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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, whether someone who gets fired is eligible for Unemployment Insurance — the program through which jobless people receive weekly benefits — depends on the circumstances of the case. 

When an unemployment claim includes a “separation from employment,” the department will “investigate the cause of separation” and make an eligibility ruling based on “the circumstances of the separation.” Employees may not receive unemployment benefits if they get fired for “violating reasonable requirements of the employer.”

People may receive unemployment if they are laid off or if their employer reduces their work hours. They can also receive benefits if they quit with “good cause,” defined as a situation that “left you with no reasonable alternative but to quit.”. 

In general, people must also be actively seeking work, available to accept new work and authorized to work in the U.S. to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


State of Wisconsin: Claimant handbook, publication UCB-10-P

State of Wisconsin: Eligibility issues FAQ

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Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.