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North Dakota Unemployment Application Information

We are an online resource to help answer your questions, check eligibility and assist in applying for Unemployment. You will also be advised if you qualify for additional benefit programs and receive our benefit guide.

How to Sign Up for Unemployment Insurance in North Dakota


The process to apply for unemployment benefits in North Dakota may prove difficult or confusing to individuals who have never done it before. Applicants who want to file for unemployment will need to learn when and where to sign up for unemployment in North Dakota, in addition to the options for which to complete the application.

For more details on the different features of unemployment registration, please see the following sections:

•    When and where to register for unemployment benefits in North Dakota
•    The unemployment registration process North Dakota

When and Where to Register for Unemployment Benefits in North Dakota


If you are not sure where to apply for unemployment in North Dakota, there are two options. Applicants can file an online application for unemployment, or choose to do so by telephone. The applicant’s claim is effective the Sunday of the week he or she files the claim. No backdating of claims is allowed. Once the unemployment insurance petitioner files a claim, it is good for one year, based on the effective date of the claim. The 52-week period is called the benefit year. Once the claimant’s benefits are consumed, he or she will have to wait until the benefit year is over to file a new unemployment claim. If a petitioner has not exhausted all of his or her benefits in the benefit year and returns to work, the applicant can reopen his or her claim within the benefit year. 

To file for an unemployment claim in ND, if the UI petitioner worked in North Dakota and one more state, he or she may be able to combine those wages and file an ND claim. If the claimant is a former member of the Armed Forces, he or she may be entitled to unemployment insurance depending upon the length of the service rendered, as well as the nature of the discharge. If he or she is separated from the military within the last two years, he or she must have for DD-214 available when filing. For an unemployment EDD application, if a candidate’s unemployment registration is based on his or her federal civilian wages, Job Service will receive reports from the federal agency verifying the status, wage records, and official duty station. In this case, the applicant should have the Claimant’s Affidavit of Federal Civilian Service Wages and Reason for Separation, Form SF-50, Form SF-8, his or her Earnings and Leave Statement and/or a W-2.

Candidates asking “How can I sign up for unemployment?” can accomplish this by telephone or completing the online application for unemployment, or Unemployment Insurance Internet Claim Entry (UI ICE). Both the UI ICE internet system and the telephone system are available from 10 p.m. until midnight Monday through Friday and periodically between midnight and 6 a.m. The Unemployment Insurance Claim Center is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. If the UI petitioner calls outside of normal business hours, he or she can complete the required questions over the telephone via an Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), but will need to call back during regular business hours to speak with a Claims Representative to complete a claim.


The Unemployment Registration Process North Dakota


To apply for unemployment benefits, the former worker needs to acquire a Personal Identification Number (PIN). It can be acquired by telephone and can be used for both internet and telephone systems. If the former worker files a claim on the UI ICE system, they will be assigned a claim or certification number.

During the North Dakota unemployment registration, the UI beneficiary has the option of choosing to receive payment by either a ReliaCard Visa debit card or direct deposit. The debit card enrollment is created after the applicant certifies for his or her first payable week. Another PIN, not the same PIN as the Unemployment Insurance PIN, needs to be established for the debit card. Job Service North Dakota will deposit benefit payments to the claimant two to three business days after he or she are found eligible for payment. The card works like any other debit card and can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. The petitioner claiming benefits for unemployment will receive a new debit card each benefit year. However, the money already deposited on previous cards will remain on the old card and can be used until the card’s expiration date.

If the former employee wishes to use direct deposit, he or she needs to go on the UI ICE system and choose between a checking and savings account, in addition to entering the bank routing and account number.