How to File for Unemployment

Being laid off from your job is never easy and you will need to file for unemployment as soon as as possible to start receiving your unemployment benefits. Many states allow you to file unemployment claims online or over the phone.

In some cases, you will need to mail in paperwork and wait for a response from your state unemployment office. Contacting your state unemployment office first can help you determine exactly what they need and the best way to file your claim.

Here’s what you need to do to file for unemployment:

Prepare Documents

Whether you are filing for unemployment online or are mailing your claims form, you will need to provide a set of supporting documents and other information. Be prepared to file with some key details such as:

  1. Social Security number
  2. Driver’s License number
  3. Veteran/Military information
  4. Contact information about your former employer
  5. Federal ID number
  6. Date of employment
  7. Earnings from previous employer

Establishing Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits

You need to meet several criteria to receive unemployment benefits and these can vary from state to state. Examples of eligibility requirements to receive unemployment benefits include:

Being completely or partially unemployed at the time you file your application

Working a certain amount of weeks during the base period of your claim
Being unemployed through no fault of your own. For example, if your employer fired you without good cause. You will need to provide detailed information about your situation.

Filing an Unemployment Claim Online

You can file an unemployment compensation claim by visiting your state’s Office of Unemployment Compensation and following the step-by-step instructions. Most websites require you to set up an account as part of the registration process and provide a reason why you became unemployed from your employer. In the meantime if you are unemployed & need money fast, you could explore taking out a car title loan. Then, once your application has been filed, you can expect to receive more information by email and will need to follow the instructions carefully to obtain benefits.

Submitting Your Application

After you submit your application you can expect to receive a ‘Determination of Unemployment Compensation’ form which will tell you whether your application is accepted or denied. It will include key details such as your dependency classification, your weekly benefit amount, and which employers will be charged for your unemployment coverage amount.

You do have the option of appealing the decision and will have 21 days to appeal from the date the determination is made. If the application is accepted, you can expect to receive an instruction sheet in the mail which will outline exactly what you need to do file your weekly claim for benefits.

Receiving Unemployment Benefits

You will need to file a form every week after your initial application and registration in order to receive your unemployment benefits. It can take up to four weeks from the date of filing to receive your first payment and in most cases, payments will be made every two weeks. Some unemployment offices will issue payment checks on a weekly basis if you are receiving correspondence electronically.

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