File An Unemployment Claim
To apply for regular unemployment insurance, click the button below. Youll be taken to the 10 Things You Should Know page to start the application process.
PUA benefits are only payable retroactively through the week ending September 4th, 2021. Learn more about the end of PUA.
Once you have filed a claim for regular unemployment benefits, return to this page and click:
Do I Need To Meet With Anyone In Person
Some states require unemployed workers to meet with the unemployment department representatives to receive help with their job search and/or re-employment assistance.
If your state happens to be among these, theres no need to panic. In many cases, its a routine meeting designed to assist with your job search not to put you or your job search under a microscope. Your meeting may be an individual meeting or a group meeting with other unemployed workers. Its important to remember to bring records of your work search if you are required to apply for a certain number of jobs each week.
You Must Be Able And Available To Work
Your obligation to be able and available to work could mean you cannot travel because you would then be unavailable for work. You are not entitled to receive employment insurance benefits for any working day on which you are unavailable.
Usually, you are also not entitled to receive any employment insurance benefits for time spent outside Canada. The law makes certain exceptions, for example, when you must leave the country to receive medical treatment that isnt readily available where you live, or to attend the funeral of a family member.
Being available for work might also mean that you cant go back to school. But some federal government programs might let you return to school while continuing to receive benefits. To learn more, see the Service Canada website.
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You Quit Because Of Qualifying Personal Reasons
There are also some personal reasons that could make you eligible for UI after quitting voluntarily. “Even a spouse getting a job offer in another state can be considered a good cause in some states,” says Martin.
Quitting due to a medical reason such as a prolonged illness, injury, disability, or on your doctor’s recommendation could also be acceptablehowever, some states might only allow it if the injury was caused by the job. If you quit a job because of domestic violence or needing to care for a severely ill family member, you might be eligible for UI checks too.
Avoiding Being Charged With Fraud
If the overpayment is due to fraud on your part, you will have to pay back the money, plus you may have to pay a penalty and interest. Examples of fraud, according to the New York State Department of Labor, include not reporting money you received for working while you collected unemployment benefits, lying on your unemployment application, helping someone else prepare a false claim or lying about your availability for work while youre collecting unemployment checks. Fraud is a crime, and in addition to monetary penalties, you could be charged, prosecuted and sentenced to time in jail.
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Overpayment Notice On Id Theft Claims
If you receive a Statement of Overpaid Unemployment Benefits Account for an unemployment benefits claim that you did not file, you should report the ID theft claim on TWCs online Fraud Submission portal. See Unemployment Benefits ID Theft for more information.
Once TWC confirms that a claim was filed using a stolen ID, the individual named on the claim is not responsible for any overpayment and the employers tax rate or reimbursement is not affected. Once ID theft is confirmed, any future overpayment statements will be suspended. However, you may continue to receive billing statements while the investigation is ongoing.
You do not need to respond to these statements.
It is important to promptly repay an overpayment because:
- The overpayment stays on your claim record until you repay it in full.
- If you apply for benefits,TWC will apply each eligible payment toward reducing your overpayment until the overpayment is repaid.
- The Texas State Comptroller can recover your overpayment by withholding certain payments to you. That means the state cannot pay you lottery winnings, unclaimed property, unemployment benefits, or state job-related expenses, except for wages, until you repay the overpayment in full.
- Some state funding for college students cannot be released until you repay the overpayment in full.
What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied
After you file for unemployment, the state may accept your claim, and youll receive your benefits. But what if youre denied benefits or the state asks you to provide additional information? You can file an unemployment appeal and explain your situation in a hearing.
The state unemployment office will typically send you a letter that will list the date and time of your hearing. These hearings are generally conducted over the phone.
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How Long After Winning An Unemployment Appeal Do You Receive Your Back Pay
Unemployment compensation is a benefit available to most workers when they separate from their jobs due to circumstances beyond their control. Claiming it can be a process, however, and its not without its challenges.
You must have enough earned income during prescribed time periods to qualify, and some workers can fall through the cracks and be denied even when they do technically qualify. States have appeal systems in place to give them recourse.
What Do I Do If I Cant Get Through To My States Website Or Phone Line
Many state websites, phone numbers, and unemployment systems are overwhelmed by extremely high levels of traffic. State unemployment agencies ask that you have patience if you have trouble getting to a website or filing your claim. They suggest trying at different times of the day, and to keep trying. If you have trouble loading a website page on your computer, you can try your phone instead sometimes phones have faster Internet connections.
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Do All The Unemployed Get Ui
No. In ordinary times, most unemployed workers dont receive UI benefits. UI does not cover people who leave their jobs voluntarily, people looking for their first jobs, and people reentering the labor force after leaving voluntarily. Self-employed workers, gig workers, undocumented workers, and students traditionally arent eligible for UI benefits.
In addition, most states require unemployed workers to have worked a minimum amount of time or received a minimum amount of earnings from their previous employer to be eligible. The minimum amount of earnings required to qualify for UI benefits ranged from $1,000 to $5,000 in 2019. Due to differences in eligibility criteria, the UI recipiency ratethe portion of unemployed people who receive UI benefitsvaries significantly across states. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Mississippis 9 percent recipiency rate was the lowest Massachusettss 55 percent rate was the highest.
What did Congress do during the pandemic crisis?
During past recessions, Congress funded additional weeks of UI benefits for those who exhausted their regular state benefits. This time it did more.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program extended benefits to previously ineligible workers, including part-time workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and the self-employed. This provision expired on September 6th, 2021.
How To File For Unemployment Benefits Online
Filing for unemployment varies by state, but you should be able to file online. In New York, for example, filing for unemployment benefits is relatively simple. Unemployed workers can visit the Unemployment Benefits website to submit a new unemployment claim, claim weekly benefits, or check on the status of an existing unemployment compensation claim. Filing by phone is also an option.
In California, workers can also file an unemployment insurance claim by completing an online form. The site also features a form that can be printed out, completed, and mailed or faxed, as well as a toll-free number you can call to file for unemployment.
Most states have similar options, and each has a website with the details on how to apply for unemployment benefits.
How to find your state unemployment office:
- These sites can be found by searching for your state name unemployment via your favorite search engine.
- Claimants will be asked to create a username and/or password in order to log in to their account to file for unemployment benefits.
- Carefully follow the instructions for filing in your state to avoid claim delays. Youll receive a confirmation of your claim once your application is processed.
You can also visit CareerOneStop to access a directory of state unemployment websites.
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Note All Work And Earnings
When you claim your benefits, you will have to report any work you have done in the weeks being claimed as well as the gross earnings . Even if you have not received payment from the employer yet, the earnings must still be reported over the time worked. Failure to report work and earnings is a crime and can carry severe penalties.
What Are The Unemployment Qualifications In Indiana
To qualify for unemployment benefits in Indiana, you must meet several qualifications before being granted unemployment payments. There are three specific requirements mandated by the Indiana unemployment department that impact whether or not you qualify for unemployment:
Requirement #1: You are able to work.
Indiana unemployment laws require you to be able to find new work before you can receive benefits.
- You must be able to work.
- You must be available to work.
- You must be actively searching for a full-time job.
Requirement #2: You lost your job through no fault of your own.
- Did you quit your job voluntarily? If so, and your reason for quitting was not work-related, you cannot receive benefits. Work-related reasons for quitting that still allow you to qualify for unemployment benefits include the following:
- Worksite safety violations
- Unreasonable changes to your work duties or conditions
- Military service
- Moving to follow a spouse who has accepted a new job
- Harassment, family violence, or domestic abuse
Requirement #3: You earned enough during your base period.
For your claim to be valid, you must have earned at least 1.5 times the amount of your highest-quarter wages in your base period and have made at least $2,500 in the final six months of that period.
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You Meet Requirements For Time Worked And Wages Earned
To get unemployment, you must have worked for a certain amount of time and earned a minimum amount of money. Typically, the unemployment office looks at your employment and earning history in the previous year. Every state sets its own requirements. Check with your state to learn about its policy.
Most states also require that you were a part-time or full-time employee. If you were an independent contractor, like a freelancer, then you probably cant get benefits. Thats because your employer may not have paid unemployment taxes while you were working.
With that said, during the coronavirus pandemic, federal relief was offered to self-employed and gig workers. Although these benefits are often temporarily extended to freelancers, its wise to check with your states unemployment office for the most up-to-date information.
General Questions About Unemployment
You can get up to $362 a week for 14 to 20 weeks.
The UIA calculates your weekly benefit amount by multiplying the wages paid in your highest base period quarter by 4.1%. You also get an extra $6 per week for each dependent you claim, up to five dependents, but your benefits cant exceed $362.
For example, if your highest base period was $5,000 and you have three dependents, your weekly benefits could be $223 = $223).
To figure out how many weeks you may get benefits, your total base period wages are multiplied by 40% and then divided by your weekly benefit amount. If your claim is calculated to be less than 14 weeks, you cant get benefits at all. You cant get unemployment for more than 20 weeks. For example: if your total base period wages are $12,000 and your weekly benefit amount is $223, you would receive those benefits for 20 weeks , because weeks cannot exceed 20.
Your standard base period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before you filed your unemployment claim. There are four calendar quarters in a year:
For example: if you file your claim in July 2020, the four quarters in your standard base period are:
If you dont qualify because you didnt have enough wages in the standard base period, you may be able to qualify with your wages in the alternative base period. This is the four quarters right before you file for unemployment. So, if you file your claim in July 2020, the four quarters in the alternative base period are:
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What To Say And What Not To Say
When completing your unemployment forms, one of the first questions you see will be something like: Explain in your own words why you left your last job. The form won’t leave much room for long-winded explanations. Take the clue and keep your responses simple and noncommittal.
Unless you were clearly dismissed from your job because of something you did wrong, avoid using the word “fired” in filling out any forms or answering any interview questions at the unemployment insurance office. There are many unspecified words thrown around concerning the end of employment, but fired is the one most often taken to mean that you did something wrong and were dismissed because of it.
If you lost your job because business was slow, note that you were laid off. “Laid off” is an equally vague term, but it is less likely to raise questions about the validity of your claim.
If you were discharged by your employer, take pains to note: “Discharged without any misconduct” or “Quit for good cause.” Leave out any qualifying details, such as: “My supervisor never liked me from the first day I walked in, so naturally I was the first to be laid off.”
Benefit Year End Date
A regular unemployment insurance benefit year ends 12 months after the claim started.
You cannot be paid for weeks of unemployment after your benefit year ends, even if you have a balance on your claim. Continue to certify for benefits if you have weeks available within your benefit year.
You can reapply for a new claim if you earned enough wages in the last 18 months and are still unemployed or working part time. Apply online, and we will notify you when your new claim is processed. This usually takes two to three weeks.
For more information, refer to the unemployment benefit calculator.
If you served in the military, worked for a federal government agency, or worked in a state outside of California within the last 18 months, you must reapply for a new claim by phone, mail, or fax.
You do not need to reapply if you did not earn enough wages in the last 18 months to establish a new claim.
To find your benefit year end date, log in to UI OnlineSMand view your Claim Summary. Your benefit year end date is 12 months after the start of your Benefit Year.
For more information, refer to your Notice of Unemployment Insurance Award for your claim ending date or review Benefit Year End.
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Where To File For Unemployment Benefits
You should file your claim for unemployment benefits in the state where you live and worked. .
If you become unemployed in one state and then move to another, you can file your claim in your new state. However, your benefits will be determined by the rules of your former state. Although your new state administers your claim, the cost of your benefits is charged back to the state in which you became unemployed. A move will also add time to processing your claim, usually increasing the delay by several weeks.
Keep in mind that, even when you relocate, you still must meet all the requirements of the unemployment insurance program to qualify for benefits. Your new location must be one to which you were required to move by family circumstances or in which it is logical for you to expect to find a new job. For example, you cannot decide to move to a small seacoast town with virtually no business activity because you like the countryside there, quit your old job for no other reason, then expect to be eligible for unemployment insurance when you get to your new home and cannot find work.
Check Your States Ui Policy Before Quitting
Because state laws vary on which reasons are considered good cause for quitting a job and being able to collect unemployment, its a good idea to check what your states rules are before you decide to quit. Once you do decide to quit, make sure you file for unemployment immediately after, because the approval time can take a while.
Still unsure if you qualify? Apply anyway, suggests Tina Hawk, senior vice president of HR at GoodHire. Many others presume that their specific circumstances disqualifies them from receiving benefits, and in 99 percent of cases theyre wrong, says Hawk. On top of that, you may still be eligible for unemployment benefits even if youve previously been denied them.
If you do get denied, you can try to appeal your claimbut you might have a tight deadline to appeal, depending on your state, says Martin.
If youre approved and start receiving unemployment checks, you will need to file a claim each week to continue getting payments, and show proof that you are actively looking for a new job.
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