How To File For Unemployment Insurance
The U.S. Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance programs pays unemployment benefits to eligible workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own and who meet certain other eligibility requirements.
Unemployment Insurance is a joint state and federal program that pays cash benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states follow the same principles established by federal law.
Am I eligible?
Each state sets its own eligibility criteria for unemployment insurance benefits, but generally, you qualify if you:
- Unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to separate from your last job due to underemployment.
- Satisfy job and salary requirements. You must meet your state’s requirements for wages earned or worked for a specified period of time called the “base period”. (In most states, this is usually the first of the last five calendar quarters completed before you file.)
- Meet any additional state requirements. Find program details for your own state.
How to apply?
To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you must apply to the unemployment insurance program in the state where you work. Depending on the state, claims can be filed in person, by phone, or online.
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