'It's a great feeling:' Wisconsinites on disability now eligible for pandemic unemployment aid

For months, people have been calling FOX6 saying that their disabilities were putting their unemployment claims in limbo. FOX6 Investigators pushed the state, the state pushed the feds and now, we finally have answers.

It's the first time anyone said they were excited to call Wisconsin's unemployment line.

"It's a great feeling to know that we actually won something that we should have gotten to start with," said Dawn Talos, a breast cancer survivor.

Talos, along with thousands of others in Wisconsin, receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Their disabilities prevent them from working full-time, but many work part-time and lost those jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wisconsin law prevents such workers from getting regular unemployment, but there were questions about whether they should get the federal $600 per week in aid. After months of waiting, the federal government came down with guidance on Monday night, July 28 -- saying that people like Talos can get unemployment assistance.

"I am beyond floored. First of all, my mom passed away almost two years ago and I prayed to her almost every night saying mom please help me here, you know, figure out something," Talos said. "I am so happy for all of us who fought so hard to try and get this to happen."

"We were really happy and very relieved," said Caleb Frostman, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Wisconsin's unemployment problems are far farm over, though. FOX6 Investigators continue to dig into that, but in 2020, even the small wins go a long way.

If you are on disability and you haven't filed an unemployment claim, go to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website and do it now. If you already filed, sit tight -- it could still be a few weeks before payment arrives.