How to File for Unemployment

The economic downturn has forced many to file for unemployment benefits. The process is relatively straight forward but will vary depending on the state you live in. Ideally you would want things to change and avert the decision taken by your previous employers. However, at this point, it is important to stay calm and gain the benefits, stemming from the taxes you had been paying over the years.


  • 1

    You will need to contact the local state agency and gather all the relevant information on how to file a claim. Before checking for eligibility, let’s decide how you will contact the concerned state office. If you live in one state but worked in another, then choose the latter for your purpose. However, if you have worked in multiple states and are unfamiliar with the procedure, then it is a safe bet to contact the state where you were born.

  • 2

    Gather the relevant information which will determine whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits. The criteria are uniform in all states. You need to prove that you lost your job because the company decided to downsize the labour force. This will ideally be your answer.

    Make sure you don’t fall in category of part-timers, or employees terminated due to negligence, or dispute, or leaving the post on your own terms. Moreover, you must be out on a job hunt, and take whatever comes your way.  However, there will be exceptions and even if you think that you are violating the benefit process, just apply.

  • 3

    Having got the hard part out of the way, you will now need to gather basic requirements as well. This too will depend on your state regulations but will largely incorporate name, phone number, holiday payments, social security number, family details, address, name of your former employers and your bank account details.

  • 4

    File your application with the concerned authority. You can either do this by logging on the state specific website, on the phone, mail or meeting in person. The easiest way is through the internet but most people prefer to hold a one to one conversation. In all probability, you will follow specific procedures depending on the state you live in.

  • 5

    If your application is approved, you will receive a mail which will verify your eligibility and provide details on how you will be getting the benefits and the overall amount. You will need to fill out a claim form every week or biweekly in order to get timely payments.

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