How to Apply for Federal Unemployment

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Being laid off or fired from your job can be a very scary time. You may be eligible for temporary unemployment benefits via the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program. This program is governed and administered by your state.

How to Apply for Federal Unemployment

Get your personal information in order. Before you attempt to contact anyone regarding an unemployment claim, be sure that you have the personal information at your fingertips that is needed to make a claim. This includes your Social Security number, the amount of money you earned in the previous year, the name of your employers over the previous year and a copy of any release or severance package you were given.

Locate the department in your state that is responsible for managing the unemployment insurance program. Many states require that an employer provide the person being laid off or fired with information about how to file for unemployment, so be sure to read through any paperwork that you received. You can also locate the department by visiting your state's website.

Once you have located the department that you will be working with, find the required procedure for making an initial unemployment claim. You may need to show up in person or contact the department by phone. Once you've found out that information, take the necessary steps to apply for unemployment benefits via the initial claim.

During your initial claim interview, be sure to ask what requirements you will be responsible for if you are awarded unemployment compensation. Some states require that you apply to a certain number of jobs each week, and many states also require you to keep track of your job search.

Once you have made your initial claim, have been approved for unemployment benefits and start receiving the checks, you will want to begin your job search in earnest. Unemployment benefits are meant to be temporary, and they eventually expire.


Be sure to carefully read any requirements for filing initial claims and weekly benefits so that your benefits will not be interrupted.