University of Wisconsin–Madison

Resources for Job Loss or Income Loss

The ongoing pandemic is presenting significant financial challenges for UW–Madison.  In October, 2020, campus leadership estimated that the university will be facing a $320 million budget shortfall due to lost revenue and increased expenses between the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March, 2020, and the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2021.

In some divisions or units, staff layoffs or other changes in staffing are necessary in order to offset the budget shortfall. As a result of these very difficult decisions, some members of the UW–Madison community are facing the loss of a job or a reduction in income. Other UW employees may be experiencing the impact of COVID-19 because a family member has lost their job or their steady income.

This website provides a collection of resources that can help employees address the many challenges of a job loss or a significant reduction in income. Some of these resources are also available to family members and significant others of UW employees or even members of the community at large. You will find information on free classes and webinars, articles, online tools, and opportunities for individual counseling and guidance.

Job loss or income loss present a complex set of challenges. These include:

Resources are also available for supervisors who need to support their employees during this difficult time.

UW–Madison employees who are facing a job loss or a significant loss of personal or family income are encouraged to educate themselves, seek help, and take advantage of the many resources available to members of our community.


If you have questions or need assistance, please contact:

Language assistance is available.
Español, Hmoob, བོད་ཡིག, 中文, नेपाली
Spanish, Hmong, Tibetan, Chinese, Nepali

Emotional Support

Employee Assistance Office

Job loss or income loss can raise many questions and concerns, whether you are an employee experiencing a layoff or are a survivor of layoff, a supervisor wanting to consult on budget and staff reductions, or a family member dealing with a loss of steady household income.

The Employee Assistance Office (EAO) offers counseling and consultation at no cost to UW–Madison faculty, staff, graduate student employees, significant others, and family members. Along with counseling support and stress management, services like such as financial consultation, child and eldercare resource locating, and convenience services are available.


EAO has expanded its services through LifeMatters in order to provide employees with free and confidential statewide coverage, and 24/7 telephone access to professional counselors. LifeMatters provides a wide variety of resources, including one to five sessions with a counselor for personal or work-related issues.

Orientation to LifeMatters employee assistance services and work/life programs (2:35 video)

To set up a video counseling appointment with a LifeMatters counselor, call 800-634-6433.


SilverCloud is an online, self-guided, interactive resource that provides UW–Madison faculty and staff with no-cost, confidential help for mental health issues and stress management program 24 hours a day.

Financial Resources

For general information on developing a financial plan to help you meet everyday expenses, prepare for unexpected emergencies, and retire with confidence, visit the Financial Well-Being page.

Financial resources related specifically to job loss and income loss are listed below.


LifeMatters has partnered with BALANCE to provide financial education and confidential, no-cost financial counseling services. Call 888-810-3862 to set up an account.

Financial Fitness Services from LifeMatters and BALANCE

LifeMatters also offers a variety of resources to help people deal with financial challenges. Log in to the LifeMatters website and use the password “Bucky1” to gain access to member resources.

Financial Stress and Stability Resources (various links)

Disaster-Proof Your Finances (40-minute webinar)

Losing a Job: Ten Things You Can Do to Make It Less Painful (4-minute read)

How Renters Can Protect Their Credit If They Can’t Pay Rent Due to the Coronavirus Crisis (article, 8-minute read)

Dealing with Loans and Credit Card Debt You Can’t Pay after COVID-19 (6-minute read)

UW Credit Union and Banzai

Banzai has partnered with UW Credit Union to provide information on financial topics. Find additional resources from Banzai on the Financial Well-Being page.

When Times Get Tough: Build Your Emergency Fund (3-minute coaching session)

When Times Get Tough: Trim Your Budget (5-minute coaching session)

Career, Job Change, and Job Search Resources

Adult Career and Special Student Services

Adult Career and Special Student Services (ACSSS) provides resources and consultation at no cost for UW–Madison employees.

COVID-19: Job Loss, Job Search, Career, and Education Support Resources
A collection of online resources offers support, tips, and recommendations for those who are out of work due to the pandemic, searching for a new job, working from home, reevaluating their careers, or considering going back to school.

Career Planning for UW–Madison Employees
One-on-one appointments are available with an ACSSS career counselor who specializes in working with employees.

Do-It-Yourself Career Planning Process
The career development model from ACSSS helps employees walk through the process on their own.

Resources for Career Planning, Job Search, and Education Planning
ACSSS also offers a list of resources to help employees plan for a career change, job search, and additional education.

Employee Résumé Tips
ACSSS offers tips for writing and formatting effective résumés.

Referral Priority

Referral Priority (RP) Services give eligible University Staff or Academic Staff who are laid off access to the Referral Priority Page from the employment website ( This page enables RP candidates to view eligible academic staff vacancies before they are posted to the employment website. Positions will remain posted on the Referral Priority Page for seven calendar days. During that time they are also posted to the employment website. RP candidates may apply to vacancies through the Referral Priority Page or via the employment website.

Prospective employing departments/units are asked to consider RP candidates before considering other candidates.

Please see the Information Guide for instructions on how to request enrollment in RP services if you are laid off.

Referral Priority Information Guide

Employee Benefits and Changes in Job Status

Employee Benefits at Layoff

Information is available from the Office of Human Resources on the status of employee benefits at layoff or in the event of reduced hours.

Layoff or Non-Renewal

Retirees and Emeriti

UW–Madison retirees and emeriti have access to certain privileges.

Retirees & Emeritus brochure

Changes to Access to UW–Madison Services

Technology Services

There are steps you should take if you are losing access to your UW–Madison email account or have files that will be deactivated. Some applications are only available to those actively enrolled or employed at UW–Madison.

Steps to Take Before Leaving UW–Madison (from DoIT)

Transportation Services

If you are no longer employed at UW–Madison, you should cancel any parking permits, passes, or other transportation services products you have.

Transportation Services Cancellations and Changes