What Is the Next Step After Regular Unemployment Has Been Exhausted?

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The first step in applying for unemployment insurance benefits is to fill out an unemployment insurance application. You’ll need to provide details about your previous employer and the length of time you’ve been unemployed. Once you exhaust your regular unemployment insurance benefits, you may be eligible to receive an extension.


After regular unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted, you may apply to receive unemployment extension benefits. Eligibility requirements vary by state, so contact your state's department of labor or return your last claim form to the state by the deadline provided to apply.

Filing Process

As you approach the end of your regular unemployment insurance claim, check for updates to ensure extensions are approved. For example, the federal government may approve a 12-week extension for your state provided you comply with all other eligibility requirements, such as actively seeking employment. Your state will file an extension claim on your behalf. Approval for an extension is based on when your original unemployment insurance application was filed. In states like Oregon, you can’t be eligible for unemployment benefits on a new claim, or in another state if you wish to obtain an extension.


Unemployment extensions are subject to strict deadlines, which may be publicized by your state’s department of labor’s website. You must submit your claim form before the extension deadline to qualify for the next tier of unemployment insurance benefits. Deadlines are defined by the federal government and cannot be pushed back at the state level. Once you are approved, however, you will receive unemployment benefits starting from the end date of your regular unemployment insurance benefits.


If unemployment extension benefits are not immediately available, obtain updates on statewide unemployment extensions from the division that oversees unemployment claims in your state. This is most likely to be your state’s department of labor.