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Unemployment Insurance Program

The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under State law), and meet other eligibility requirements of State law.

  • Unemployment insurance payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of State law.
  • Each State administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law.
  • Eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts and the length of time benefits are available are determined by the State law under which unemployment insurance claims are established.
  • In the majority of States, benefit funding is based solely on a tax imposed on employers. (Three (3) States require minimal employee contributions.)
  • For additional information, click here.

Eligibility

  1. You must meet the State requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a “base period”. (In most States, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the time that your claim is filed.)
  2. You must be determined to be unemployed through no fault of your own (determined under State law), and meet other eligibility requirements of State law.

Filing a Claim

  • You should contact the State Unemployment Insurance agency as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. In some States, you can now file a claim by telephone or over the Internet.
  • When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
  • Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state UI agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states. You may also click on the link above to find contact information for all states.
  • It generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check. Some States require a one-week waiting period; therefore, the second week claimed is the first week of payment, if you are otherwise eligible.

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