You Might Be Running Out of Regular Unemployment Benefits Soon

Here’s how to get an extension.

IF YOU APPLIED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT in March and have been receiving benefits since, you’re likely nearing the end of you regular benefit period, which ends after 26 weeks.

But thanks to the CARES act, you can apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which extends your benefits for 13 more weeks. Here’s how:

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  1. Wait for your regular benefits to reach zero. Even if you only have a dozen dollars left, apply for the last week like you’ve been doing and get the final check.
  2. After your regular benefits hit $0, you’ll get a notification at the top of your unemployment dashboard, notifying you that you can apply for PEUC. Click on this
  3. The PEUC application is exactly the same as the regular unemployment application you filled out the first time, except thankfully most of your information is still stored in there. You’ll have to answer some of the usual questions, regarding whether you are still laid off or have served in the military since your regular benefits ended.
  4. Once you complete the application, go back to the Wisconsin Job Service website, where you registered when you first applied for unemployment. Log in and check the status of your resume. Unless you’ve accessed it recently, the resume is likely expired. There’ll be a notification saying this. You’ll have to go through it again and verify that the information is up to date (or update it, if the info is not). Once you verify the resume is up-to-date, you’re good to go.
  5. With that done, you PEUC application is through. You’ll have to apply every week on the unemployment website the exact same way you have been before this.



Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.