Filing Unemployment Weekly Claims
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In order to continue to be eligible for Unemployment Benefits you must file weekly or biweekly claims (after the week has ended) and respond to questions concerning your continued eligibility.
- What You Need to Know
- Registering for Work
- Disqualification from Eligibility
- What if My Claim is Denied?
- Get Help Claiming Unemployment
All unemployment benefit claims filed must include information about any earnings from work you had during the week and any job offers or refusal of work during the week.
When directed, you must report to your local Unemployment Insurance Claims Office or One-Stop/Employment Service Office on the day and at the time you are scheduled to do so.
What You Need to Know
These claims are usually filed by mail or telephone. The state will provide you with filing instructions. If you fail to report as scheduled for any interview, benefits may be denied. You must also continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
According to the law, in order to be considered “eligible” for unemployment benefits there are two main factors to be considered:
- The state requirements for wages earned
- Time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period”.
In most states, the base period is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the time that your claim is filed.
You must be determined to be unemployed through no fault of your own (determined under state law). Since each state has its own Unemployment Insurance agency, each administer separate programs within guidelines established by federal law.
This means eligibility requirements may vary slightly per state. It also means that the state where the claim is filed determines benefit amounts, number of weeks benefits can be paid and other eligibility conditions.
Registering for Work
Claimants who file for unemployment benefits may be directed to register for work with the State Employment Service. This service assists individuals in finding employment.
The Employment Service Office helps individuals by:
- Providing current labor market information and re-employment services free of charge.
- Referring job openings in your area or in other parts of the state or country.
- Referring various training programs.
- Offering testing and counseling to determine other jobs you might like to do and are able to do
- Referring you to other agencies that can for help with those needs if you believe you have special needs or considerations, such as physical needs or other considerations, which may prevent you from getting a job.
Disqualification from Eligibility
There are many reasons for denying benefit payments. Some may include:
- Voluntarily leaving work without good cause
- Being discharged for misconduct connected with work
- Not being able to work or available for work
- Refusing an offer of suitable work
- Knowingly making false statements to obtain benefit payments
What if My Claim is Denied?
If you apply for unemployment and are disqualified or denied benefits, but you feel you are entitled to them, you have the right to file an appeal.
The state will advise you of your appeal rights. You must file your appeal within an established time frame. Your employer may also appeal a determination if he or she does not agree with the state’s determination regarding your eligibility.
Only your State Workforce Agency can make a determination to pay or deny benefits so, it is very important that you file an appeal and/or request reconsideration of your determination according to your state’s unemployment laws.
Get Help Claiming Unemployment
If you need any help you can contact the Department of Labor by phone or e-mail.
- National Toll-Free Contact Center- 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.
- If you want to contact DOL for a specific matter there are phone numbers available per topic at http://www.dol.gov/dol/contact/contact-phone-topics.htm.
- To contact personnel per Department, visit: http://www.dol.gov/dol/contact/contact-phonekeypersonnel.htm.
- For general questions, visit: http://www.dol.gov/dol/contact/contact-email.htm.
- For technical questions, use: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact your state agency directly, visit: http://www.servicelocator.org/OWSLinks.asp