While no one enjoys being laid off from their job, the unemployment system makes the transition a little bit easier to deal with. The financial loss that comes with no longer having a job can be lessened if you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits. While the process to get unemployment can vary from one state to the next, the basic steps are the same.
Make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements for unemployment in your area. To qualify for employment, you must be willing and able to work. You must also be actively seeking employment. You must also have lost your job through no fault of your own. For instance, if you were fired for breaking a specific company policy, you would not be eligible for unemployment benefits. You also must have earned enough money from your job before you were fired to be eligible.
Locate the local unemployment office in your area. Every state is in charge of running its own unemployment fund. Most large areas have an unemployment office that you can visit to apply for benefits. If you want to apply in person, you may need to make an appointment with a caseworker.
Fill out the application for unemployment benefits with your state unemployment office. You can apply in person at the local office or you can typically apply for benefits over the phone. Some jurisdictions also make it possible for you to fill out the unemployment application online. You may also be required to provide documentation such as a termination letter from your employer to prove that you are no longer working.
Wait for the claim to be processed with the state unemployment office. Claim processing time can vary significantly depending on the volume of claims. It could take a few days or it could take as long as two weeks. Once the claim is processed, you may receive a debit card from the unemployment office. Each time you are entitled to another unemployment check, the money will be transferred onto the card for you to use. Other states simply transfer the money directly to your bank account.
Provide information and feedback about your job search once you start receiving unemployment benefits. You may need to call in to the unemployment office periodically to update the status of your job search efforts. If you are not actively looking for a job, your unemployment benefits can be canceled.