Step 1: Contact your State Unemployment agency.
Unemployment insurance benefits are administered through local state offices. You must apply directly with the unemployment agency in your area to receive benefits.
Step 2: Determine eligibility.
To be eligible to receive unemployment benefits, you must have become unemployed through no fault of your own and be willing and able to work. Each state has different eligibility requirements regarding minimum income and hours worked. Your local unemployment agency will be able to provide this information.
Step 3: File your claim.
Nearly all unemployment agencies accept claims online. Submitting online claims helps speed up the claims process and reduce errors. If you prefer to file your claim via mail or phone, those options are available in some states. You will need to provide the following information when you apply:
- Social security number
- Driver’s license or state ID number
- Most recent date of employment
- 18 months of employment history
- Employer information, including address and phone number
- Dates of employment
- Wages earned
- Reason for becoming unemployed
- Pending payments from past employers (e.g. cashing out vacation time)
- Confirmation that you are willing and available to work