1. What is Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment Insurance is a benefit available to persons out of work through no fault of their own. It replaces part of the income you lose when you become unemployed. Wyoming benefits are financed entirely by covered employers.

2. Who can file for Unemployment Insurance?

You can file for unemployment insurance if you are partially or totally unemployed.

3. Who qualifies for Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment Insurance is available if you have earned sufficient wages and are unemployed through no fault of your own.

You are required to be able, available, and actively seeking work for each week you file a claim for payment.

4. How do I apply for Unemployment Insurance?

You can file a new Unemployment Insurance claim online or by calling the Wyoming Claims Center at (307) 473-3789. If living outside of Wyoming you can call (866) 729-7799 toll-free or you can also file online.

When you apply you will need:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • The name, mailing address, and phone number of your last employer
  • The last day you worked
  • If you worked outside of Wyoming within the last 18 months, you will also need the names and dates worked for those employers

5. Once I’m eligible for unemployment, what do I do to receive benefits?

You will be required to certify you are eligible for each week of unemployment. You can receive benefits for each eligible week that you claim until your return to work, your benefits are exhausted, or you have reached the end of your benefit year. Each of these weeks is called a benefit week.

You may claim your benefits using either the Interactive Voice Response system or the Internet Continued Claims system at wyui.wyo.gov. Claims are filed weekly. To be filed timely, you must wait until the week has ended and must file within 14 days of the claim week end date.

6. How much will I receive for my Unemployment Insurance benefits?

The amount of unemployment benefits varies. It is dependent on how much you have earned in your base period. The maximum weekly benefit amount as of July 4, 2021, is $533. The minimum weekly benefit for this same time period is $38. These numbers can change each year; they are determined by a formula in the Wyoming statutes. The formula is based on the average weekly wage in Wyoming and is recalculated each year.

7. How long will I receive unemployment benefits?

Full benefits can be paid no longer than 26 weeks during your benefit year. If you have weeks with reduced benefits because of other income, benefits could last as long as a year. The actual number of weeks depends on your base period earnings and the maximum allowed by Wyoming statutes.

8. What is the ReliaCard® Visa® Prepaid Debit Card and How Does It Work?

What is the ReliaCard® Visa® Prepaid Debit Card?

The ReliaCard® is a reloadable, prepaid card issued by U.S. Bank. The ReliaCard® provides an electronic option for receiving your Unemployment Insurance benefit payments. Wyoming Department of Workforce Services – Unemployment Insurance Division will electronically deposit your authorized Unemployment Insurance benefit payments onto a ReliaCard® for you. It is not a credit card, but works similarly to other debit cards.

How does the ReliaCard® work?

Once funds are added to the card account, it can be used to make purchases and make online, phone or mail-order purchases. You can also get cash back with purchases at participating merchants or withdraw cash at ATMs, banks or credit unions. The amounts of purchases or cash withdrawals are automatically deducted from the available balance on the card.

What are the advantages of having a ReliaCard®?

Some of the main benefits:

  • Fast – Your money is automatically deposited to your card account
  • Save Time – Easy and quick access to your funds without waiting in line to cash or deposit a check
  • Convenient – Make purchases anywhere debit cards are accepted, including retail stores, grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies and withdraw cash at ATMs
  • Secure – No need to carry large amounts of cash
  • Save Money – No more going to the check casher
  • Track Spending – Account information and customer service 24 hours a day
  • Extensive Benefits – Enjoy the prestige and purchase protection given to Visa®-branded cardholders, without a credit check
  • Reliable – Receive your money on time. No more lost or stolen checks

How do I check my balance?

  • Online – View account online
  • Mobile Banking App – Search for “U.S. Bank ReliaCard®” in the App Store® or Google Play™2All trademarks and brand names belong to their respective owners. Use of these trademarks and brand names do not represent endorsement by or association with this card program. All rights reserved.
  • Phone – Call Cardholder Services at (855) 233-8371
  • ATM – Perform a balance inquiry at an ATM2

When the card is sent in the mail, what does the envelope look like?

For security reasons, the card will arrive in a plain, white, window envelope.

What information or instructions come with the card?

The card comes with:

  • Instructions on how to activate the card and fee schedule
  • The cardholder agreement, which discloses terms and conditions
  • A usage guide detailing where and how the card can be used
  • The U.S. Bank Privacy Pledge

What do I do after I receive the card?

You must call Cardholder Services at (855) 233-8371 or visit usbankreliacard.com to activate the card and choose your PIN. You cannot use the card until it has been activated. Be sure to sign your name on the back of your card in ink. Your card is not valid unless it’s signed.

Do I receive a new card every time a payment is made?

No. Future payments will be deposited automatically onto the initial card.

How do I make a purchase with my card?

The card works much like other prepaid or debit cards. You can use it online, over the phone, at grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, medical offices, etc. It is important to know your account balance before making purchases.

When making a purchase, on the authorization machine, which selection (credit or debit) do I choose?

Select “Credit” or “Debit” to make a purchase. Select “Debit” to get cash back with your purchase. (You will have to enter your PIN.)

How can I get cash with my card?

  • Cash Back With Purchases – at participating merchants such as grocery or convenience stores
  • ATM Withdrawal2 – at any ATM
  • Teller Withdrawal2 – at any bank or credit union

How do I withdraw cash at an ATM?

  1. Insert or swipe your card and enter your 4-digit PIN
  2. Select “Withdrawal from Checking”
  3. Enter the amount to be withdrawn

How do I get cash back with a purchase?

  • When the authorization machine asks for credit or debit, select “debit”.
  • Enter the 4-digit PIN.
  • Select “Yes” for cash back.
  • Enter the amount, press “OK”.

How do I get cash at a bank or credit union teller?

You must know your available balance (the teller will not have access to this information) and ask for a cash withdrawal in the amount you wish to withdraw. Note: you may need to provide your driver’s license to verify your identity

Do I have to go to a U.S. Bank ATM or U.S. Bank branch to get cash?

No. You can get cash back with purchases at merchants throughout the United States such as grocery and convenience stores. Cash can also be obtained from any ATM or over the counter at any Visa® bank or credit union.

Do I need a PIN to use the card?

Yes & No. The card can be used to make signature-based purchases without a PIN. However, a PIN must be used for PIN-based purchases and for cash withdrawals at ATMs. You must choose your own PIN by calling Cardholder Services at (855) 233-8371 or visiting usbankreliacard.com after you receive your card. For security reasons it is important that you pick a PIN that only you would know, and not share the PIN or the card with anyone.

What should I do if I forget my PIN?

You must contact Cardholder Services at (855) 233-8371 or visit usbankreliacard.com to reset your PIN.

Can I still get cash if I forget my PIN?

Yes. You can go to any bank or credit union and ask the teller for a cash withdrawal.

Can I manage my account with my smart phone?

Yes. You can use the ReliaCard® Mobile Banking app to check your account balance, view your most recent transactions or search for the nearest in-network ATM location. Search for “U.S. Bank ReliaCard®” in the App Store® or Google Play™. All trademarks and brand names belong to their respective owners. Use of these trademarks and brand names do not represent endorsement by or association with this card program. All rights reserved.

Can I make a purchase for more than the amount on my card?

If you need to make a purchase for more than the amount you have on your card, you will need to use two forms of payment. Tell the cashier how much you want taken from the balance on your card – the cashier cannot determine your available balance. Then, pay the remaining balance with cash, check, credit card or check card.

Can the ReliaCard® be overdrawn?

Usually a purchase that exceeds the available balance will not be approved. In very limited circumstances, if you do not have sufficient funds when the final amount clears, it may result in a negative balance; however you will not be charged an overdraft fee. You can check your balance online, using the ReliaCard® Mobile App or by calling Cardholder Services 24/7.

Can I use my ReliaCard® at the gas pump?

No, you will not be able to pay with your card using the pay-at-the-pump option. You can still purchase gas at stations that allow you to pay inside with a cashier. Payments made this way will post to your card account automatically.

Can Wyoming Unemployment Insurance Division view or track my transactions?

No. For privacy reasons, U.S. Bank does not share card account numbers or transaction details. However, for reconciliation purposes, Wyoming Department of Workforce Services – Unemployment Insurance Division does have access to the amount and date of deposits to individual cards.

Will I be able to add other funds to my card, in addition to what Wyoming Unemployment Insurance Division puts on it?

No. Only the state can deposit funds to the card.

Will I earn interest on the funds in my ReliaCard® account?

No. The account does not earn interest.

Do I need special software to view my account online?

You can view account activity online with any of the following browsers:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or later
  • Netscape 4.72 or later
  • AOL 5.0 or later

Can someone other than the person whose name is on the card use it?

For security reasons, you should never share your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or allow anyone else to use your card.

How do I sign up for a ReliaCard® Visa® Prepaid Debit Card?

When you file an Unemployment Insurance claim online, you will be automatically enrolled in the ReliaCard® Visa® program. Once your claim is set-up, a card will be sent to you.

Can I request a second card for another individual such as a family member?

No. Only the person receiving payments on the card will receive a card.

Can I view my account online?

Yes, at usbankreliacard.com. The following functions can be performed online:

  • PIN Change
  • Balance inquiry
  • View card transactions
  • View previous statements

How do I view my monthly statement?

Monthly statements can be viewed online 24/7 at usbankreliacard.com.

What should I do if I change addresses?

Contact Cardholder Services at (855) 233-8371 or visit usbankreliacard.com to report an address change. Also contact the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services – Unemployment Insurance Division to ensure information about your claim is accurate.

Who do I contact if I have questions about my card?

For questions about your claim, such as when you will receive the next deposit to the card, or the amount of a deposit to the card, contact the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services – Unemployment Insurance Division. For all other questions about the card, you may log into your account at usbankreliacard.com or contact Cardholder Services 24 hours a day, toll-free at (855) 233-8371.

What happens if my card gets lost or stolen?

You must call Cardholder Services at (855) 233-8371 to report a lost or stolen card. A new card will be issued and any remaining balance will be transferred to the new card. You may not be responsible for any fraudulent activity that occurs on your card provided that you report the card missing in a timely manner, and have not shared your card or PIN number with anyone.

Can I contact my local bank for customer service on my ReliaCard® account?

No. You must direct all ReliaCard® questions to Cardholder Services at (855) 233-8371, or utilize the website, usbankreliacard.com, for inquiries.

What services does the ReliaCard 24-hour Cardholder Services line provide?

The following can be done through customer service:

  • Activate the card
  • Choose/Change Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Balance inquiry
  • Review recent transaction history
  • Report card lost or stolen and have it reissued
  • Speak to a live representative if additional assistance is needed

ReliaCard® Disclosure

1 Successful identity verification required. To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. If necessary, we may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

2 Some fees may apply. See card packet for full list of fees.

The ReliaCard® is issued by U.S. Bank National Association, pursuant to a license from Visa® U.S.A. Inc. Member FDIC ® 2014 U.S. Bank

9. What happens if I commit Unemployment Insurance fraud?

  1. The overpaid money must be repaid. (W.S. 27-3-409(b))
  2. A 5% penalty is added when the overpayment is set up and 5% every 6 months thereafter until the total amount is repaid. (W.S. 27-3-409(d))
  3. You will be disqualified from receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits for 52 weeks. (W.S. 27-3-311(e))
  4. You may be criminally prosecuted. (W.S. 27-3-702)
  5. If you are convicted you will be disqualified from receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits for an additional 2 years. (W.S. 27-3-702(c))
  6. An additional 15% Fraud Assessment will be added when the overpayment is set up. (27-3-409(d)).

10. If I have been receiving payments from Workers’ Compensation, am I eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits?

You cannot receive Unemployment Insurance benefits and Temporary Total Disability payments from Workers’ Compensation at the same time. If you had a continuous period of sickness or injury which resulted in Temporary Total Disability and you received compensation under the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation law, (and you are under no other carrier), you may claim Unemployment Insurance using earnings from employment prior to your injury date.

To request this wage credit freeze, an injured worker must file Unemployment Insurance:

  1. Within 60 days following the date the notice is mailed that the injured worker is no longer eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits
  2. Within 36 months of the date of injury

11. What does it mean to be disqualified for unemployment?

You can be disqualified for a number of reasons. These include, among others:

  • You voluntarily quit your most recent work without good cause;
  • You were discharged (fired) from your most recent employment for misconduct connected with your work;
  • You failed (without good cause) to apply for or accept suitable work as defined by Wyoming statutes;
  • After four weeks of receiving unemployment benefits, you failed to apply for or accept suitable work outside of your customary occupation which pays at least 50% of your previous wages;
  • You obtained benefits by fraud or by misrepresented material facts

12. How do I file my unemployment claims for payment?

Unemployment claims for payment are filed weekly. You can file for weekly benefits by calling (307) 473-3789 and using the automated phone system. You can also file over the Internet. Filing over the Internet is the recommended way to file your claim. Claims can also be filed by mailing a payorder to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services – Unemployment Insurance Division, P.O. Box 2760, Casper, Wyoming 82602 or faxing it to (307) 473-3726. To be filed timely, you must wait until the week has ended and must file within 14 days of the claim week end date.

13. What happens if I go on vacation or am sick for one or more weeks during my unemployment claim?

If you have an interrupted claim for some reason other than employment and you are not in current filing status, you need to file a reopened claim. This can be done by phone or over the Internet.

Be sure to indicate “No” on your continued claim payorder form questions #9 and #10. (Were you able and available for work?), as these scenarios suggest you were not able or available for work and therefore are not eligible for benefits these weeks.

14. What happens if I work two weeks and then need unemployment benefits again?

If you earned wages totaling more than your weekly benefit amount, you are considered employed. If you become unemployed again after the week of excessive earnings, you will need to file an additional claim. At that time, you will have a new last employer and must provide separation information on that employment. This claim is still a part of the benefit year which you have already established. This can be done by phone or over the Internet.

15. Do I have to pay federal taxes on my unemployment benefits?

Unemployment Insurance benefits are considered taxable income for Federal Income Tax purposes. You have the option of having 10% of your benefits withheld and sent to the Internal Revenue Service. You can change your choice on this option as often as you want. You are responsible for any taxes owed on these benefits.

You will be issued a Form 1099G at the end of January showing the amount of benefits paid to you. The 1099G is not reduced by any repayments you may have made for overpaid benefits. Therefore, if you repaid any benefits, you must maintain your record of payments, such as receipts and canceled checks, to make adjustments to your taxable income and as documentation for the Internal Revenue Service when you file your tax return. Contact the Unemployment Insurance Division if you did not keep receipts and need assistance in furnishing documentation for tax purposes.

If you are paid benefits in which taxes were withheld and you are later determined ineligible for those benefits, the taxes withheld will be included as part of that overpayment and must be repaid to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services – Unemployment Insurance Division. Taxes withheld are considered part of the benefit payment.

16. Can I still work part-time while receiving unemployment benefits?

Yes. You will need to report your earnings each week and continue to search for other work. Report earnings the week earned, not the week the pay is received. Report the gross amount earned (the total before any deductions, including tips) from each employer (see example below). Earnings reported are verified with employers to ensure proper benefit payments. Your weekly benefit amount will be reduced when your earnings exceed half of your weekly benefit amount. You will not be paid benefits for that week if your earnings equal or exceed your weekly benefit amount or if you work 35 or more hours that week. If you fail to report earnings or other compensations properly you could be disqualified from receiving benefits for 52 weeks. Failure to report earnings could result in an overpayment and any benefits received could be a collectible debt plus penalties owed back to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services – Unemployment Insurance Division plus penalties. If you request that your hours be reduced, this may be considered a voluntary quit which may disqualify you from receiving benefits.

Example:

  • 5 hours worked
  • Rate of pay $8.00 per hour
  • Gross amount earned $40.00

17. Can I file an unemployment claim against another state?

Yes, if you reside in Wyoming now but most (or all) of your wages are from another state or states, you may file an interstate claim. Another state will be the liable state.

Or, if you have wages in two or more states (or the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands), you may request the wages be combined by transferring them to the state in which you file your claim. This is called a combined wage claim.

18. How did this so called overpayment occur?

Benefits are paid out based on your responses on your weekly continued claim at the time of that filing. Audits are completed after benefits are paid out. If an investigation later reveals that the responses were incorrect, you will be in overpayment. Failure to respond to any audit can result in overpayment.

19. Why do I have to provide my work search information?

State statutes require that a claimant make at least 2 employer contacts each week. Your Claimant Guidebook informs you that you must keep written record of 1) date of contact, 2) employer’s name, 3) physical, mailing or internet address and phone number, 4) position applied for, and 5) results of the contact. Your work search record can be requested at any time. Keep this information well documented and handy.

20. What is an offset?

Offset means that the agency keeps your benefits to apply to an overpayment.

21. Can I pay with my debit or credit card?

Unfortunately, debit card and credit cards cannot be used to repay an overpayment. Repayments can be made by ACH debit, check or money order.

To repay by ACH debit, login to your claim, choose Overpayment Maintenance and Online Payment. You will need your bank routing number and account number. For checks or money orders, please mail to: Wyoming Unemployment Insurance, PO Box 2760, Casper WY 82602.

22. What is crossmatch?

A crossmatch audit compares wages reported paid by an employer to the earnings you provided when filing your bi weekly continued claim. If it is found that you misreported your earnings, an overpayment will be established and you will be required to repay the benefits you collected.

23. Why am I being charged a penalty on my overpayment?

According to state statute, a penalty is charged on all fraudulent overpayments. The penalty as assessed at 5% of the outstanding balance every 6 months. Also, an additional 15% Fraud Assessment will be added when the overpayment is established, per (27-3-409(d)).

24. Why do I get charged a new penalty each month?

The monthly statement shows the outstanding penalty balance. It is not a new penalty each month.

25. What do I do if I can’t pay this overpayment in full?

The agency will accept monthly payments if you cannot pay in full. You will receive a quarterly billing statement and receipts after each repayment.

26. Why is Wyoming taking my benefits when I have an overpayment in another state?

Wyoming is a member of IRORA which is an organization of states that work together to recover overpayments through offset. If another state has notified us that you have an overpayment there, we are required to offset for them.

27. Can the agency waive my overpayment?

Wyoming law does allow waiver of overpayments in certain situations. You must request a hardship waiver within 15 days of the overpayment notice date. Next, you must complete the application within the allowed time and meet the criteria set by law. According to state law, overpayments caused by fraud can not be waived.

28. What if I don’t pay?

Of course, DWS hopes that all individuals who benefitted from receiving unemployment will voluntarily repay, should an overpayment occur. If you disregard notices and refuse to pay, collection efforts include small claims or circuit court. Once judgment has been obtained, your wages or bank accounts can be garnished. Liens can also be filed on your property.

29. What if I don’t agree with the overpayment?

At the time the decision which denied you benefits was made, you were sent a “Deputy’s Determination Concerning Claim For Benefits” correspondence. That notice provided you information on your protest rights and how to go about protesting. If you did not do so within the time allowed by law, the decision has become final and the overpayment is a collectable debt you will have to repay.

30. What if I did not file those continued claims?

Wyoming law states that your PIN is your electronic signature and has the same force and effect as a written signature. You are responsible for any claims that were filed using your PIN.

31. What if I haven’t gotten paid yet from my job?

Wyoming law states that you must report your hours and wages when you earn it – not when you are paid. If you start a job, you must report your earnings when you actually do the work. Remember the question on the payorder asks “Did you work this week?” not did you get paid.

32. What if I didn’t get any mail from DWS?

Currently, DWS gives two options for correspondence: USPS mail and email.

If you choose USPS mail, you must keep your address with the agency correct. Our mail is not forwarded, so if you move, you must update your address in WYUI by logging into your claim, choosing Benefit Maintenance, Update Claimant Profile and Contact Details. You can also call us at (307) 473-3789.

If you choose email correspondence, you must make sure you verify the email address when you first file. You will receive an email indicating you have correspondence. You must log into your claim to read the correspondence by choosing View Correspondence.

33. I’m not even filing. Why was I selected for an audit?

Audits can happen even after you are not filing. You will want to keep your address updated. If an audit is mailed to your address of record and the audit is not completed or returned by you, you may be in overpayment for failing to respond to the audit.

34. Why are the balances showing on my statement and my receipt different?

The receipt you get after making a payment or after an offset includes only the Unemployment Benefit portion of your overpayment. The statement shows the total owed for benefits overpayment, penalty, court costs and Federal Additional Compensation (FAC).

35. Why isn’t my penalty and Federal Additional Compensation (FAC) balance going down when you are taking (offsetting) my benefits?

DWS can offset your benefits to apply only to your overpayment balance. We can not offset your benefits to apply to penalty, court costs, or FAC. We ask you to mail in a check to pay off those balances.

36. Why am I charged a penalty when I am making payments?

Wyoming law states that a penalty is assessed every 6 months on fraudulent overpayments. This happens even when you are making payments. But remember, your penalty is assessed on a lower balance because you are making payments.

37. What if I file bankruptcy?

Make sure you list Wyoming DWS as a creditor on your filing. We will file a proof of claim.

38. What is NDNH?

Employers are required to report when they hire a new employee. We use that database to audit when claimants are hired. Our audit helps verify that you correctly reported any earnings you earn when first hired.

39. How do I prove I was on unemployment?

Claimants can log into their claim and request a Benefit Verification by clicking on the Unemployment Verification hyperlink on the Claim Summary screen. The verification shows the amount of benefits paid. The claimant can print the verification to provide the information to those who request it. The BPC unit can provide Benefit Verification letters also. The letter will be sent to you and you can send copies to those who request it. You also have your monetary determination letter you received when you opened your claim.

40. My family member who was on unemployment died. What do I do?

Provide a copy of the obituary or death certificate to the Unemployment Claims Center. The claim will be updated to show the claimant is deceased so no additional payments will be sent.

41. Why do I get so much paperwork with my unemployment?

Notices are sent to keep you informed about your claim. Read all documents thoroughly and if you have questions, contact the Claims Center.

42. Why do you need my alien registration card?

To be eligible for unemployment, Wyoming laws require that you be legal to work in the United States. Provide a copy of your registration card by fax or mail as soon as you open your claim.

43. How do I get a new Personal Identification Number (PIN)?

To reset your wyui.wyo.gov PIN, you can call us at (307) 473-3789 to have it reset. Or you can email dwscspui.benefits@wyo.gov with your first and last name, the last 4 of your social security number, and a phone number. A staff member will call you to assist you with getting into your wyui.wyo.gov account. You may not recognize the phone number. Please ensure that your voicemail box can accept incoming messages.