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 www.dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben.

How to Apply for UI Benefits

Workers must now apply for unemployment insurance benefits online at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/. Don’t have Internet or computer access? Visit your local Job Center for free computer access and help applying for benefits.

Contact UI Staff

The Division of Unemployment Insurance is retiring the automated telephone filing system. Workers must now apply online. For help using online services or if you are truly unable to go online call 414-438-7713 or 608-232-0824 during business hours (M-F, 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

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 | 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.

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. This includes, but is not limited to assistance for food, housing and shelter, education, legal advice, emergencies, physical and mental health issues, financial assistance, transportation, and state agency and program information.

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.

County Websites | Check out your local county website for local and community resources available to you.

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