Wisconsin employers seeking to avoid Unemployment Insurance (“UI”) benefit charges to their employer account for COVID-19-related initial claims filed between May 16 and June 30, 2020, MUST complete and file form UCB-18823-E no later than August 15, 2020. This is the result of a recent interpretation of Act 185 by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). No action is needed for initial claims filed between March 15 and May 15, 2020, of which the DWD indicated will be automatically assumed COVID-19-related.
Meanwhile, in Washington DC, the debate continues regarding a new stimulus package which will likely include extending the federal unemployment enhancement that expired on July 31, 2020. The federal unemployment enhancement amount has been one sticking point slowing negotiations between Democrats, who propose extending the enhancement at a rate of $600/week, and Republicans, whose latest offer would extend the enhancement at a rate of $400/week. On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi noted that the Democrats do not see room for negotiation on this point, stating that “there’s no in between.” The gap between both sides’ total stimulus proposals is reportedly $2 trillion, causing the White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, to remark on Tuesday that “we’re a long ways away from striking any kind of a deal.”