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Getting Answers: When will the state implement the additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits?

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A month and a half after the federal coronavirus aid bill extended unemployment benefits for 13 weeks, Wisconsin still hasn't set up the program to process those payments.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is a program to help people whose regular unemployment insurance benefits have run out during the pandemic. PEUC is an additional 13 weeks of benefits who exhausted their regular unemployment insurance benefits.

The first payable period was supposed to be the week ending April 4. 

But the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has not completed programming for PEUC yet because they are using an outdated coding system, which is delaying their response of implementing the programming for the program.

The DWD is working to re-code the system, but DWD Communications Director Ben Jedd says its an expensive process. On the low end, he says it's a $60 million project.

"We are developing three federal programs using 50-year-old technology in a matter of six weeks so we're moving as fast as we can," Jedd said. "We hope to have that up by the end of May."

Once the program is implemented, claims will be backdated.

This PEUC program does not apply to people getting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance - these are the people who applied once they lost their job due to COVID.