Filing an unemployment claim initially (the application) and continuously (weekly claims) is part of the process. Without applying to the program or completing the ongoing paper, the state will not send you payments.

If you lose your job, try to apply for these benefits right away. If you wait too long, you might lose out on some of the money you could get.

Need Unemployment Benefits? Here's How to Apply

To get unemployment money, there are special rules in each state. Usually, you need to have worked for a certain amount of time and earned enough money before you lost your job. Also, it’s important that you didn’t lose your job because of something you did wrong.

Here’s what you need to get ready:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver’s license or state ID
  • Where you’ve worked in the last year and a half, with the names and addresses of your employers, their phone numbers, and when you worked for them
  • If you worked for the government, you’ll need some special forms (SF8 and SF50)
  • If you were in the military, you need your DD-214 form

In most states, you can apply for these benefits online, which is usually faster. You can also call or sometimes go to an office near you.

Be careful when you fill out the application to make sure everything is right. Each state does things a bit differently, so make sure you know what your state needs. 

After you send in your application, the state office will take some time to look at it. They might need to ask you or your old employer some more questions. If they do, answer quickly and make sure you tell them the correct information.

They’ll send you a letter or email to tell you if you qualify for payments or not. If you disagree with their decision, there’s a way to ask them to look at it again called an appeal. They’ll tell you how to do this in the letter.

Filing Your Weekly or Bi-Weekly Claims

Once accepted into the program, you need to fill out a form every week or every two weeks. This is to let them know you still don’t have a job and that you’re looking for one. You must keep looking for a job and write down what you’re doing to find one. If you make any money while you’re getting unemployment (like a part-time job or a little project), you must tell them about it.

Getting the Money

How much money you get and for how long can be different in each state. Usually, they give you part of what your salary was, for up to 26 weeks. Sometimes, if a lot of people are out of work, they might let you receive payments for longer. 

Just like your paycheck, this unemployment money can be taxed. You can choose if you want them to take out taxes before they give you the money, or you can pay the taxes later when you do your tax return.

Applying for unemployment isn’t too hard if you know what to do and get ready for it. Make sure you know what your state needs from you, and keep looking for a job while you receive unemployment benefits. This money is just to help you until you find a new job.

Since you need to keep looking for a job while you are unemployed, the next section will have some really good tips on how to find one. These tips will help you get better at looking for jobs and make it more likely you’ll find a good one that fits what you want to do.

By Admin