File for Unemployment – The Ultimate Guide

You have lost that precious job that provided all the financial support. Now what? Obviously this is not the time to panic or being depressed. Take a step back, and relax – there is always another job waiting to be hunted for. You can use job search links on this site to look for new job, but the first thing you want do is to file for unemployment insurance benefits and allow the lengthy process to start while you look for new jobs. This guide provides all the necessary steps to apply for unemployment benefits.

Claiming Unemployment Benefits – Where to start?

State unemployment offices generally take a few weeks to process unemployment benefits claims, so it is important that you understand how to file for unemployment and file the claim at the earliest opportunity. Be aware that you will get back-credits from the second week of filing, even though state employment offices may take a long time to process your claim for the very first time. Here are the steps to claim unemployment benefits

  1. Check your eligibility to apply and receive the unemployment benefits. Eligibility criteria are defined by state unemployment programs and you can use the unemployment eligibilityarticle to ensure you have met all the rules. Here is a quick test to check if you are eligible to claim unemployment insurance
    • You must be willing and able to work. You may need to claim disability insurance if you have physical disabilities
    • Your job loss must be due to employers inability to offer continued employment. If you were fired or lost job due to your own fault, you are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits
    • Your salary from the lost job was high enough to cover basic living expenses. Most of the part-time or seasonal jobs do not qualify you for unemployment benefits
  2. Estimate Benefits Amount using our unemployment calculator. Based on your eligibility, this smart tool provides an instant estimate of benefits depending on the data collected from you.
  3. Locate state unemployment insurance agency. You can use State unemployment instructions or the interactive map provided here to locate the state agency, their contact number, office address and the website if you choose to file unemployment online
  4. Choose your filing method. Most state unemployment offices allow you to file your claims online or through telephone. It is advised to file online or by visiting the state agency as telephone method is prone to data entry errors and you do not want to delay claims processing when you file first time. You can always use the telephone method to extend unemployment benefits.
  5. Prepare to file the paperwork. According to an estimate, about 50 percent of eligible people do not apply for unemployment benefits due to complex paperwork process. However many states have reduced the complexities as you can see from State of Michigan unemployment data gathering form which is as short as one page. Here is a list of things generally needed when you file the paperwork and be aware that some States may require more details
    • Name, social security number and other personal details
    • Name of all previous employers in the last 2 years and their details.
    • An approx. estimate of dates and duration of each employment. Generally employers do not provide this info to states.
    • If you are a member of an union, need name and local number of the union
    • Reason you left the job – it has to be involuntary to be eligible to receive benefits
  6. After you have applied for unemployment benefits, wait for the benefit check and stay positive! It takes 2-3 weeks for state offices to process you claim and issue the check. Keep hunting for jobs in that period. Most importantly, do not sit idle. You can learn new skills, read new topics, or find a cost effective volunteering opportunity to keep you mind engaged. Remember you are just searching for a job; there is no reason to let yourself down.
  7. Register for jobs with the state employment services.This is not mandatory but many state unemployment agencies offer employment services at free of charge if you register. They will guide you with job opportunities within and outside of the state. They will offer counseling services to find the jobs you like. They will also refer you to discounted training programs, or refer you to other agencies if you need special assistance
  8. Continue to file for unemployment benefits every week or 2 to let the unemployment office know that you are still eligible for benefits. You are also required to report any wages earned, or the job offers received. If you exhaust your benefits, you may be eligibly for extension of benefits

Claiming unemployment benefits from more than one state

You are required to file your claims in the state where you have worked, even though you are not living in that state now. If you have worked in more than one state or you are currently not living in the state where you worked during the year, you can still contact local unemployment insurance office close to you. They maybe be able to assist you with the claims

Once you file for unemployment benefits, you should continue your job search. Then there is this brave new world of work from home jobs that you can do online. People are making a leaving and some are able make a fortune out of such jobs that can work from the comfort of your home. Making money online is real and it takes virtually no investment.

Tired of looking for jobs? Explore ways to make money online. Here are a few e-books to help you learn

Responses

  1. jose d herrera says:

    I was send it home for a week and never callme
    Bak
    I was The only legal
    In my dept.

  2. bradley scott says:

    I just got approved got the letter today ive had my account locked until the assistance reached me I was unable to certify I’m scared I wont receive my benifit

    • Martin says:

      Well, if you do not certify on time, chances are that you will not receive the benefits on time.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  3. Stacey Lowe says:

    I applied for unemployment on 1/4/16. I have received an approval benefit claim letter plus the amount I should be receiving by direct deposit. My letter states I should be receive my benefits by January 26, 2016. As of February 4, 2016. I have received nothing.

  4. Debbie says:

    I need the phone number for someone to talk to in Tennessee about an unclaimed unemployment check. My previous employer sent it back to the unemployment office. Nice of him, right ? I need someone to ask how to find it. Any help would be appreciated.

  5. gary martin says:

    I Worked in 2 states Fl.& P.A. p.a. sent all my information on 01/07/2016.In P.a. I work from about 08/10/2015>10/23/15 for C.A.Murren & Sons LLC. 22775 Loganville Hwy. Grayson,GA. 30017. End Of Job. On About 11/19/2015>12/22/2015 worked for PRECISION PIPELINE.LLC. 3314 56th street EAU CLAIRE. WI 54708.nn FL. 07/07/2016>about 09/30/2014 Berkel 3702 Rogers Ind. Park rd.Okahumpkafi.54762/ ShoreLine Foundations pembroke parkfl33013

    • Martin says:

      Please specify your question.

      If you’ve filed and not heard from them, please call the claims center on the phone numbers provided for an update on status.

  6. Tonya says:

    How do u apply for unemployment benefits

    • Martin says:

      You can apply for UI benefits either over the phone or online (recommended), on the official website of the labor department in your state.

  7. Andrew says:

    Hi i was just wondering after you fill for unployment how long do you usually have to what before you get paid for the first time. I was laid off of my job.

    • Martin says:

      It takes about 7-10 working days to process and disburse the initial claim.

      If there is any delay, they will keep you informed.

  8. Victoria Rainwater says:

    I have filed for disability. Can I apply for unemployment benefits while I wait for my disability?

    • Martin says:

      You may not be able to claim UI benefits which is only provided to those who are able and available to work.

      Please inquire further with the labor dept in your state.

  9. Ashley says:

    Is it possible to claim unemployment while on maternity leave in Alabama?

  10. katie says:

    I never set up a pin and the guy that did my claim over the phone never gave me a pin. how do I find out my pin

  11. Stephen Rich says:

    I filed my claim on Sunday, but must have answered some questions wrong. How can I correct this?

  12. SHERRY SPEARMAN says:

    TRYING TO FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT

  13. Cheryl Blois says:

    My benefits will be exhausted very soon . How can I extend my benefits until I get a job.
    Thank You;

    Cheryl blois

  14. Martin says:

    Please let us know the kind of help you’re looking for. To begin with, consider applying for Unemployment Insurance to receive monetary assistance. You can also lookout for resources available with your state for job assistance.

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