only be able to collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.
Since 2008, the federal government has been providing funding to increase the length of time a person is eligible to collect unemployment. But that program expires at the end of this year. Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development spokesman John Dipko says that means around 40,000 Wisconsin residents will lose unemployment benefits in about three and a half weeks.
"All emergency unemployment compensation benefits are set to end the week ending Dec. 29,” he said. “After that date, the benefits will no longer be available, and individuals who are in those extension programs will have reached their maximum eligibility."
Dipko says it's up to Congress to decide whether or not to extend the program or to let it expire. On average, Wisconsin residents collect unemployment for about 17 weeks.