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Kentucky Unemployment Application

How To Apply for Kentucky Unemployment Benefits

You can file your initial claim either online or by telephone.

Apply Online

CALL: (877) 369-5984 or (502) 875-0442.

Visit a Kentucky Unemployment Office


If you’ve lost work through no fault of your own, you may qualify for unemployment insurance benefits in Kentucky. Before you start the process, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria and how they apply to your specific case. Having a good understanding of Kentucky unemployment requirements, and gathering all of your documentation in advance, can help set you up for success when applying for Kentucky unemployment benefits.

Before You Apply

Before you submit your Kentucky unemployment benefits claim, it’s important to make sure you’ve collected all the proper documentation in advance. First, you’ll need to make sure you have appropriate personal documentation – this includes your Social Security number or alien registration number, your birthdate, complete mailing address, and a valid telephone number.

You will also need to provide information about your former employer. This may include the full name, address, and telephone number of the former employer, plus your dates of employment and the reason you no longer work with this employer.

Some claimants may need supplemental documentation. For example, if you worked in multiple states, you’ll need to be prepared to list those. You also should be prepared to provide the name and complete address for any temp agency you may have worked with, plus the name and complete contact information for any agency of the federal government for which you have completed work.

You’ll also need to provide a copy of your Standard Form 8 and Standard Form 50 if you previously held a government agency position. And if you have separated from the military, you should have on-hand a copy of your DD214 form. Finally, you should be prepared to provide the contractor name if you are affiliated with a skilled trade union.

Apply by Phone

If you are exempt from any work search requirement related to your UI benefits, you may claim your weekly benefit amount over the phone. To do so, you’ll need to call 877-369-5984 and, using a touchtone phone, claim your benefit weeks. It’s important to use a touchtone phone rather than a wireless or mobile phone in order for your responses to be recorded accurately.

You may access the state of Kentucky’s Voice Response Unit Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

You’ll need to make sure you have your Social Security number, your PIN, the date you returned to work if that is your situation, the number of hours (if any) that you worked during the benefit week, and the amount of wages you earned for that work. You’ll need to submit all of this information over the phone to qualify for your UI benefits for that particular period. If at any point during a call via the VRU system you are asked to report to your local Kentucky unemployment services office, you must do so before your UI benefits for those weeks will be released.

Unemployment Insurance claimants who do not have access to the internet or who speak Spanish can call 502-875-0442 Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Eastern Time, to file their initial or reopen claims by telephone. This is not a toll-free number.

If you have Unemployment Insurance questions, you can call at 502-564-2900.

To file a claim, you will need:

  1. Your Social Security number
  2. Your complete mailing address
  3. Name, address, and phone number for each of your employers over the last 18 months
  4. The exact day you began work at each job
  5. The last day you worked at each job

Once you file your initial claim, you’ll be required to wait 15 days before you can submit a weekly claim via the VRU system. Your first phone call will certify your information for both weeks you would like to claim.

It’s important to refrain from calling the system twice in one day – unless you experienced a technical issue and were advised by the system to call back later. If you call the VRU system more than one time per day, it will flag your request as a duplicate. You will receive a call from your local office to recertify and your benefits payment may be delayed.

Overall, it’s important to follow the system’s instructions carefully and accurately to make sure your UI benefits can be processed as quickly as possible. If you hang up your phone before being prompted to do so by the system, your claim will not process and you will not receive your benefits payment for that period.

Apply Online

Individuals may file for unemployment benefits through this link.  

The Kentucky UI claims portal is accessible for filing an unemployment claim or requesting your bi-weekly check on-line. The system is available Monday through Friday from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm and Sunday from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm Eastern Time.

The state of Kentucky makes it extremely quick and easy to apply for unemployment online. Once you’ve verified your identity through, you can log into the state unemployment portal to submit your initial unemployment claim. The system will prompt you to answer questions about your employment history and to upload appropriate documentation where necessary. If you’ve collected all the appropriate information and documentation we’ve recommended, you should have no issue submitting your claim.

In addition to filing your claim, you also can submit your regular biweekly claim certifications via the same online portal. You may make other changes to your UI benefits account as well, including resetting your PIN, updating your mailing address, or changing the method by which you’d like to receive your unemployment compensation.

Verify Your Identity with is an independent identity verification platform that the state of Kentucky uses to verify the identity of any applicant for Kentucky unemployment benefits. Partnering with helps the state reduce the likelihood of Kentucky unemployment fraud, along with helping ensure the accuracy and validity of every Kentucky unemployment benefits claim.

Before you can submit a claim for Kentucky unemployment benefits, you must go through verification – and once it’s established, you can use your credentials on a wide variety of login platforms for both state and federal government programs. Please note that even if you choose to apply for UI benefits over the phone, you still must verify your identity through before your application can be submitted. uses bank-level security infrastructure and protocols to protect your data and never shares your data without your permission. also employs documented, federally compliant practices for protecting your personal information.

The verification process includes your uploading two forms of identification. One must be a valid photo ID, like a driver’s license, state identification card, or U.S. passport. Additional accepted IDs include a U.S. military card or military dependent card, a permanent resident card, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, an employment verification document, or a foreign passport. In order to be considered acceptable, your photo identification must clearly state your full name and your date of birth, in addition to your photograph. Your photo ID also must be valid – an expired photo ID will not be accepted. To submit your photo ID, simply hold it beside your face and snap a selfie, then upload it to the platform.

Your second form of identification may include anything from a birth certificate or pay stub to a mortgage statement or utility bill. But please note that you will not be allowed to submit a Social Security card as your second form of identification. Additional items considered suitable include a W-2 form, a telephone, internet, or cable bill, a bank statement, or a property tax bill. You also may submit a lease or rental agreement, a registration for a P.O. box, a Social Security statement, or other official documentation from the Social Security Administration, including a notice of Social Security number assignment or report of confidential Social Security information.

In some cases, you may be asked to participate in a short video call to chat with an representative and answer questions about yourself to help verify your identity. In most cases, these calls can be completed in no more than 15 minutes.

After You Apply for Benefits

Once you’ve submitted your initial claim for UI benefits, you will receive a determination from the Kentucky office of unemployment insurance. The day after your claim is submitted, it will be taken under review and a determination will be made about your eligibility as soon as possible.

At this point, all you can do is wait and be ready to respond if someone from the state reaches out with questions about your application. Within 3-12 days, you should receive a letter that outlines your unemployment eligibility status and conveys the weekly benefit amount you should expect to receive. You can use the Kentucky unemployment calculator to make sure the unemployment compensation amount in your determination letter is correct.

After you receive confirmation of your Kentucky unemployment eligibility, you may begin submitting regular weekly claims and work search information for unemployment benefits. Each claimant must serve a one-week waiting period per each benefit year. The waiting week will always be the first payable week after your claim has been approved. You will then request unemployment compensation for a two-week period.

Once you’ve submitted your first weekly claim, you should receive your first UI benefits payment – if you elected to receive your unemployment benefits by direct deposit, you should see the funds in your account almost immediately, and if you’ve elected to receive a benefits check, you should see it within two to five days of your weekly claim being accepted.


Want to know about how much Kentucky unemployment you will receive? —–>Calculate your benefits here

Read Frequently Asked Questions for Claimants in Kentucky

Unemployed in Kentucky? ——>Check your eligibility for unemployment benefits

  1. I have been file for my unemployment about a year ago and got the pass letter and got 800 dollars backpay and it went to my bank of America checking account then the bank sent it back to unemployment try to call never can get through to them wish someone would please help me with this issue

    • Hi Nancy,

      Please note this is a private forum and we do not have access to your claim file. Please call the Unemployment Office directly.

  2. I was approved for Pandemic unemployment but never received funds. I was told this was corrected but still never received funds. Now I cannot get ahold of anyone,

    • Jeremy,

      Have you tried lodging a claim online? You may want to also consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  3. How do i get my pin? its going on a month and haven’t receive it in the mail. the message when i call said it was mail to my address and nothing.

    • Tina,

      Please check your email (if they’ve sent the PIN) or visit the website to look for option to generate one yourself.

      • I was approved for Pandemic unemployment but never received funds. I was told this was corrected but still never received funds. Now I cannot get ahold of anyone,

        • Jeremy,

          Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (you might be required to book an appointment prior on the website).

  4. How do I delete my application/account??? I didn’t notice until I went to submit my claim that there was a typo in my name. It wouldn’t let me go back and fix it.
    I’ve tried calling the numbers and nothing has worked. One number let me answer some questions, but then when it tried to transfer me to a representative it just said there was a problem and to try again later and hung up on me!
    I’ve called some other numbers just to end up back in the same queue too. I’ve even called career centers nowhere near me, just for the call the cancel itself.
    The chat with a agent online doesn’t work either.
    I NEVER EVEN SUBMITTED IT. I just want to either fix the error so I can or start from scratch.

    • Mikaela,

      There should be an option online to withdraw the applicaiton. Please check under resources/FAQs section of the website.

  5. I have a permanent call back date from my previous employer but when I filed a claim it wants me to list job searches before I can claim my benefits, do I still need to do this even though I will be returning to my previous employer?

  6. I was injured in the job,my workman’s comp checks have run out. I need surgery,can I collect unemployment benefits until I’m healed and can go back to work?

  7. How long does it take from the time my benefit check is issued until it direct deposits into my bank?

    • Angie

      Direct deposit payments are electronic and should not take much time. Please call the Claims Center for further timelines and further help.

  8. I got fired because I accidentally cursed on phone call during work when I was talking to another employee and they fired me for it. Will that stop me from file for unemployment

    • Cierra,

      You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  9. Trying to file a claim and was told I could not I had to contact 2900 number. Called for four days and all I get is a busy signal. Ideals how to get a hold of a person to talk to.

    • Greg,

      Please try calling during off-peak hours like afternoons and also consider the option of visiting an Unemployment Office in the vicinity if you’re unable to reach them.

  10. I went to work for LinCare. My first day I had to take a physical and failed the breathing test. Was told that afternoon that I could not work for them since I failed the physical. Can I apply for unemployment benefits.

    • You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

      Please contact the Unemployment Office.

  11. I was transferred from KY to Indiana with same company. However, my husband has filed for divorce and is not willing to support me and I do not have the funds to fight it in court. If I voluntarily resign from my position to move back to KY (where I do own a home), can I collect unemployment while searching for another position in Kentucky

    • Janice,

      Unfortunately, personal reasons are not considered. You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  12. I recently was fired because my drug test cup didn’t show a temperature at all,like zero,so the collector poured it in another cup and sealed it and had it sent for testing,well my employer says I’m automatically fired because of whatever reason,the next week I get a call from the ppl that test the sample and said their was something detected in my sample and I gave them the RX number and contact information for the pharmacy for verification,but she tells me they can not just our my urine in another cup,they have to start over,new cup new sample,and that I absolutely shouldn’t have list my job,so about two and a half weeks later the employer calls apologizing because they made a mistake and I shouldn’t have list my job and they rehired me,well they iwed me for a Saturday I worked previously before my initial termination and was never paid,so Monday I had to do a “missed punch form” because I had a new time card and so I put that Saturday on the missed punch form,but they took me to the HR dept yesterday and said I was providing false information to get payment for services I had not rendered,but I wrote the 24th when I actually worked the 17th of June and was fired the 20th of June,and I made numerous attempts to contact them but was totally ignored,please help someone

    • Nick,

      I hope you get out of this situation soon. I suggest you explore the labor laws in your state or consult a lawyer to see how you can claim a legal remedy against your employer.

      You can also claim UI benefits until you find another job. Make sure to keep supporting documents handy in case of a dispute from your employer.

  13. When filing online at the end it will not let me complete the process because it says that my first, middle and last name does not match the initial claimant name. How do i review and change the initial claimant name? And what if they do match?

  14. I have been asked to be moved to an alternative schedule which reduced my hours from 40/week to 16-18 hours/week. Can I file for time lost? I will be returning to full-time work in the fall when school resumes, this is due to summer vacation. I am not a teacher.

    • You should be able to claim “Partial Unemployment” benefits for a reduction in the working hours.

      Please consider applying.

    • You can apply immediately without a waiting unless you receive a severance pay. Please note Unemployment Insurance is only extended to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.

  15. I will be laid of at the end of the 2016-2017 school year (in June) after 3 years with this school system. My evaluation teaching evaluation rating for this year is “exemplary”, the highest there is. However, the principal says he wants to find a better fit for the school. My question is, if I do not find a teaching job for the new school year, can I apply for unemployment benefits while I actively search for new job opportunities? Thanks

  16. If I work as a server full time and I’m 8 mos pregnant and Drs want to put me on bed rest and I get terminated do I qualify for benefits I have worked since 2010

    • Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health are not considered.

      UI benefits are offered only to those who lose their job due to involuntary reasons.

  17. I was off on an excused medical leave from May 2016-July 2016. My short term DIB from worked didn’t pay me for almost 11 weeks. I had no money to get to work since they didn’t pay me. I live 60 miles from my old job. I called in but had no ppt to cover my leave after my excused time off. They apparently never fired me (any other employee would have gotten fired because of having no time to cover it). Anyways, I get paperwork in an email saying I was going to be terminated if I didn’t respond (only had 4 or 5 days to respond). Then I get my term papers when I got the email to respond if I was going back. Am I eligible for benefits? I also have a self employed job, that I only work 1 night per week currently, but that’s far from paying any bills. Would that disqualify me as well?

    • The E.U.C(Emergency Unemployment Compensation) remains expired. There is no extension available. Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state by calling them.

  18. I have been steadily employed my entire life. I started a job on 07/11/16. I was paid by check w no deductions for the first 3 months (Contract labor?) before they were going to put me on payroll. They decided after the 3 months that it was not a good fit and let me go. (?) Will this keep me from receiving unemployment benefits. I was paying deductions prior to this job.

    • Well, UI benefits are only extended due to involuntary reasons such as layoffs. Since you were asked to leave due to performance issues, I am not sure if you will qualify.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further details.

  19. I worked in ky, I went to ohio to see my dad he had cancer, I did let my boss know of this 4 day leave and it was excused, we had discussed that if things got real bad for my dad I may move back to ohio but had not decided yet, after my 4 day leave was up I got a phone call from boss that maybe it best not to come back. he offered no other explantion. said I was an outstanding worker just no longer needed in ky. of course now I had to move back to ohio and can not find a job. can I file for unemployment? feeling hopeless

    • You can be eligible to receive UI benefits if your job was terminated without any justification.

      Please be sure to keep supporting documents handy if there is a dispute raised by your employer.

    • You will not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

  20. I was just trying to file on line. I answered all the questions then was put on hold to speak to someone and got disconnected !!!!! The said if I hung up I would have to start the process over……i did NOT hang up but was disconnected…now what do I DO ????


  21. I worked in Indiana and KY for the same company my job took me back and forth from one store to another but for same company. Do I also need to file in Indiana

    • You can only apply in a state that has your earnings recorded. If you did the same job the entire time you worked for this company, I doubt you have wages in both states. You can call the unemployment office in either to find out which state has your earnings report.

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