Audit Shows More Failures by Evers’ Administration

Madison – Governor Evers continues to fail Wisconsin workers seeking the unemployment benefits they deserve. According to another audit from the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau, Evers’ troubled agency is not complying “with federal regulations because it did not resolve appeal decisions in a timely manner from June 2020 through May 2021.” Senator Alberta Darling says the governor refuses to fix the mess he made.

“This is just the latest in a long line of failures at Governor Evers’ Department of Workforce Development,” Darling said, “People who are desperate for the benefits they deserve can’t get Evers’ bureaucrats to even pick up the phone, and when they do, they are rude and don’t respond promptly. It’s past time for the governor to take his agency to task start helping the people of the state.”

Last year, an audit from the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau showed the Evers administration wasn’t even answering the phone from people desperate to collect the benefits they were owed. According to the audit, only 0.5% of calls were answered from March to June of 2020. Despite billions in federal funding and claiming to have cleared their massive unemployment backlog, Evers continues to mishandle claims and misrepresent the dire nature of the situation. 

Several constituents from the 8th Senate District stated that Evers’ Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is unprofessional, rude, and still takes weeks – sometimes months – to even respond. In multiple instances, DWD disbursed funds to claimants but doubled back months later to inform them that they had been overpaid and suddenly owed thousands. With minimal explanation, DWD mailed threats to issue warrants and threatened to place a lien on claimants’ property in order to recover the alleged overpayment from earlier that year. DWD completely ignored the claimants when they tried to ask questions, both before and after the warrant threat was sent.

Quotes from constituents from the 8th Senate District:
  • “I need help getting my claim processed. I waited for April-September 2020 January-March 2021 and now again April 10-now. I can’t get a job without a working phone. I need to pay my bills, already experienced homelessness and bankruptcy.” 
  • “It has been 9+ weeks and still nothing”
  • “According to my portal, I am owed 26 weeks of UI…[I] was told if I didn’t like it then to contact my Republican [legislators] and let them know how I feel because it’s their fault. This was just one instance of a lack of professionalism. We have been told that it was representatives 4th week and didn’t know what to do. That did not fill me with confidence.”
  • “I am an unfortunate victim of DWD roadkill, called my unemployment claim that has been mismanaged since December 12, 2020. I waited a month and still have no new letter, I called DWD on January 12, 2021, for an update. I talked to the rudest person I can ever recall regarding the status of my unemployment claim. He was personally insulted for calling him (even gave me a lecture for doing so) and wasting his time. He was very demeaning, but I kept my composure, trying to find a solution.”

Senator Darling represents portions of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. 

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Media Contact:
Name: State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills)
Phone: 608-266-5830
Email address: Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov
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