How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance

Being unemployed and looking for a job is a part-time job itself. To relieve the stress, you may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance. Learn more about who applies for these benefits and what you expect to obtain based on the laws in your state. Then, review the main steps necessary to apply for unemployment insurance.

Learn About Qualifications

Know the location of the nearest unemployment agency. Most agencies do not require you to apply for unemployment insurance in person. Look on their websites to review the program requirements and the qualifications that you must meet.

The criteria varies from state to state, but the same guidelines apply. You may not be eligible if you resigned or were terminated from your job. Disliking the job and quitting are not valid reasons to receive benefits.

You are eligible if the company shut down or laid you off to save money. Additional reasons include a medical problem, a family emergency or unfair treatment on the job. The agency may require you to show documented proof of the reason.

The second part of your eligibility is determined by the base period. The agency reviews the amounts that you earned during this period. They use previous earnings to determine the amounts of your current UI payments. Different states have different formulas that they use to calculate these payments.

How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance

If you meet the qualifications, apply for benefits. Gather the information that you need to complete an application. Choose from one of four ways to apply:

  • Online
  • In person
  • Over the phone
  • By mail

You need basic information to apply for unemployment insurance, such as name, address and social security number. Then, collect your employment information that includes:

  • The employer’s location / address
  • The employer’s phone number
  • The duration of employment
  • The amount of earnings
  • The reason for unemployment

Collect the information that falls within the required timespan. In some states, your benefits apply only to the wages that were earned in the past 18 months. Also report earnings that you expect to earn from an employer in the future.

Receive a Letter or Phone Call

Wait for two to three weeks after the application. Expect a phone call or letter with a simple statement about your acceptance or denial. If the wait exceeds a month, contact the agency and report a problem with the application.

How to Be Ready for an Appeal

Choose the option to appeal if you are denied benefits. Review the agency’s site to check the eligibility for this process. Make sure that you meet the deadline that varies from 2 to 4 weeks.

Follow Up with the Requirements

Once you start receiving benefits, follow up on the obligations. Meet every filing deadline and attend every required counseling or job training session. You must show proof that you are actively looking for work. Failing to follow up means that you lose benefits.

There are few better options for unemployed people than to apply for unemployment insurance. It’s important to take the right steps and receive full assistance for your financial problems. In the end, you benefit more from applying for unemployment insurance than if you did not apply.