How to Claim Unemployment Benefits

how to file for unemployment

How to File for Unemployment

None of us want to end up on the unemployment line. But unfortunately, it’s often unavoidable. 

Unemployment assistance provides workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own with payment for a set period after being let go or until they find a new job.

If you’ve recently been let go, we will run through how to claim unemployment benefits to ease the blow and help get you back on your feet. 

When Can You Claim Unemployment Benefits?

You must meet numerous requirements to have your unemployment claim approved, and laws vary from state to state. However, there are some basic requirements every state follows. 

First, you can’t be unemployed due to something that is your fault. Walking off a job, stealing from the company and getting laid off, or simply quitting will likely result in a denied claim. 

Other disqualifications might include:

  • Fired for misconduct
  • Quit because of self-employment
  • Involved in a labor dispute
  • Returning to school

Second, you must meet the state you are filing requirements for time worked or wages earned during a specific period. 

If you’re looking to file a claim (and keep them), you should spend a little time learning the EXACT requirements in your state. They often have dedicated pages that will dive into these topics deeper. 

When should I apply?

Apply for your benefits as soon as possible. The application shouldn’t take long to fill out, but it might take a while for your claim to be accepted.

How to Make an Unemployment Claim

Making a claim is super easy; it’s just a bit annoying. All you have to do is go to your state’s online unemployment application, fill out the paperwork, submit it, and wait for a response. 

We said it’s annoying for two reasons. 

First, the websites used for the application process can be clunky. They’re typically not the most well-designed, intuitive, and enjoyable online experiences. 

Secondly, filling out the application can take a while to complete. If you can’t access the internet reliably for an extended period, you can go to your local DHS office and fill out an application there. The lines tend to be a bit excessive, which means it can take even longer.

What You Need to Make an Unemployment Claim

The documents needed can vary from state to state, so check with your local office, but we can list the basics to give you a head start. Just make sure to do a bit of research before you start.

Here are the basics: 

  • Driver’s License or State ID
  • Social Security Number
  • Phone Number
  • Mailing Address
  • Names, Addresses, and Dates for Employers Over the Last Two Years
  • An Alien Registration Card for Non-Citizens

“The unemployment rate has varied from as low as 1% during World War I to as high as 25% during the Great Depression. More recently, it reached notable peaks of 10.8% in November 1982 and 14.7% in April 2020. Unemployment tends to rise during recessions and fall during expansions.”

— Wiki

Wrapping Up | Claiming Unemployment

Filing an unemployment claim isn’t difficult – it’s often time-consuming and annoying. But as long as you have a legitimate reason to apply and have provided the right paperwork, you shouldn’t have a problem.

If you have any specific questions or need better help navigating the ins and outs of unemployment, reach out to your local unemployment office by Googling “(State) unemployment filing”. 

We hope you are never in this position, but if that day comes, stay calm and get to filing as soon as possible. Best of luck!

Note: Don’t forget to check with your previous employer to see if they provide any outplacement services or termination pay based on the work you put in with them.

Title: How to Claim Unemployment

Category: Career Resources

Tags: how to file for unemployment, unemployment compensation, eligibility requirements, unemployment insurance, benefit pay, department of labor, how to claim unemployment benefits

Co-Author: Becky is a contributor for theJub. She’s a writing and talent acquisition specialist who loves to apply her skills through creative writing and editing.

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