FILE - Now Hiring sign, unemployment, jobs

(The Center Square) – The state of Wisconsin is trying to get ahead of unemployment questions as the state reopens. 

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development issued a reminder that not returning to work would likely cost someone their unemployment benefits. 

"A person who has refused an offer of work due to concerns about personal safety could be eligible for benefits depending on the specifics of the reason for the refusal," DWD said in a statement. "A full eligibility review would be required to determine if the claimant would be eligible for benefits."

One of the questions a review would look into is whether someone's refusal to work is "reasonable."

DWD is telling employers to bring people back to work based on their needs, and whether someone is an essential or non-essential employee. 

"Avoid making return to work decisions based on age, marital status, real or perceived disability, or any other protected bases," the department stated. 

The push to go back to work comes as DWD released unemployment numbers this week. 

As of May 9, DWD says it has received 518,003 unemployment applications. The department says it has paid out $941,042,374 in benefits, including the $600 per-week federal enhancement.

The Center Square Correspondent

An industry veteran with two decades of experience in media, Benjamin Yount reports on Illinois and Wisconsin statewide issues for The Center Square.