How Do I File for unemployment insurance benefits?

How Do I File for unemployment insurance benefits?

Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law.

Am I Eligible?

Each state sets its own unemployment insurance benefits eligibility guidelines, but you usually qualify if you:

  • Are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.
  • Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period.” (In most states, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed.)
  • Meet any additional state requirements. Find details of your own state’s program.

How Do I Apply?

To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online.

  • You should contact your state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed.
  • Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
  • When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
  • It generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check.

State Unemployment Insurance Offices

State Agency Phone Number(s) Website
Alabama Alabama Department of Labor 334-242-8025
Alaska Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development 907-269-4700
Arizona Arizona Department of Economic Security 1-877-600-2722
Arkansas Arkansas Department of Workforce Services 501-682-2121
California California Employment Development Department 1-800-300-5616
Colorado Colorado Department of Labor and Employment 303-318-9000
Connecticut Connecticut Department of Labor 1-800-956-3294
Delaware Delaware Department of Labor New Castle County: 302-761-6576
Other Areas: 1-800-794-3032
District of Columbia District of Columbia Department of Employment Services 202-724-7000
Florida Florida Department of Economic Opportunity 1-800-204-2418
Georgia Georgia Department of Labor 1-877-709-8185
Hawaii Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Oahu: 808-586-8970
Hilo: 808-974-4086
Kona: 808-322-4822
Maui: 808-984-8400
Kauai: 808-274-3043
Idaho Idaho Department of Labor 208-332-8942
Illinois Illinois Department of Employment Security 1-800-244-5631
Indiana Indiana Department of Workforce Development 1-800-891-6499
Iowa Iowa Workforce Development 1-866-239-0843
Kansas Kansas Department of Labor 1-800-292-6333
Kentucky Kentucky Career Center Office of Unemployment Insurance 502-564-2900
Louisiana Louisiana Workforce Commission 1-866-783-5567
Maine Maine Department of Labor 1-800-593-7660
Maryland Maryland Department of Labor 410-949-0022
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance 617-626-6338
Michigan Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity 1-866-500-0017,5863,7-336-78421_97241—,00.html
Minnesota Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Twin Cities Area: 651-296-3644
Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090
Mississippi Mississippi Department of Employment Security 1-888-844-3577
Missouri Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations 1-800-320-2519
Montana Montana Department of Labor and Industry 406-444-2545
Nebraska Nebraska Department of Labor 1-855-995-8863
Nevada Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation Northern Nevada: 775-684-0350
Southern Nevada: 702-486-0350
Rural Areas and Out of State Callers: 1-888-890-8211
New Hampshire New Hampshire Department of Employment Security 1-800-852-3400
New Jersey New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development North New Jersey: 201-601-4100
Central New Jersey: 732-761-2020
South New Jersey: 856-507-2340
Out-of-state claims: 1-888-795-6672
New Mexico New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions 1-877-664-6984
New York New York Department of Labor 1-888-209-8124
North Carolina North Carolina Department of Commerce 1-888-737-0259
North Dakota North Dakota Job Service 701-328-4995
Ohio Ohio Department of Job and Family Services 1-877-644-6562
Oklahoma Oklahoma Employment Security Commission 1-800-555-1554
Oregon Oregon Employment Department 1-877-345-3484
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry 1-888-313-7284
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources 787-625-7900
Rhode Island Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training 401-243-9100
South Carolina South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce 1-866-831-1724
South Dakota South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation 605-626-3179
Tennessee Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development 1-877-813-0950
Texas Texas Workforce Commission 1-800-939-6631
U.S. Virgin Islands U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Labor 340-773-1994
Utah Utah Department of Workforce Services Salt Lake and South Davis Counties: 801-526-4400
Weber and North Davis Counties: 801-612-0877
Utah County: 801-375-4067
Other Counties and Out of State: 1-888-848-0688
Vermont Vermont Department of Labor 1-888-807-7072
Virginia Virginia Employment Commission 1-866-832-2363
Washington Washington Employment Security Department 1-800-318-6022
West Virginia Workforce West Virginia 1-800-379-1032
Wisconsin Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development 1-844-910-3661
Wyoming Wyoming Department of Workforce Services 307-473-3789

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