The audits are starting to trickle in. This pandemic really started in late December 2019 and exploded in March of 2020. The financial decimation began to take effect in late May of 2020 when it became apparent that the Wisconsin DWD division of Unemployment Insurance (UI) had no idea how to actually do their jobs and didn’t care to figure it out. It is now December 16, 2020 and the truth is abundantly clear . . . we were right all along. I love being right, it gives me warm and fuzzy feelings inside. If you haven’t fully caught on, yes, this is me being a jerk and gloating.
Let’s be real. Back in June 2020, heck even in May, a small group of us sounded the alarm that the inner core of management of the UI division was corrupt. Initially, yes, we looked at the lame duck laws and the Republicans. But the more I read the laws, the more I realized they aren’t that bad. Those laws protect everyone and every dollar. The laws written for the UI division, aside from the law ruling that a claimant can not receive both SSDI and UI at the same time, are comparable across the country. They stop the unnecessary bleeding of the UI Trust Fund and incorporate safeguards and programs that guide people into the workforce when they are struggling, but also supports them throughout the process.
After clearing that hurdle, our focus went solely to management and decision makers. We read emails, we followed the patterns of discussions, we tore apart interviews, we watched the “performance” by then Sec. Frostman on May 27th before the Senate Regulatory Committee. We devoured every piece of information we could get to support our suspicions that the DWD UI division was being run by pure evil. There was no greed factor or money motive. It was and is a culture designed to deny, defend, and delay the process and procedure of claims for the simple reason of keeping stats. The unemployment rate needs to be low, we need to show improvement. How do we control that? By denying unemployment claims!
Wait, how do you control statistical data when a pandemic hits? The entire UI division has been trained on how to do their jobs in a manner of controlling stats with one singular goal. You can’t keep a low unemployment rate when everyone is flocking to the unemployment line, can you? Now, a sudden shift in the needs of the states constituents, affects everything the UI division does. But are they retrained? No. Are they briefed? No. They are told business as usual. And that is how we are where we are today. Yes, progress has been made, but at what cost? Thousands of claimants waiting for appeals because they selected the wrong box? Because they were wrongfully denied?
Sure there is a temporary Secretary that has vowed to clear the backlog by the end of the year. But how many of those cleared claims are being denied? How many are being pushed through to appeal? What is she doing for the appeal process? What is happening with the thousands of lives that have been severely affected by this selfish and inhumane treatment? WHO is going to take accountability and apologize?
Remember that question about keeping a low unemployment rate while everyone is flocking to the unemployment line? Well, where are we right now? In the thick of it . . . with quite a low unemployment rate because they have managed to manipulate the numbers by denying and sending thousands into appeal. Thwarting the needs of the people and instead, we are seeing the residuals of the old UI regime’s way of “helping” the people of Wisconsin.