MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - The state is hiring up to 5 new administrative law judges to speed up the appeal process for those who challenge rulings on claims for jobless benefits.
Right now, those who file appeals must wait an average of 90 days for a hearing. And John Dipko of the state’s Workforce Development agency says that’s not acceptable.
The hearings involve people who’ve been turned down for unemployment benefits – or companies that challenge the state’s approvals. More support staff members will also be hired along with the new judges.
Division administrator Hal Bergan said his office underestimated the staffing it would need to handle the workload. And the wait for appeal hearings should be substantially reduced by the end of the year.
Almost 6,000 appeals are waiting to have hearings, at a time when new claims for unemployment benefits are on the decline. They’re down about 25 percent from a year ago.
Almost 393,000 new claims for jobless benefits were filed in about the first 5 months of the year. The state says over 70 percent of filers get their first checks within a week. And of those turned down, three-fourths get their cases resolved within 3 weeks.