How to Reopen Unemployment Claims
Updated : July 17th, 2014
If you had a UI claim through a previous employment and received weekly payments, later secured a job and then unfortunately became unemployed again, you may want to consider re-applying for UI benefits if your previous benefit year expired. Most states allow you to reopen your existing claim if it is still in the same benefit year.
Unemployment benefits terminate the moment you stop qualifying for it and the primary reason for becoming ineligible for the benefits is securing a new job. However if the new unemployment does not last long, you can start receiving benefits again by simply reopening your claim.
How It Works
People who lose their jobs a second time, fall into two different categories. This first one being a case a where a person loses his job within 52 weeks of filing for UI. The second, a person who was laid off post expiration of the 52 week period.
For people in the first category, things are pretty easy. You can simply start claiming your benefits, if you have any remaining benefits ie. If you are in the latter category, you may have to reapply for unemployment insurance.
The benefit amount that you will receive and your eligibility criteria may depend heavily on the time duration between your previous unemployment compensation and recent unemployment. It is likely that your previous claim won’t be affecting your new claim in anyway, also your current benefit amount will be calculated from the wages you earned in your most recent employment. In most cases, the amount you receive will be smaller than what you received in the first benefit year.
You must also be able to prove that your recent unemployment is not voluntary or a result of your mistakes.
Details Required To Claim UI Benefits Again
You may need to submit all relevant details again irrespective of whether you are still in the same benefit year. Before you start filing, it will be handy to keep the following information ready.
- Personal identification number (PIN)
- Motor vehicle card no. / driver’s licence
- Complete mailing address with zip code
- Contact number
- Names and contact details of all your previous employers
- Employer Registration Number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your latest employer
- If you were a federal employee, copies of SF8 and SF50
- For military service, your most recent separation form (DD214)
- Lastly, your Alien Registration Card no. if you are not a citizen of the U.S.
How To Re-apply For UI Benefits
Should you find yourself unemployed again, you will have to submit a fresh application to restart your old claim. Remember, your claim does not start until you apply for it. So you may want to consider doing that at the earliest. Follow these steps and you’ll be ok soon.
- Submit a new claim. You can do this via telephone/internet/mail. We recommend using the internet because that is the fastest way to file a claim.
- Wait for a response. Once your claim is taken up, the the State Unemployment Agency will check you remaining benefit balance and examine if you still continue to qualify for the benefits.
I Need Help To File My Claim
If you are disabled or unable to file the claim yourself, you may seek help from a trusted person. It is not mandatory that you have to file your claim yourself. However, no matter how much you trust the person you chose to aid you, we strongly recommend that you be present each time they help you and use your PIN
Also, do keep in mind that you will be held responsible for the actions of your helper. And also you will be subject to penalties and you may even forfeit your benefits if you are NOT PRESENT when a helper aids you.
Extension of Benefits
As you may already know, benefits are usually awarded for a fixed time, typically up to 26 weeks. Once your benefits expire, you will have to reapply for it. The unemployment agency usually sends you a notice informing you that your benefits are about to expire, the notice usually contains information regarding how you can reapply to enjoy continued benefits.
Unfortunately, claims can be denied sometimes. Several reasons could lead to this. The most commonly seen reason for claim denial is when the unemployment agency fails to determine that you lost your job through no error of yours. Or if you have not earned sufficient wages during a base period. Whatever the case is, the agency holds the right to deny your claim if they find you ineligible.
However, if you claim gets denied, you can always request the agency to reconsider your application. To do so, you will have to file an appeal. Directions on how to do so are usually enclosed within the letter you received from the agency stating that your claim has been denied. In most cases, there is a specific time-frame within which you must reapply if you want to send an appeal.
I Don’t Think I Will Qualify
Has reading so much has lead you to believe that you won’t qualify for the benefits? If so, we still strongly recommend that you still proceed with filing your application. This article is only of an informative nature. Only the State Unemployment Agency has the absolute authority to decide if you qualify or not. Apply all the same, we’ll think of the rest later. You can also refer to our Unemployment Q & A section for more information.
Hunt For Jobs
Not Steve Jobs, the ones that pay you for the work you do. You know that you can’t go on depending on your UI benefits forever. Also, it is imperative that you actively search for a new job because it is one of the requirements that you must fulfill in order to qualify for the benefits.
A Word of Advice
We understand that you are going through a very difficult stage. Worrying about it too much is not going to help in any way, in fact it will only lead to adverse effects on you. Try to stay positive, spend time with your loved ones and search for new employment opportunities. Update your social media profiles so that they become more employer- friendly and never give up faith! Good luck guys!