The Unemployment Appeals Clinic is accepting both in-person and remote (phone) appointments. Masks are required for all in-person appointments. In person appointments are held on Monday nights from 7-9PM at the Madison Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., Madison. To schedule an appointment call 211.
First, what is the clinic and are we a group that could help you?
The Unemployment Appeals Clinic is a small non-profit staffed by volunteer law students and local supervising attorneys. We have one student manager who helps organize the clinic evenings, with all of our appointments scheduled through United Way (contactable by calling 211).
We help specifically with unemployment appeals, not issues pertaining to applications or delayed determinations. Much of the unemployment backlog is caused by clerical issues. We do our best to stay abreast of the newest information on how the DWD is processing claims, so we may be able to offer some helpful information on that topics. However, our ability to help is limited if your issue is about delays or other administrative issues.
You can think of our Monday night clinics like office hours. You can sign up to receive a call from a law student to talk about your claim and get information on the state of unemployment law in Wisconsin. The student may be able to offer representational services as an advocate, but absent that clear offer (and furnishing of a retainer agreement) your relationship with the clinic ends at the time that your phone call ends.
Our goal is that everyone leave the clinic armed with useful information on the unemployment process and law so that they feel confident navigating their appeal hearing.
The clinic operates on Monday nights from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The clinic is held in person at the Labor Temple at 1602 S. Park Street in Madison, WI. For claimants outside of Madison/Dane County, you may schedule a remote/phone appointment.
You can make an appointment through United Way by calling 211. If you have questions about the clinic you can call the Unemployment Appeals Clinic phone service at (608)-255-5909 and leave a voicemail. Give your name and phone number as well as a description of your issue so the Administrator can call you back. We can only take about 10 claimants a week.
Once scheduled, you will receive an email from the Administrator explaining the remote clinic process. If you have documents connected with your appeal, such as an initial determination letter from the Department of Workforce Development, the Administrator will provide instructions on sending those documents to email@example.com so they can be forwarded to assisting staff. Please be aware that the documents you send will be forwarded to law students serving as advocates so that they can review them while talking to you on the phone. Your documents will be kept confidential, but as an extra precaution please cover up or cross out any sensitive personal information contained in the documents such as social security numbers, birthdates, etc. before sending them.
If you come in-person to our clinic, arrive at your scheduled time (you will receive an email on the morning of the clinic) to 1602 S. Park St., Madison.
If you are attending the clinic remotely by phone, be available to take a call between 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Monday, as you will be receiving a call from a student advocate. The advocate will perform an intake interview to learn more about the issues you are facing. The student will then confer with the supervising attorneys working that evening about your issue.
Advocates are not able to represent every client who attends the clinic
Advocates are not able to represent every client who attends the clinic. The decision to represent a client is made at the advocates discretion, and will be clearly communicated to the client.
Even if an advocate cannot offer you their services at an appeal hearing, they can discuss the appeal process, relevant points of law, and offer resources that give guidance on the subject. An appeal is something a lay person can do on their own. All appeal hearings are being conducted over the phone currently.
The clinic cannot make the process go any faster and can not check on the status of your pending claims. You can call the DWD at (608)-266-3131 for an update on your claim’s status. Due to the high call volume it may take some time to get connected with claims specialist, but the DWD is still the best place to go for an update on your claim.
- Additional agencies:
If you are in the northern 33 counties you can go to Wisconsin Judicare at (715) 842-1681 or (800) 472-1638 - Toll Free. If you are in the lower 39 counties you can go to Legal Action of Wisconsin at 855-947-2529. If you are elderly or disabled you can contact the Aging and Disability Rights Center within your county. Otherwise you can use the LRIS (Lawyer Referral and Information Service) at (800) 362-9082 or (608) 257-4666 (in Dane County and outside of Wisconsin).