How To Get Unemployment Benefits

Losing your job can be a horrible experience. Fortunately, there are unemployment benefits to cover you. But do you know the qualifications and application procedures? Read on to find out.

Are You Qualified For Unemployment Benefits?

Each state has its own guidelines to determine whether an individual is eligible for unemployment benefits. The unemployment website of your state will list the criteria. You can google "unemployment your state" to find the site. 

Generally speaking, to claim unemployment benefits, you will need to have worked for a certain period of time, met minimum earnings requirements, and have lost your job due to no fault of your own.

These are the traditional qualifications for unemployment benefits. Given the recent economic conditions, the Department of Labor has given states the flexibility to amend their laws and protect the unemployed. Check the unemployment website for the policies.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act

Considering the current circumstances, the federal government has issued a stimulus bill. You may get an expansion of unemployment benefits, including:

  • Expanded Unemployment: Workers who are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) traditionally may get benefits from Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

  • Supplemental Payments: Whether you are a recipient of UI or PUA, you can get an additional $600 per week through the end of July 2020.

  • Extra Weeks of Unemployment: After your state unemployment benefits have ended, you can get an additional 13 weeks of unemployment according to Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

How To Open A Claim?

You may be able to file for unemployment benefits online or over the phone. Contact your state unemployment office to find out the best way for you. But opening a claim, there are several things you need to prepare, including:

  • Social Security Number

  • Alien Registration Card if you're not a U.S. citizen

  • Driver's license or State ID card number

  • Mailing address including zip code

  • Phone number

  • Names, addresses, and dates of employment for all employers for the last two years

How To Contact An Unemployment Office?

To save your trouble, you can find contact information of the nearest unemployment office on our website. Start searching on the main page.