Employers have until tomorrow, February 19, 2021, to seek relief of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit charging for any COVID-19 related unemployment claims.  Both contributing employers (i.e., employers who finance their UI liability by submitting a quarterly tax to the DWD) and reimbursable employers (i.e., government units or nonprofits that do not submit a quarterly tax but are instead billed monthly) are impacted by this deadline.

For contributing employers, such relief will ensure that these employers will not be assessed future unemployment tax rates based upon claims attributable to the public health emergency declared by Governor Evers in Executive Order 72.  For reimbursable employers, such relief will ensure that these employers will not be responsible for any claims attributable to the public health emergency declared by Executive Order 72.  All employers should have received a notice from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) regarding their ability to request relief, along with the Relief of Charging Due to Public Health Emergency form (UCB-18823-E).

In order to seek such relief, employers must submit the Relief of Charging form to the DWD by encrypted email.  Employers should be aware that this request for relief only applies to those initial unemployment claims that were (1) submitted after May 16, 2020 and (2) related to the public health emergency declared by Executive Order 72.  All initial unemployment insurance claims filed during the first two months of Executive Order 72 (i.e., from March 15 to May 16, 2020), will result in an automatic credit to the employer’s UI account.  The same is not true for those submitted after May 16, 2020.

All employers are advised to determine what initial unemployment claims were filed after May 16, 2020, and to submit the Relief of Charging form to DWD by tomorrow if they have not already done so.   If employers are unsure whether they have filed the necessary Relief of Charging form for all applicable employees, they may send an email to uicovid19charging@dwd.wisconsin.gov to inquire with DWD and are advised to use their UI account number in the email.

For questions regarding this article, please contact the author,

or your Strang, Patteson, Renning, Lewis & Lacy, S.C., attorney.

Laura E. Pedersen

Laura E. Pedersen

lpedersen@strangpatteson.com | (844) 626-0909