How to Claim Unemployment Benefits

Below is a list of detailed steps on how to claim for Unemployment benefits

  1. Step 1

    Find the nearest office to file a claim for unemployment benefits. These are state offices usually called One-Stop Employment Centers or Unemployment Insurance Claims Office. These are listed in the phone book or on line.

  2. Step 2

    Call, visit or apply on line for unemployment benefits. Have the information about where and when you worked with you in person or handy if you apply on the phone or on line.

  3. Step 3

    Fill out all of the questions on forms honestly. Don’t make up answers and don’t add new information to explanations. Be polite to everyone you speak to.

  4. Step 4

    Follow all instructions to submit records or information after the claim is filed. There may be a waiting period in your state. You may be able to get your unemployment benefits by direct deposit.

  5. Step 5

    Keep all appointments when you are asked to come into an office, check in by phone or submit information electronically. Keep all appointments if you are sent to an employer or other office for a job interview.

  6. Step 6

    Tell the office that pays your unemployment claim if you do any part time work or as soon as you get a new job.

  7. Step 7

    Make a file and keep all of the information you receive about your unemployment benefits.

Tips & Warnings
  • If you live in one state but worked in another start your unemployment benefits claim in the office closest to your home.
  • If your claim is denied you can file an appeal. File any appeal within the time limits that are on the form. Unemployment claims can be denied or delayed if you quit without good cause or were fired for misconduct. Misconduct can be things like stealing, having drugs in the workplace or fighting. Quitting without cause would be something like you didn’t like the job, it was too hard or you didn’t think you were paid enough.
  • If you think you are paid too much in unemployment benefits report it. Let’s say you get some part time work while you are collecting unemployment report it. Or report if you keep getting checks once you get a new job. There could be penalties and fines and in some states prison sentences if you cash those extra checks! Unemployment Insurance Fraud is taken very seriously.

Things You’ll Need:

  • The correct name and address of everywhere you worked for the past 18 months
  • The exact dates that you worked
  • Any written information you received about why you’re no longer working



About the Author

The Unemployment Blog has the Latest News, Statistics, Rates, Opportunities, Jobs and Advice.