Six Steps to Claim Unemployment Benefits

Updated : June 12th, 2019

We have created an awesome Infographic that tells you how Unemployment Program works and how to claim your Benefits. We have explained the claim process in 6 easy steps.

Steps to Claim Unemployment Benefits

How to get your unemployment benefits

Step 1

Ensure that you qualify for the benefits. The standard criteria for making you eligible are as follows.

  • You should have lost your job due through no fault of yours.
  • You must have worked in the last 4 to 5 calendar quarters.
  • You must be physically capable of doing work.
  • And last but not the least, you must be an active job seeker.

Still not clear? Use our online tool to check if you qualify for unemployment benefits.

Once you have made sure that you indeed passed these criteria, you can proceed to step 2.

Step 2

Let’s figure out how much you probably will receive as benefits. The weekly benefit amount you will receive is directly dependent on your earnings during the last four calendar quarters. This is however a state dependent matter and therefore the amount you receive will vary from state to state.

You can use our online unemployment calculator to get an estimate of weekly benefits amount.

In general, the amount you receive will be approximately half for the average weekly wage you earned during the base period.

Step 3

Decide on how you plan to file your claim. You can do it via the internet, phone or visit an unemployment office in person to file your claim. Filing online is the fastest way to get it done, we’ve noticed.

Step 4

Once you’ve done all the previous steps, you are ready to file an initial claim. You will have to keep your SSN, name, address, contact numbers and employment history ready. You may also need some paperwork to prove that you lost your previous job due to no fault of yours.

Step 5

Register with the state unemployment services. This is compulsory in some states. It is done to make sure that you will actively search for a job. Such unemployment agencies offer job hunt services free of cost!

Step 6

Continue filing the claim each week or bi-weekly. Yes you read it right! The unemployment insurance office does not simply send you benefits each week if you register with them and file your claim just once. You have to do it weekly/ bi-weekly. This lets them know that you are indeed continuing to meet the eligibility criteria.

That’s all folks. Good luck with filing your claim and may you land a killer job soon! Do visit us often!

  1. I was permanently severanced from my job due to a Co. Reorg & received my last severance pay last week. I called UE & was told that I should now do my application online since I will no longer be getting funds & still without a job & that this coming Sunday regardless of knowing if I will or will not get benefits yet that I should still file a weekly claim in case of UE back pay.
    So my question is, do I still have to report 4 jobs applied to within this week, even if I do not know if I will be approved/denied for benefits until possibly next week anyway?

    1. Lynda,

      You should continue to report the job applications as long as you’ve been asked to do so. There will be a “Waiting Period” and the first payment will take about 7-10 days after which they’ll flow much quicker. Please call the Claims Center for clarification.

  2. I tried to transfer from one state to another. When I left Montana I was told there would be no problem transferring. When I arrived in North Carolina I had trouble reaching the area manager by phone. When he finally called me back he said to meet him for lunch to discuss when and where I would be working. He did not show up for lunch. Then he never returned any of my calls. I went PA to visit a friend a few weeks later and tried there. I met with the hiring manager and was told there should not be a problem doing the transfer since I was still in the system. I called the store a few times and they said it was still pending. Then I was terminated without even a phone call. Am I eligible for unemployment and if so do I file in Montana or North Carolina. I still have a Montana drivers license but I am living in NC.

    1. Stacey,

      As long as you were unemployed involuntarily, you should be able to claim UI benefits. Please consider applying.

  3. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  4. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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