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Unemployment Claim Tips

With an overwhelming amount of information out there, filing for unemployment can seem nerve-wracking and confusing, at first. But it doesn’t have to be. Many state sites are designed to assist a number of individuals with step-by-step instructions. To help you along the way, take a look at some of our tips below to ensure that you have a seamless application process.

Gather all necessary information
When filing for unemployment, you will be asked to provide a slew of information about your previous workplaces, as well as personal details about yourself. As it pertains to jobs you have held in the past, it is important to make a note of their addresses, phone numbers, your previous supervisors and your dates of employment. If you do not have this information on hand, contact your previous Human Resources Department and ask them to supply you these notes in written form. You can request to have it mailed to you or sent via email, whichever you find is most convenient.

Review your state’s unemployment website
Make sure to take the time to carefully browse through your state’s unemployment website as it will contain everything you need to know. For example, it will let you know whether or not you are eligible for unemployment and how to file your claim. Some states may allow you to file by phone, whereas others are strictly limited to online filing. Furthermore, certain states may provide the option of reviewing their website pages in either English or Spanish. When you are filing as a new claimant, one of the first things you will be asked for is your Social Security Number, so make sure to have your SS card with you.

Keep your job search current
Most states will require you to maintain an active job search when you are unemployed. You will need to submit proof of this by either filling out certain forms online, or by calling your state’s Unemployment Center and updating them with information about your recent job search. Some questions you may be asked include how many jobs you applied for during the week, how many interviews you attended, and the phone numbers and locations of each workplace. Keep in mind that it is absolutely crucial that your information is accurate. Providing any misleading or dishonest information is against the law.

Find out your benefit payments
Each state has its own set of rules about how much an individual can receive in unemployment benefits. More often than not, it is mostly based on the salary that you earned at your previous job. The state will allow you to receive a certain percentage of what you made, with a specific cap off amount as to how much you can get on a weekly and monthly basis. Although each state decides the exact amount, the federal government is the one that decides how long you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits – usually a few months. If you think you need more time, make sure to ask about applying for an unemployment extension. Most states make the option of unemployment extension benefits available to qualified individuals.