What you need to know about unemployment benefits

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With unemployment on the rise across the country, some are left wondering how the process of claiming benefits works.

On Sunday and Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has received over 24,000 applications for unemployment

Emily Savard with Wisconsin DWD says the total over the last three weeks is more than 200,000 in the state, which is keeping their phone lines very busy.

"If somebody is laid off, furloughed, lost their job, they should go apply for unemployment benefits online,” Savard said.

She says the DWD website has tools that help you understand your benefits better, including how much money you are eligible for.

"Anybody can apply, but in order to qualify for unemployment, somebody needs to meet the monetary criteria,” Savard said. “Online we also have a hand book that goes through all that criteria."

Savard also addressed the waiting period for receiving benefits.

"When someone files their initial application, their weekly claim, the first week they would typically not receive benefits for that waiting week, it is held, so a person would not receive benefits for the first week,” she said.

Savard says the state is working on developing a program stemming from the Cares Act passed by the federal government.

The program would give them access to the pandemic unemployment assistance if they are not eligible for regular unemployment.

The program is expected to be rolled out within the next few weeks.

For more information on how to file, click here.