Unemployment insurance helps qualified individuals during the period of time they are seeking employment. The insurance is funded by federal and state payroll taxes. The program is not available to part-time, self-employed or temporary workers. Only full-time employees who lost their job through no fault of their own qualify for unemployment insurance. Benefits are usually distributed within two weeks of filing a claim for assistance. In many states, those needing this assistance can request it through an online system.
Visit the U.S. Department of Labor's website and click the “Unemployment Insurance” link located in the “Browse By: Topic” panel on the homepage. Select “State Unemployment Insurance” and click the “Contact” link under “Filing a Claim.”
Select your state from the map and click on the “To File a UI Claim Over the Internet” link. You will be redirected to your state's unemployment office website.
Register for an online account and select the option to file a claim. Review the “Terms and Conditions” for using the website.
Complete the online claim form. You will be required to provide your Social Security number, address and last place of employment. You will also be asked questions about whether you belong to a union, past unemployment insurance received and your job search.
Review the information you entered and click “Submit.” Write down the reference or confirmation number for your claim. You may need this number when you follow up on your claim. Depending on your state's website, a message may be displayed with additional information about your claim, such as the expected date for issuance of benefits.
Depending on your state, you may be able to file a claim for unemployment insurance by phone. Check with your state's unemployment office to determine if you can.
A claim for unemployment insurance can also be made by visiting your state's local unemployment office. Many of the offices offer access to computers that can be used to file an online claim.