Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

COVID-19 notification

Our priority is to keep our communities safe. That's why our WorkSmart Network staff are working to continue providing services to customers via phone or video conferencing. We'll update this page as information becomes available. This page was last updated on Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 8:50 a.m.


(7/15/22) - BadgerCare and Medicaid update: During the federal public health emergency, special rules allowed BadgerCare and Medicaid members to keep their health insurance, even if they had a change in their situation that would normally make them lose coverage. After the end of the public health emergency, every member will need to complete a renewal or new application to see if they still qualify - and find other insurance if they do not. But Covering Wisconsin is here to help. Check out these flyers or contact Covering Wisconsin for more information.

If you have questions about unemployment benefits and returning to work, visit the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development's (DWD) FAQ page.

Avoid UI scams! DWD has information on scams targeting UI claimants and their current or former employers.

Our Services

We're continuing to support customers remotely in an effort to maintain social distancing. The WorkSmart Network team is still available to help with career coaching, resource referrals and services information. Our team can also help you connect with employers that are hiring now and post-coronavirus.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, contact a WorkSmart Network staff nearest you.

Healthcare Coverage

If you're looking for resources and information related to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our Healthcare Coverage Resources page.

Unemployment Insurance

DWD compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and COVID-19. You can visit the webpage for more information or call 608-232-0824.

Find out which unemployment program is right for you.

NOTE: State law require those who are applying to UI benefits to look for suitable jobs and provide information about their work search activities for each week they request benefits.

The work search requirement is reinstated beginning Sunday, May 23, 2021, meaning UI recipients are required to look for work to qualify for their benefits. Read DWD's press release for more information and how to comply with these requirements.

2022 All WDA Unemployment Initial Weekly Claims

2022 All WDA Unemployment Continuing Weekly Claims

2022 WDA 10 Unemployment Initial Weekly Claims

2022 WDA 10 Unemployment Continuing Weekly Claims

See the weekly UI claims by workforce development area and county (Excel).

How to Apply for Wisconsin Unemployment Benefits Online

Job Center of Wisconsin: Job Seeker Registration

How to File a Weekly Claim Online for Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Benefits

How to Create a Username and Password for Wisconsin UI Online Benefits Services

WorkShare Program

UPDATE - WorkShare plans may extend longer than six months, up to 12 months, during a five-year period within the same work unit. More information can be found on DWD's press release.

DWD encourages Wisconsin employers to consider Wisconsin's updated WorkShare Program to avoid worker layoffs.

The WorkShare Program is designed to help both employers and employees. Instead of laying off workers, a qualified employer can plan to reduce work hours for at least two employees. Workers whose hours are reduced under an approved WorkShare plan receive unemployment benefits that are pro-rated for the partial work reduction.

More information can also be found in the press release.

South Central Wisconsin Job Centers

The South Central Wisconsin Job Centers (Dane County Job Center, Sauk County Job Center and the Workforce Development Center of Jefferson County) are expanding their available services to include walk-in customers.

NOTE: Please follow the mask and social distancing requirements at each facility. Not all agencies are providing walk-in services.

If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, please call the appropriate location below or visit the Job Center Directory for more contacts.

You can also access to update resumes, search jobs, create a budget, review labor market information and more. For further career assistance, you can make an appointment via phone (also available in Hmong and Spanish).

Serving Dane County
Dane County Job Center
1819 Aberg Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
Tel: 608-288-2459
or Wisconsin Relay at 7-1-1

Walk-In Resource Room & Job Search Services

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Serving Columbia, Marquette & Sauk Counties
Sauk County Job Center
505 Broadway Street, Suite 232
Baraboo, WI 53910
Tel: 608-355-4808
or Wisconsin Relay at 7-1-1

Walk-In Resource Room & Job Search Services

Monday - Tuesday, Thursday:
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and
12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday: Call for hours

Serving Dodge & Jefferson Counties
Workforce Development Center of Jefferson County
874 Collins Road
Jefferson, WI 53549
Tel: 920-675-4625
or Wisconsin Relay Services at 7-1-1

Walk-In Resource Room & Job Search Services

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Job Center of Wisconsin In-Demand Jobs

If you're newly or temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 restrictions and are interested in earning additional income, visit Job Center of Wisconsin's In-Demand Jobs page to search essential jobs that are available, including registered nurses, pharmacists, laborers, light truck or delivery service drivers, and more.

Employers looking to connect with job seekers can post positions for free on

Read more about the site, essential jobs and how it may affect your Unemployment Insurance.

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

DWD announced that all statewide Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) offices are temporarily closed to the public in response to COVID-19. While in-person services are suspended until further notice, DVR staff will continue to provide services by phone and email during business hours. Information on DVR office locations and the phone numbers to reach staff from each office can be found on DVR's Office Locations page. Members of the public seeking disability employment resources or information on DVR services may visit the DVR website or contact the DVR Administrative Office at 800-442-3477.

Read DWD's statement.

Worker's Compensation

The Worker's Compensation Division has provided information related to their programs and the effects of COVID-19 (also available in Hmong and Spanish).

Equal Rights

DWD has information on equal rights during COVID-19 for employers and employees (also available in Hmong and Spanish).


If you were impacted by COVID-19, are searching for workers or want to train your workforce, we can help. Contact us for more information.

Business Resources

Furlough vs. Layoff vs. Workforce Reduction | The Society for Human Resource Management explains the difference between a layoff, furlough and workforce reduction.
Webinar: Employment Discrimination in the Post-COVID Era | Wisconsin's Talent Development Council hosted a webinar to share what employers need to know as it relates to what they can ask and what they are required to share and do about exposure to COVID-19.
CDC Resources for Businesses and Employers | The CDC has resources to help businesses and employers plan for, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of Madison DPCED Economic Development | The City of Madison has resources for businesses during COVID-19.
Employer Unemployment Resources | DWD has information and resources for employers regarding unemployment, including a link to contact information.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program | Facebook is providing grants and ad credits to businesses experiencing disruptions from COVID-19.
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Business Portal | The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce launched a virtual portal for employers to submit questions related to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Questions may relate to community response efforts; best practices for businesses; guidance from local, state and federal authorities; types of assistance available for affected businesses; and more. Responses will be posted on the Chamber’s website.
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce COVID Q&A | The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce collected frequently asked questions and provided answers for businesses related to COVID-19.
Information for DVR Service Providers | DWD has information for DVR service providers online.
Kiva | Kiva has loans for businesses during COVID-19, now with expanded eligibility, larger loans and longer grace period.
Paycheck Protection Program | The Small Business Administration (SBA) has the Paycheck Protection Program to help you keep your workforce employed during COVID-19. Check out these frequently asked questions.
SCORE | SCORE has a small business hub with resources to help during COVID-19, including remote mentoring, webinars and FAQs.
Small Business 20/20 Program | The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation created the Small Business 20/20 Program to support small businesses and micro-enterprises that were adversely economically impacted by COVID-19.
Small Business Administration | The SBA helps small business owners and entrepreneurs succeed with resources, including resources for those affected by COVID-19.
Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance | The SBA has information on its disaster assistance for small businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. Apply for the assistance on SBA's website.
USBG National Charity Foundation | The USBG Foundation strives to be a resource for the bar industry community. They have grants, donation information, volunteer information and more.
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce | The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and Wisconsin Safety Council have resources for businesses, such as a webinar with critical business updates related to COVID-19 including HR policies, employment law, Congressional action relating to the pandemic and economic updates.
Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation | WWBIC is offering deferrals and has a new small loan program up to $25,000.


We compiled a list of resources to help with bills, childcare, donation, education, food, health and more during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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