Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits give temporary financial help to workers who qualify. Each state, as well as the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, has a UI program.
General Program Requirements
Can I get UI benefits?
To qualify for UI benefits you must meet both of the conditions below:
- You must have worked in a job covered by the state’s unemployment insurance program within the past 12-15 months. You must also have earned enough wages to qualify for benefits.
- You must be unemployed through no fault of your own and meet other state eligibility requirements.
To learn more, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's State Unemployment Insurance Benefits page.
How do I file a claim?
To apply for benefits, contact your state's UI agency to file a claim as soon as possible after you become unemployed. You can use the CareerOneStop Unemployment Benefits Finder to find your state's agency. Filing methods, requirements, and benefit amounts vary by state.
In some states, you can file a claim online or by phone.