Weekly Unemployment Claims: How To Apply And Check The Status Of Payments

Updated : March 24th, 2023

If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you can file for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. After filing an initial unemployment claim, you must certify that you are fully or partially unemployed every week to stay eligible and continue to receive payments. This is done by filing a weekly unemployment claim. 

The weekly unemployment claim, also known as weekly certification, verifies that you were unemployed during the week and qualify to receive payments, provided you meet state-defined eligible criteria. 

How Are Weekly Unemployment Benefits Calculated?

Your weekly unemployment benefit amount is calculated based on the wages you earned in the base period.  Normally, the base period is the first four of the last five calendar quarters prior to your initial unemployment claim. You must have your state-required qualifying wages or total wages in the base period. The authorities will determine the total gross wages you earned during your base period and the wages you earned during each calendar quarter in that base period. 

If you don’t have enough wages in the base period to qualify for the unemployment benefits program, the Department Of Labor will automatically consider your wages in the Alternate Base Period, which is usually the last four calendar quarters.

Also, if you think your benefit amount would be higher if you use your Alternate Base Period, you can request the Department Of Labor to consider your Alternate Base Period to calculate your weekly benefit amount. 

How Much Weekly Benefits Can You Receive? 

The weekly benefit amount depends on your wages earned in the base period or Alternate Base Period. If you live in California, you may receive a maximum of $450 benefits each week for up to 26 weeks. In Massachusetts, you may receive up to $1,234 (including the allowance for dependents), whereas, in Texas, you will get a maximum of $521 weekly benefits. 

When Should You File A Weekly Unemployment Claim?

Unless specified, a “week” starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday. You must file your weekly unemployment claims after the week has ended, but before the next week begins. For instance, in Arizona, the first weekly unemployment claim must be filed on Sunday after applying the initial claim but no later than Friday by 6 P.M. 

Note- When a state holiday is observed (on a Friday), the weekly claim filing system will not be functional. If the state holiday falls on Friday, file your weekly unemployment claim by 6 P.M. on Thursday. 

In Washington, if you are filing a weekly claim anytime between Sunday 12:00 A.M, and Saturday 11:59 P.M. If you are filing by phone, use the automated system and apply anytime between Sunday 12 A.M. and Friday 4 P.M., unless Friday is a holiday.

Note- You must submit an unemployment claim every week, even under the following situations. 

  • You are uncertain if you qualify for the unemployment benefits 
  • You are appealing unemployment benefits 

Many times, the first weekly unemployment claim will be counted as your waiting week. During this week, the Department Of Labor won’t pay you benefits. When your second and subsequent weekly claims trigger, the Department will begin rolling out your payments. However, if you had lost a job and served a waiting week within the past year, you need not serve another waiting week.

How To Claim Weekly Unemployment Benefits? 

You can claim weekly unemployment benefits online. Some states also allow the claimants to file a claim by phone. 

For instance, In New York, people can file a weekly claim online or by calling the representatives at toll-free number 888-581-5812. The authorities recommend the claimants to use the online system as it is more secure, convenient, and one may get their benefits payments faster.

Whereas in Texas, claimants should request benefits every two weeks on the scheduled day. When the claimant applies for benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) sends the instructions on requesting a payment. 

Texians can file a weekly claim online using the Unemployment Benefits Services at ui.texasworkforce.org 24 hours a day. To request payment, one will need a User ID and password. One can find more details regarding the password requirements by going to “Managing Your Benefits Password & PIN.” 

People can also claim Texas weekly unemployment benefits by phone. One can Tele-Serv the automated telephone system at 800-558-8321 and Select Option 1. When opting for this process, one would require his or her Social Security number (SSN), and the four-digit PIN generated when one filed an initial unemployment claim.

States like Oklahoma want their citizens to file weekly claims online. One can file Oklahoma weekly claims by visiting https://oesc.ok.gov/

Each state has a different claiming process. Therefore, determine the claiming approaches approved by your state’s Department Of Labor and choose the method that is faster and simpler.  

How To Check The Status Of The Weekly Unemployment Claim?

If you have filed a claim and are waiting for updates regarding your payment, you can contact authorities at the Department Of Labor via email or phone and check the status. Alternatively, you can check the payment status through an online portal. 

Closing Thoughts 

You must file for unemployment benefits every week, failing to which you will not receive payments for those weeks. If you have already missed your claim by a day or didn’t file a claim for a couple of weeks, reopen your unemployment claim. 

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  1. Hello….friends are asking if a person lost there job in April 2020, started collecting unemployment, turned 65 in June and was eligible to collect a pension in July but has not. Was recently informed that pension is retroactive once engaged. How does that work with the collected unemployment money

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