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Filing a Claim for Unemployment Insurance

An individual should contact the state’s Unemployment Insurance agency within a few days of becoming unemployed. At the time of filing the claim, the individual will be asked certain questions relating to former employment, including names and addresses.

The individual should take the necessary documents along with him/her to the agency—social security card, recent pay slips (to verify previous employment), and anything related to the reason for unemployment ( e.g., notice from the employer). The individual is saved from unnecessary hassles if the information provided on his/her behalf is complete and accurate.

After the claim for unemployment insurance is filed, it takes two to three weeks to receive the first benefit check. In some states, there is a one-week waiting period; therefore, the second week claimed is the first week of payment.

The unemployed person must file weekly or biweekly claims and should answer questions regarding continued eligibility. He/she must report any kind of earnings from work during the UI-aided week, and any job offers or refusals of jobs. The claims are generally filed by mail or telephone, with filing instructions provided. (You can file a claim for unemployment insurance with the help of the Form available on this site.)

If the UI claims office or the One Stop Employment Service office asks the individual to report in person, he/she should be present on the specified day and at the agreed-upon time. Benefits may be denied for failing to appear for the scheduled interview.

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