I’ve Been Laid Off

If you’ve been laid off, there are a number of local and state resources available to help you through this rough time. Start here if you’re seeking information related to re-employment and training and other financial, health, and community resources available right here in South Central Wisconsin.

Register for a WorkSmart Network Information Session

If you’ve been laid-off and need help, we recommend that you attend a WorkSmart Network (WIOA) orientation session. During the session, you’ll learn about the resources and help available to get you back into the workforce. Information sessions are free and are available to South Central Wisconsin residents (of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Jefferson, Marquette, and Sauk counties) who are unemployed, underemployed, or have recently been laid off from their jobs. The WorkSmart Network information session is your first step toward information on:

  • Job search assistance
  • Career planning assistance
  • Workshops and classes
  • Resume writing and interviewing help
  • Updating your skills and training options
  • Referrals to additional community programs


We recommend that you sign up for a WorkSmart Network information session to learn about all the services and resources available to dislocated (laid-off) workers. Sign up for a session to get started.

Apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits

Unemployment Insurance (UI) is an employer-paid insurance program that helps workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. It provides temporary financial help to qualified individuals while they are looking for other work. Unemployment benefits are not meant to replace your previous wages. Information regarding benefit eligibility is available online at http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/UIBEN/ or by calling 1-800-494-4944.

How to Apply for UI Benefits

Apply for unemployment insurance benefits online at: http://www.ucclaim-wi.org or by calling 1-800-822-5246. To apply, you will need:

  • Your social security number
  • Your Wisconsin driver’s license (if you have one)
  • The names, full address, telephone number, and dates of employment that you worked for in the last 18 months
  • Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
  • The name and phone number of your local union hall (if you are a union member)

Contact UI Staff

The Wisconsin UI Benefits Staff can experience a high call volume and workload. If you are attempting to initiate or complete an application for benefits or contact UI for other reasons, please be patient and try using their online service. Claim Specialists are available by phone at 1-800-822-5246: Monday-Friday 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM and Saturday 7:30 AM – Noon.

*Note: Information and hours are subject to change. Please refer to the UI website (http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/) for the most current information.

Obtain Health Insurance

It’s important to recognize that losing your job can add to the amount of stress in your life and can impact both your physical and mental health. Take the time to focus on your health and well-being during this transition and consider these resources:

Healthcare.gov | Learn how the health care law affects you at Healthcare.gov. The official site of the Health Insurance Marketplace. See your health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act. A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Learn about your insurance options via the website or call the Marketplace toll free number 1-800-318-2596 OR 1-855-889-4325 (TTY) to speak with a trained customer service representative.

  • About the Health Insurance Marketplace View PDF
  • Things to Think About When Choosing a Plan View PDF
  • Get Ready to Enroll in the Marketplace View PDF
  • Key Dates for the Health Insurance Marketplace View PDF
  • Marketplace Application Checklist View PDF
  • Frequently Asked Questions View webpage


ACCESS Wisconsin | ACCESS Wisconsin is your online guide to Wisconsin programs for health, nutrition, and child care. The website provides a easy way for people who live in Wisconsin to find out if they might be able to get:

  • Help with buying food
  • Low- or no-cost health care
  • Help with buying prescription drugs
  • Help with paying for child care
  • Home energy assistance
  • Special tax credits
  • Low cost life insurance


Coverage For All is a health care resource guide developed by the Foundation for Health Coverage Education. It includes listings of both private and public sponsored health care programs and contacts available in your area.

COBRA Continuation Coverage | This type of coverage may be available to you if your employer continues to operate and offer a group health plan. COBRA, which generally applies to employers with 20 or more employees, allows the individual and his/her family to continue the same group health coverage at group rates. An individual’s cost for coverage may be higher than what the individual was paying before (and is usually higher than the cost for coverage under special enrollment in a spouse’s plan), but generally the cost is lower than that for private, individual health insurance coverage.

Employmee Benefits Security Administration | EBSA is committed to providing participant and compliance assistance regarding pension, health and other employee benefit plans.If you have questions about your health benefits rights, call the Employee Benefits Security Administration office near you at 1-866-444-EBSA (3272).

Community Information and Assistance

Wisconsin 211 | Dial 2-1-1 to locate information on health and human services available your community. Wisconsin 211  information and referral services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year. Information can be provided in over 90 different languages.

Columbia  County | www.co.columbia.wi.us

Dane County | www.countyofdane.com

Dodge County | www.co.dodge.wi.us

Jefferson County | www.co.jefferson.wi.us

Marquette County | www.co.marquette.wi.us

Sauk County |  www.co.sauk.wi.us