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How to file for unemployment benefits online in every state

Unemployment benefits can be a much-needed lifeline if you’ve lost your job or face reduced hours. The system allows you to receive financial assistance as you look for a new job, helping you make ends meet until then.

As millions of people face layoffs and work reductions due to COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, they’re filing for unemployment benefits in massive numbers. The sheer number of people is clogging up phone lines and offices, which means the best and easiest way to claim unemployment benefits quickly is to use your state’s website.

Unfortunately, many state-run unemployment benefits are not particularly intuitive or easy to use. That’s where we come in: Digital Trends has looked through the unemployment benefits sign-up website for every single state and put together a quick guide to getting to the application page, along with what documentation you’ll need and any helpful tips.

Unemployment Application
Tero Vesalainen / Getty Images

Who can apply for unemployment benefits?

The requirements vary by state, but in general you’re eligible for unemployment benefits if you were previously working but lost your job or had your hours cut through no fault of your own. The unemployment insurance program uses both state and federal funding to give cash benefits based on the wages you made before losing your job.

One quick note: Filing for unemployment benefits is not a one-time thing. You’ll typically need to regularly update state officials with proof that you are actively seeking work — usually through the same website as the one where you filed your initial claim.

As more people file for unemployment because of COVID-19, expect to see rapid changes. Be sure to check with your state’s corresponding agency for the latest information on applying or qualifying for unemployment.

How to file for unemployment benefits online in every state:

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Alabama

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Alabama Department of Labor website.

The fine print: You can’t file a claim online in Alabama if you’ve filed a claim in any other state in the past 12 months, you worked for the federal government in the last 18 months and were not laid off due to government shutdown, you worked as a merchant seaman in the past 18 months or you are currently outside the United States of America.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security number
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • Your Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) certification letter and/or TAA petition number, if you are filing for Trade Adjustment Assistance Benefits
  • The name and local number of your union hiring hall, if you obtain your work through a union hiring hall
  • Your bank routing number and checking/savings account number, if you’d like direct deposit of your benefits
  • Your phone number

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Alaska

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. You’ll first need to create a login with a valid email address.

The fine print: If you’ve worked in another state in the past 18 months, you may be able to combine claims.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security number
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and your work permit or other documentation
  • Name, mailing address and phone number of your last employer and the location where you reported to work
  • Dates of your last employment, first and last day worked
  • Earnings you made in the last week of your employment
  • Other deductible income received in the last week of employment, such as vacation, severance or bonus pay
  • Federal employees are required to mail or fax copies of standard form SF8 and SF50, and when possible a Leave and Earnings Statement
  • A copy of your discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Arizona

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

The fine print: Applicants can apply for benefits online between midnight on Sunday through 6 p.m. on Friday.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security Number
  • AZ driver’s license or AZ state-issued ID
  • Your mailing address, city, state, and ZIP code
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all employers for the last 18 months
  • The last day worked immediately prior to filing the UI claim
  • Deductible income received in the last week of employment, such as vacation, severance or bonus pay, as well as any pension
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • Your Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) certification letter and/or TAA petition number, if you are filing for Trade Adjustment Assistance Benefits
  • The name and local number of your union hiring hall, if you obtain your work through a union hiring hall

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Arkansas

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at Arkansas Division of Workforce Services.

The fine print: Applicants can apply for benefits online between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. You aren’t eligible if you are participating in — or have a direct interest in — a labor dispute.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security Number
  • Your physical address, mailing address, and phone number
  • The name and address of your last employer
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • Your banking information if you wish to receive benefits through direct deposit
  • The name and local number of your union hiring hall, if you obtain your work through a union hiring hall

How to file for unemployment benefits online in California

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at California’s Employment Development Department.

The fine print: Applicants can apply for benefits online from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, 2 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • The name and address of your last employer, along with your supervisor’s name
  • The last day worked immediately prior to filing the claim and why you are no longer working
  • Gross earnings in the last week you worked, beginning with Sunday and ending with your last day of work
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all employers for the last 18 months
  • Standard form SF8 for federal employees
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Colorado

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

The fine print: Benefits related to the recent coronavirus stimulus package aren’t available yet. If your last name begins with a letter from A to M, you can file unemployment claims on a Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday, or after midnight on Saturday. If your last name begins with a letter from N to Z, you can file unemployment claims on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, or before 12 p.m. on Saturday.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security number
  • A state driver’s license or state ID card
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number
  • Your address including zip code and county
  • The names, addresses, phone numbers and salaries for all jobs for the last 18 months
  • Deductible income received in the last week of employment, such as vacation, severance or bonus pay, as well as any pension.
  • The name and local number of your union hiring hall, if applicable
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • Standard form SF8 or SF50 for federal employees

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Connecticut

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at the Connecticut Department of Labor and Employment. You will need to create a CT Direct Benefits account.

The fine print: If you are filing claims caused by unemployment due to the coronavirus, complete the claim using instructions found here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security number
  • A separation packet from your previous employer, if you received one
  • Form DD-214 (Member 4 copy), if you served in the military in the last 18 months
  • Form SF-50 or SF-8, if you are a federal civilian employee
  • Proof of work authorization if you’re not a U.S. citizen

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Delaware

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance. You will need to create a Delaware WebBenefits account.

The fine print: Applicants must also register for job opportunities and create a resume with the Division of Employment and Training via Delaware JobLink.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Your Social Security card
  • Mailing address
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers for all jobs for the last 18 months
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • The reason you lost your job

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Florida

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The fine print: Requirements to provide proof of searching for new work and complete the full work registration through Employ Florida are waived for claims beginning the week of March 15, 2020 through the week ending May 2, 2020. The department is also experiencing “higher than average wait times” because of a surge in applications due to the coronavirus.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Your Social Security number and a secondary form of ID such as a driver’s license or U.S. passport.
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number
  • Residential and mailing addresses
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers for all jobs for the last 18 months, including reason for separation from your employers
  • A copy of your DD214 discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months
  • The name and local number of your union, if applicable
  • Your banking information if you wish to receive benefits through direct deposit

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Georgia

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page at Georgia Department of Labor.

The fine print: If you live in Georgia, you must also register for employment services at EmployGeorgia after filing your claim.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Georgia Driver’s License
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers for all jobs for the last 18 months
  • Your banking information if you wish to receive benefits through direct deposit

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Hawaii

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations website. You’ll first need to create a login; you’ll need a valid email address to do so. This detailed video has step-by-step instructions.

The fine print: A notice on the State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations website notes that it’s experiencing a high volume of users, and you may get an error when trying to file a claim online. Also, the state restricts when you can file online to between:

6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. HT Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. HT on weekends and holidays.

Hawaii also has COVID-19-specific information in a PDF here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number
  • Active duty military members need their Member 4 Copy of the DD Form 214, though this can be provided at a later date. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here
  • Federal employees need their SF8 or SF50 or pay-stubs
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Idaho

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Idaho Department of Labor website. You’ll first need to create a login; you’ll need a valid email address to do so. This PDF has step-by-step instructions.

The fine print: Idaho also allows residents to file an unemployment claim by telephone. Idaho also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license number or state identification number
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address (both the worksite and corporate address, if they’re different), and phone numbers, along with dates of employment, gross earnings total before deductions, and reasons you left employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and have their card on hand
  • Those who performed active duty military service for at least 90 days in the past two years need their Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here
  • Pension or retirement details including dates and amounts received, if applicable
  • Referral labor union membership information for a building or trades union who regularly refers you to full-time work, if applicable
  • Temporary disability workers’ compensation details, if applicable
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via a U.S. Bank ReliaCard, a reloadable prepaid debit card

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Illinois

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website. You’ll first need to create a login; you’ll need a valid email address to do so.

The fine print: Illinois is experiencing such high volumes of claims, that it’s asking residents to file on certain dates, depending on their last name: Last names beginning with letters A-M on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays; last names beginning with letters N-Z on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays. Saturdays will be available for anyone who could not file on the other days. In addition, online filing is unavailable every night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m CT.

Illinois also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number.
  • Driver’s license number or state identification, including the listed weight information
  • Social security numbers, dates of birth, and names of your spouse and children, if you’re claiming them as dependent
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment. W-2 forms or check stubs may be necessary
  • If you worked since Sunday of this week, you’ll need to provide the gross wages earned (the amount before deductions) for the week
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Information
  • Recently separated veterans need their Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214/215; other copies of the DD Form 214/215 are also acceptable. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here
  • Records of pension payments you are receiving (not including Social Security), if applicable
  • Civilian employees of the federal government need copies of their Standard Form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50.
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via a KeyBank debit card

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Indiana

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development website. You’ll first need to create a login; you’ll need a valid email address to do so. This site has a series of tutorials for the system.

The fine print: Indiana is receiving such a high volume of calls to its COVID-19 contact center, that the number stopped working.

Indiana also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license number or state identification number
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment
  • Most recent paycheck stub
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via a Key2Benefits prepaid Mastercard, a reloadable debit card from KeyBank

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Iowa

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Iowa Workforce Development website. You’ll first need to create a login; you’ll need a valid email address to do so. The online handbook has more information here. There’s also a video tutorial here.

The fine print: Here are the guidelines for who may file for unemployment. Iowa also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • The social security numbers, dates of birth, and names of your spouse and children, if you’re claiming them as dependents (up to four total).
  • Your address and phone number
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their employment authorization number and expiration date
  • If you served in the military during the past 18 months, you’ll need your Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here.
  • Records of pension payments you are receiving (not including Social Security), if applicable
  • If you worked for the federal government as a civilian employee in the last 18 months, you’ll need your Standard Form 8 or Standard Form 50
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via an Iowa Workforce Development debit card from Bank of America

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Kansas

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Kansas Department of Labor website. You’ll first need to create a login; you’ll need a valid email address to do so. There are several video tutorials here, and a step-by-step PDF as well.

The fine print: Kansas’s online service is available on Sundays from noon to Mondays at 9 p.m. CT, Tuesdays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT, and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT.

Kansas also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Your Driver’s License number
  • Your address and phone number, as well as the county where you live
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their employment authorization number and expiration date
  • If you were active duty military within the past 18 months, you’ll need your Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here
  • Records of pension payments you are receiving (not including Social Security), if applicable
  • If you worked as a federal employee, you’ll need your Standard Form SF-50 or pay stub
  • The amount of separation, vacation, or holiday pay you have received or will receive, if applicable
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via a prepaid Unemployment Debit Card from Bank of America

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Kentucky

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Kentucky Career Center website. You’ll first need to create a login; you’ll need a valid email address to do so. Basic instructions for navigating the system are here.

The fine print: Kentucky’s online system is available during the following hours: Mondays to Fridays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. It is processing claims based on last names on the following days: Sundays, last names that start with the letter A-D; Mondays, E-H; Tuesdays, I-L; Wednesdays, M-P; Thursdays, Q-U; Fridays, V-Z and those who missed their days earlier in the week.

Kentucky also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number and date of birth
  • Your mailing address and phone number
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration information
  • Members of the U.S. Military need their Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here
  • Records of pension payments you are receiving (not including Social Security), if applicable
  • If you worked for the federal government as a civilian employee, you’ll need your agency name, component name, and Standard Form 8 or Standard Form 50
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via a Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Debit Card through Bank of America

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Louisiana

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Louisiana Department of Labor website. You’ll first need to verify if you’re in the system and create a login if not; you’ll need a valid email address to do so.

The fine print: To apply for unemployment in Louisiana, you’ll need to meet the state’s qualifications. Louisiana also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, you’ll need your Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here
  • If you were a civilian employee of the federal government in the last 18 months, you need a copy of your Standard Form 8 and Personnel Action Form 50.​ You should still apply, even if you don’t have these documents available
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via a U.S. Bank debit card

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Maine

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Maine Department of Labor website. You’ll first need to create a login; you’ll need a valid email address to do so. An instruction guide for the system is here.

The fine print: Phones are down at the Maine Department of Labor due to a high volume of calls. Maine also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • The social security numbers of any children you’re claiming as dependents
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Information and expiration date
  • Recently separated veterans need their Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here
  • If you were a civilian employee of the federal government in the past 18 months, you need a copy of your Standard Form 8 or Personnel Action Form 50
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via a ReliaCard, a prepaid debit card from U.S. Bank

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Maryland

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Maryland Department of Labor website. You’ll first need to verify your identity via your social security number.

The fine print: Because of unprecedented numbers of claims, Maryland is asking people to file online during off-peak hours (8 p.m. to 7 a.m. ET) and to do so on specific days, based on last name. If your last name starts with A through F, file your claim on Mondays. If your last name starts with G through N, file your claim on Tuesdays. If your last name starts with O through Z, file your claim on Wednesdays.

Maryland also has COVID-19-specific information here.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Your mailing address
  • The names, birth dates, and social security number of all dependents under the age of 16
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment and reasons you left employment. Your W-2 form may be helpful for finding this information
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Information
  • Recently separated veterans need their Member 4 Copy of the DD form 214. You can request a copy of your DD-214 online here
  • The hiring hall number of your union, if applicable
  • Your bank account number and your bank’s routing number. Otherwise, the state will pay you via a Maryland Unemployment Insurance Benefits Debit Card from Visa

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Massachusetts

Where to claim: You can file your claim online here.

The fine print: Massachusetts workers are eligible for unemployment if they have earned at least $5,100 during the last four completed calendar quarters and 30 times the amount you’re qualified to collect. Your unemployment (or severely reduced hours) must be through no fault of your own. Massachusetts has waived its normal work search requirements.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number, birth date, home address, phone number, and email address
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for all employers in the last 15 months
  • Dates you started and stopped those jobs
  • Your reasons for leaving each of them
  • If you were laid off but have a date you can return, provide that
  • If not a U.S. citizen, your alien registration number
  • If a military member, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Michigan

Where to claim: You can file your claim online here. You’ll be asked to create an account if you don’t already have one.

The fine print: Due to the surge of claims, Michigan is asking people to file only on certain days, depending on their last names. If your last name starts with letters A-L, file on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday; for names starting in M-Z, file on Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday. Saturdays are for anyone.

You must have worked in Michigan during the last 12-18 months, and be unemployed or working part-time, and it must not be “your fault” that you are unemployed. Michigan has waived its normal work search requirements

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or ID
  • Names and addresses of employers over the last 18 months
  • Dates you started and stopped work with each employer
  • Your most recent employer’s Federal Employer ID Number and Employer Account Number
  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need your Alien Registration Card.
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Minnesota

Where to claim: You can file your claim online here. You’ll need to create an account first, which you can do under the section labeled New Applicants.

The fine print: You must have made enough earnings during your base period, be unemployed through no fault of your own, be legally authorized to work in the U.S., and be willing to, able to, and actively seeking work which you can do via the state’s CareerForce website.

Minnesota is experiencing a high volume of requests, so it requires people to apply only on specific days dictated by the last digit of their social security number: Monday (0,1,2), Tuesday (3,4,5), Wednesday (6,7,8,9), Thursday (Anyone), Friday (Anyone).

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or state ID number
  • Address and telephone number
  • Names, addresses, telephone numbers, and dates of employment for each employer over the last 18 months
  • Reasons you no longer work for those employers
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Mississippi

Where to claim: You can file your claim online here, but note that the online service has at times gone down as a result of the high volume of claims.

The fine print: You must have worked at least two quarters in your base period, earned at least $780 in one quarter, and earned at least 40 times your weekly payout over the course of your base period. You must also be unemployed through no fault of your own. Mississippi has waived its normal work search requirements due to the pandemic.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Address and phone number
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for employers from the last 18 months
  • Reasons for leaving those employers
  • If not a U.S. citizen, your Alien Registration or Visa number
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Missouri

Where to claim: You can file your claim online here. You’ll need to create an account first, which you can do by clicking the button labeled Don’t have an account? Create one.

The fine print: You must have lost your job through no fault of your own, made at least $2,250 during one-quarter of your base period, your wages over the whole base period must be 1.5 times those of your highest quarter, or make 1.5 times the taxable wage base during two quarters. Missouri has lifted its work search requirements for those who lost jobs due to the pandemic.

What you’ll need:

  • Social Security Number
  • Names and mailing address for employers over the last 18 months
  • Dates you started and ended those jobs
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Montana

Where to claim: You can file your claim online here. You’ll need to create an account first, which you can do with this link.

The fine print: Montana is waiving its work search requirements as a result of the pandemic. Normally, you must be physically and mentally able to work, be ready to accept work when offered, and keep a record of your weekly attempts to find work.

What you’ll need:

  • Social Security Number
  • Address and phone number
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for employers from the past 18 months
  • If not a U.S. citizen, Alien Registration Number
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Nebraska

Where to claim: You can file your claim online here. You’ll need to create an account first, which you can do by scrolling down the login page to the section labeled Option 3 – Create a user account.

The fine print: You must have earned at least $4,324 during your base period, with at least $1,850 in one quarter and $800 in another. Until May 2, Nebraska is waiving the normal requirement to be seeking work.

What you’ll need:

  • Social Security Number
  • Address, telephone number, and email address
  • Driver’s license or ID number
  • Addresses of employers over the last 18 months
  • Dates you worked for those employers, and reasons for leaving
  • If not a U.S. citizen, your employment authorization number
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Nevada

Where to claim: You can file their claim online here. You’ll need to create an account first, which you can do by following this link.

The fine print: You must be unemployed through no fault of your own. In response to the pandemic, Nevada has waived the normal requirement to search for work.

What you’ll need:

  • Social Security Number
  • Names, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of work of your last two employers
  • If not a U.S. citizen, your Alien Registration Number
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to file for unemployment benefits online in New Hampshire 

Where to claim: You can file your online claim here. You’ll need to create an account first, which you can do by clicking the Create New Account button on the page.

The fine print: Due to the volume of claims, New Hampshire requires you to file at certain dates or times based on the first letter of your last name. You can find the dates and times you’re allowed to file in a chart on the login page.

What you’ll need:

  • Social Security Number
  • Address, phone number, and email address
  • Holiday, sick, separation, or retirement pay you’ll receive
  • If you were in the military in the last year, your Military Form DD-214, member 4 copy

How to file for unemployment benefits online in New Jersey

Where to claim: You can begin filing your online claim here. You’ll need to create an account first, which you can do here.

The fine print: You must have worked in New Jersey in the last 18 months, or have been in the military in the last 18 months and be physically present in New Jersey.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers for each employer you had in the last 18 months
  • Your roles, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving for each employer
  • If you were in the military in the last 18 months, your Military Form DD-214

How to file for unemployment benefits online in New Mexico

Where to claim: Click here to get to the claims page on the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions website.

The fine print: In order to access New Mexico’s Unemployment Insurance Tax & Claims System, you are required to create an account and register to the state’s Workforce Connection Online System (www.jobs.state.nm.us)

New Mexico also requires a one-week waiting period after your claim is filed. This means that you won’t get a check for the first week that you are eligible for benefits. This is what they call your “waiting week.” Your payment will start in the second week.

What you’ll need:

  • Social Security number
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and your work permit or other documentation
  • Name, mailing address and phone number of your last employer and the location where you reported to work
  • Dates of your last employment, first and last day worked
  • Earnings you made in the last week of your employment
  • Other deductible income received in the last week of employment, such as vacation, severance, or bonus pay
  • Federal employees are required to mail or fax copies of standard form SF8 and SF50, and when possible a Leave and Earnings Statement
  • A copy of your discharge papers if you’ve been released from the military in the past 18 months

How to file for unemployment benefits online in New York 

Where to claim:  Click here to get to the new claims page on the New York Department of Labor website.

The fine print: In order to be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits from the State of New York, you must:

  • Have lost employment through no fault of your own
  • Have enough prior earnings from employment to establish a claim
  • Be ready, willing, and able to work immediately
  • Be actively seeking work and keep a record (online or written) of your effort

One crucial note from the website: “If you are not sure if you qualify, you should still apply as soon as possible. We will determine if you are eligible. For more information about eligibility, please see Chapter 2 of our claimant handbook at www.labor.ny.gov/uihandbook.”

What you’ll need:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Your New York State driver’s license or Motor Vehicle Identification card number
  • Your complete mailing address and zip code
  • Your phone number
  • Your Alien Registration card number (if you are not a United States citizen and have a card)
  • Names and addresses of all your employers for the last 18 months, including those in other states
  • Employer Registration Number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer (the FEIN is on your W-2 forms)
  • Your copies of forms SF8 and SF50, if you were a federal employee
  • Your most recent separation form (DD 214), if you were in the military

How to file for unemployment benefits online in North Carolina 

Where to claim: Click here to get to the claims page on the North Carolina Department of Commerce website.

The fine print: North Carolina’s Department of Commerce lists four things that you’ll need in order to qualify for benefits:

  • You must be unemployed due to no fault of your own (DES will make this determination based upon information provided by you and your last employer);
  • You must have earned sufficient wages in order to file a claim
  • You must be physically able, available, and actively seeking work
  • You must register for work with NCWorks Online.

What you’ll need:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Details from your most recent employer about separation, vacation, or severance pay you received, will receive, or are entitled to receive
  • Details regarding any retirement pay (gross monthly amount of pay along with proof)
  • Your bank routing number and account number if you would like unemployment payments directly deposited into your bank account. If you do not select direct deposit, payment will be placed on a DES-issued debit card
  • Your work history for the past two years (employer name as it appears on your check stub, employer’s payroll and physical addresses, telephone number, employment dates, rate of pay and reason for separation from each employer)
  • If you served in the military at any point over the past 18 months, you’ll need your DD-214 form
  • Your SF-50 or SF-8 form if you’re a federal civilian employee
  • If you’re a member of a union, the name and phone number of your local union hall
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and scans of documentation (like a green card)

How to file for unemployment benefits online in North Dakota 

Where to claim: Click here to get to the claims page on the official jobs portal of North Dakota’s state website, nd.gov

The fine print: Please note: some of these requirements have been superseded by the CARES Act.

To be eligible for unemployment benefits you must:

  • Have been separated from employment through no fault of your own or have had your hours reduced
  • Be able to work
  • Be available for work
  • Be actively seeking employment
  • Be found monetarily eligible — a claimant establishes monetary eligibility based on work performed during a specific one-year period called the base period

What you’ll need:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Name, address, and telephone number of all employers that you worked for in the last 18 months
  • Union Local name and number (if applicable)
  • DD214 member copy 4 (proof of military service and wages)
  • SF8 and SF50 (proof of federal civilian service and wages)
  • Your alien identification number (non-U.S. citizen authorized to work in the U.S.)

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Ohio

Where to claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services website.

The fine print: If you are out of work due to COVID‐19 and need to file an unemployment application, the state asks that you use the mass‐layoff number #2000180 when you file your application.

What you’ll need:

  • Your Social Security number and your driver’s license (or state ID) number
  • Your name, address, telephone number, and email address
  • The name, address, telephone number, and dates of employment for your most recent employer. Names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of any dependents, including children and your spouse
  • Alien Registration Number and expiration date of your work authorization
  • Payment preference (if direct deposit is preferred, you will need your bank routing number and account number)
  • If you had out-of-state employment, have worked for the federal government, or are separated from military service, more information is required, including: Form DD-214, member 4 copy (for military service) – SF-8 or SF-50 form (for federal government employment)

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Oklahoma

Where to claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission website.

The fine print: You can apply for unemployment if you previously made at least $1,500 during the past year-long base period (typically the calendar year before you applied).

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Information about your last employer, including company name, mailing address, company’s phone number, supervisor name, and reason why your hours have been reduced or you are no longer working for them
  • Employment history for the past 18 months, including name of all employers, your period of employment, and your pay information including your total wages earned
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and scans of documentation (like a green card)

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Oregon

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Oregon Employment Department website.

The fine print: Oregon residents can file for unemployment insurance benefits online as long as they haven’t claimed unemployment in another state in the past year and have worked in Oregon in the past 18 months.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Work history for the past 18 months. Be sure to include your employers’ company name, address, and phone numbers, along with dates of employment
  • Your pay information, including salary and total income earned from each employer
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and scans of documentation (like a green card)
  • Your phone number

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Pennsylvania

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry website.

The fine print: You should make your claim the weekend after you lose your job or your hours are reduced.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social Security number
  • Your phone number
  • Information about your most recent employer, including the company name, address, and phone number, your first and last day of work, your reason for leaving, and the employer’s PA UC account number, if you know it
  • Your email address
  • Direct deposit is optional, but if you want to receive it, you’ll need to include your bank name and address, along with account number and routing number

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Rhode Island

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance website.

The fine print: You can claim unemployment benefits in Rhode Island if you’ve worked in the state in the past 18 months.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Information about all the places you’ve worked over the past 18 months, including company name, address, phone numbers, and dates of employment, along with pay information
  • If you’re a member of a labor union or hiring hall, you’ll need its name and local phone number
  • If you have dependent children, you’ll need their names, social security numbers, and dates of birth
  • The number on your driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Direct deposit is optional, but if you want to receive it, you’ll need to include your bank name and address, along with account number and routing number
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and scans of documentation (like a green card)

How to file for unemployment benefits online in South Carolina

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to create an account on the South Carolina MyBenefits portal. Once you’re in the system, click File a New Insurance Claim to get started.

The state also has a helpful YouTube video walking you through the application process.

The fine print: South Carolina pays out roughly 50% of your average weekly wage, up to $326 a week.

What you’ll need: Be sure to have the following on hand before you start your application:

  • Social security number
  • Your work history over the past 18 months, including company names, addresses, and phone numbers, along with your salary for each company
  • If you served in the military at any point over the past 18 months, you’ll need your DD-214 form
  • Your SF-50 or SF-8 form if you’re a federal civilian employee
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and scans of documentation (like a green card)

How to file for unemployment benefits online in South Dakota

Where to file a claim: Click here to create an account and start your application for unemployment on the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation website. There’s also a helpful video walking you through the process:

The fine print: While the state recently implemented a system for applying by telephone based on your last name, you can apply online at any time.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Your driver’s license or state ID number
  • Your work history over the past 18 months, including company names, addresses, and phone numbers, along with your salary for each company and the reason why you aren’t working for them anymore
  • If you served in the military at any point over the past 18 months, you’ll need your DD-214 form
  • Your SF-50 or SF-8 form if you’re a federal civilian employee
  • If you’re a member of a union, the name and phone number of your local union hall
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number and scans of documentation (like a green card)

How to file for unemployment benefits online in Tennessee

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Jobs4TN.gov website

The fine print: People who have been laid off temporarily or seasonally can be eligible for benefits, but need to file their own application.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Your driver’s license or state ID number
  • Your work history over the past 18 months, including company names, addresses, and phone numbers, along with your salary for each company and the reason why you aren’t working for them anymore
  • Direct deposit is optional, but if you want to receive it, you’ll need to include your bank name and address, along with account number and routing number
  • If you served in the military at any point over the past 18 months, you’ll need your DD-214 form

How to apply for unemployment in Texas

Where to file a claim: Click here to create a new account with the Texas Workforce Commission. Once you have created an account, click here to submit an application for unemployment benefits. The website has been having issues due to high traffic, so if it’s down, check back in a few hours.

The fine print: The Texas Workforce Commission encourages people to apply as soon as they lose their job, since claims will be paid the week after.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Information about your last employer, including its business name, address, and phone number
  • The first and last dates you worked for that employer, the number of hours you worked, and your pay information
  • If you served in the military at any point over the past 18 months, you’ll need your DD-214 form
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number

How to apply for unemployment in Utah 

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Utah Workforce Services website.

The fine print: Utah’s claims website is open from 2 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. MT. Since the application typically takes about 30 minutes to finish, make sure you start it by 11:15 p.m. at the latest — if you try to submit it after 11:45 p.m., it won’t work and you’ll have to come back when the site re-opens.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • The name of every place you worked over the past 18 months
  • A mailing address and phone number for any employers not located in Utah
  • Your driver’s license or state ID number
  • If you’re a member of a union, the name and phone number of your local union hall
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number

How to apply for unemployment in Vermont 

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Vermont Department of Labor website.

The fine print: You can file a new claim during the first week that you work less than 35 hours.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Information about any vacation or severance pay you might receive
  • Information about each of your employers from the past 18 months, including name, address, telephone number, employment dates, and the reason why you’re no longer working there
  • A return to work date if your layoff is temporary
  • Your driver’s license or state ID number
  • Direct deposit information, including bank account and routing number
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number
  • If you served in the military at any point over the past 18 months, you’ll need your DD-214 form
  • Your SF-50 or SF-8 form if you’re a federal civilian employee

How to apply for unemployment in Virginia

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Virginia Workforce Connection website.

The fine print: You’ll need to submit your application before midnight on Saturday of the week you started your application — otherwise, it’ll be deleted and you’ll have to re-do the entire thing.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Information about each of your employers from the past 18 months, including name, address, telephone number, and employment dates
  • Direct deposit information, including bank account and routing number, is optional if you want to set up direct deposit
  • If you’re a member of a union, the name and phone number of your local union hall
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number

How to apply for unemployment in Washington

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Washington Employment Security Department website. If this is your first time filing for unemployment benefits in Washington, click Create New Account at the bottom of the page.

The fine print: If you’ve had more than 16 employers in the past 18 months, you’ll need to file your application by phone. You can find phone filing instructions here.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Information about each of your employers from the past 18 months, including name, address, telephone number, and employment dates
  • Direct deposit information, including bank account and routing number, is optional if you want to set up direct deposit
  • If you’re a member of a union, the name and phone number of your local union hall
  • If you served in the military at any point over the past 18 months, you’ll need your DD-214 form
  • Your SF-50 or SF-8 form if you’re a federal civilian employee
  • Non-citizens will need to provide their Alien Registration Number

How to apply for unemployment in West Virginia

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Workforce West Virginia website.

The fine print: Unless you are exempt by law (which is rare), you must register with the WorkForce West Virginia Employment Service to be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or ID
  • Names and addresses of all employers you worked for over the last 18 months
  • Dates you started and stopped work with each employer
  • Your most recent employer’s Federal Employer ID Number and Employer Account Number
  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need your Alien Registration Card
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to apply for unemployment in Wisconsin

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development website.

The fine print: If you were not eligible for unemployment before the CARES Act (Federal Stimulus Bill) was passed, state officials are asking you to wait to file because Wisconsin’s system is not yet set up to accept your application. They are waiting on additional guidance from USDOL, and expect those changes to be complete by mid-to late-April.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or ID
  • Names and addresses of all employers you worked for over the last 18 months
  • Dates you started and stopped work with each employer
  • Your most recent employer’s Federal Employer ID Number and Employer Account Number
  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need your Alien Registration Card
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

How to apply for unemployment in Wyoming 

Where to file a claim: Click here to get to the new claims page on the Wyoming Workforce website.

The fine print: In order to qualify for benefits in Wyoming, you need to actively seek work while unemployed, which means applying to at least two jobs per week, and accepting work immediately if a job is offered.

What you’ll need:

  • Social security number
  • Driver’s license or ID
  • Names and addresses of all employers you worked for over the last 18 months
  • Dates you started and stopped work with each employer
  • Your most recent employer’s Federal Employer ID Number and Employer Account Number
  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen, you’ll need your Alien Registration Card
  • If you served in the military in the last 18 months, your Military DD-214 Member 4 form

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