Workforce Development Department: continues to improve customer service

MADISON – As part of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s ongoing efforts to meet customer needs and improve online services, the Online Job Seeker Portal and Initial Application Form are now available in Spanish.

Spanish-speaking applicants have greater access to:

  • File an initial claim request whenever the system is available.
  • Display initial UI request information.
  • Update payment and hold information.
  • Call.
  • Print the summary benefit statements.
  • Sign up and view secure messages.
  • Set a preferred language for communication and receive translated documents.

“This significant accomplishment reflects ongoing efforts to increase the accessibility of DWD’s online services and materials for all users, including those with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities,” said the Secretary. DWD nominee, Amy Pechacek. “The translation project fits nicely with other efforts to expand the use of plain language in UI documents. Further progress will be shared in the weeks and months to come.

Applicants can access the Spanish version of the application portal by selecting the “Español” link on the login page.

Previously, the ministry provided access to these services only to those whose preferred language is not English through in-person or telephone interpretation. Filing weekly unemployment insurance claims online in Spanish has been available since 2017.

Assistance will be provided over the phone if applicants need help using the online services by calling (414) 435-7069 or toll free at (844) 910-3661 during regular business hours (an interpreter will be provided free of charge). Learn more about Unemployment benefits for claimants.

Other recent customer service enhancements to DWD’s websites and materials include:

  • DWD’s online chat service for Job Service, Mattie Moo, has shifted to a support role for people filing unemployment insurance claims and seeking other assistance, giving users faster access to information vital information and get their questions answered in real time. Mattie Moo has been implemented on major UI web pages and is available in Spanish and Hmong.
  • DWD has unveiled an improved user interface claims portal that offers better functionality and new features, including secure document uploads, a message center for direct communication from claims specialists and arbitrators, SMS notifications , mobile-friendly design, and the ability to request disability-related accommodations for appeal.
  • DWD made it easier to apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits by updating the language of its initial and weekly Unemployment Insurance claims to be as “plain language” as possible.
  • The DWD continues to expand call center hours and staff to assist individuals with questions regarding their application or unemployment process. UI also unveiled a cloud-based customer contact center that includes a virtual agent who can answer frequently asked questions after hours in English, Spanish and Hmong.
  • DWD’s Equal Rights Division (ERD) is now accepting online applications for the most common civil rights and labor standards complaints, such as wage claims, fair employment, housing, public housing and the state FMLA. ERD also offers downloadable versions of these complaint forms in Spanish.
  • The launch of a interactive directory on the state connects Wisconsinites with workforce services through contacts in their area.
  • New enhancements to the Workers’ Compensation Dispute Case Portal allow documents to be uploaded securely into the portal.

With support from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Tiger Team grant, DWD also began implementing four new projects designed to promote equitable access, improve responsiveness, and ensure timely payment of benefits while preventing and detecting fraud committed against the unemployment insurance program. DWD is also partnering with United Migrant Opportunity Services to improve access for people facing barriers to receiving unemployment insurance benefits with support from USDOL’s UI Navigator grant. DWD’s ongoing user interface modernization efforts are designed to address back-end system issues that can delay payments and improve the user experience by making the process easier to navigate.


Wisconsin recently celebrated a historic 90th anniversary. Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was developed in 1932, the first of its kind in the United States. The Wisconsin program served as the basis for the National Unemployment Insurance Act that followed a few years later in 1935.

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