Unemployment Insurance Eligibility

How to File an Unemployment Application

Losing a job can be one of the most devastating and stressful events in a person’s life. Not only does it suddenly isolate you from people and places you had been around for perhaps many years, but it also starts the worrying of how you will pay the bills and survive until a new job comes along.

Fortunately, most workers who lose their jobs are eligible to file for unemployment insurance. A government benefit which will give them a percentage of their former salary, it’s a safety net for people who find themselves suddenly out of a job. While many people believe the filing process can be difficult, it actually has been made much easier in recent years.

The biggest change in applying for unemployment insurance is it can now be completed entirely online. Gone are the days when you would have to go in person to the nearest employment office, stand in line and fill out an inordinate amount of paperwork. Instead, most unemployed workers can now sit behind a computer keyboard and complete the process. For those who are uncomfortable using a computer, applying in person is still an option, as is applying over the phone or completing a set of forms and mailing or faxing them to the nearest employment office.

In order to file an application, there is certain information that you will need regardless of how you choose to apply. The most common information can include (1) your name, address and phone number, (2) Social Security number, (3) military service status, (4) name, address, phone number of last employer, (5) dates of employment, (6) earnings from employment, (7) driver’s license number.

When applying for benefits, the employment office will want to know why you left your previous job. While it’s easier to have an application accepted if you lost your job through no fault of your own, it’s still possible to have an application accepted if you quit or were fired. Even if an application is denied, there is an appeals process available.

Those who file applications online will need to create an account with a user name and password, making sure they are the only ones who have access to the account. Once the initial claim is filed, you will need to apply for benefits each week. Failure to do so can result in a delay in benefits, so it’s an important fact to remember. Most states require you maintain an active job search during your unemployment, requiring you to give the contact information for at least two employers each week when you apply for your benefits. Once your benefits have been approved, payment is usually done by direct deposit into a bank account or through a debit card issued by the state. Checks are rarely sent anymore, though some states still offer that option.

If you find yourself unemployed, following these steps will help bridge the gap until a new job can be found.

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