Unemployment insurance benefits are available to unemployed workers who have been laid off through no fault of their own. Eligibility is based on the wages you earn during your base period, which runs 12 months and can be stopped and restarted as needed. Federal extension benefits may be available to workers who are still unemployed after their initial 26-week claim expires.
Contact the state unemployment insurance agency within seven calendar days of becoming unemployed. Waiting too long may result in loss or delay of benefits.
File a claim over the phone, by Internet or by mail. Provide your first and last name, Social Security number, driver's license number, mailing address and telephone number. Provide your former employer's information, including the name of the company, mailing address and contact number.
Provide wage and salary information for the previous 15 to 18 months. Unemployment insurance benefits are granted based on the wages you earn during your standard base period. For example, workers in Michigan must earn at least $2,871 in one quarter of their base period to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits.
Submit additional materials if requested. For example, after reviewing your application, the agency may require additional pertinent information about the reason for the separation between you and your employer or seek to verify the start and end dates of your employment. Generally, it is not necessary to submit pay stubs.
File your weekly claim as directed. Include your work search information and provide a hand signature and signing date for the week claimed. Failure to do so may result in loss of benefits.
- Processing times vary widely by state. However, on average, expect to receive benefits within 45 days of filing an unemployment insurance claim.
Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.