Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits give temporary financial help to eligible workers. Each state, as well as the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, has UI programs.
General Program Requirements
Can I get unemployment insurance benefits?
To qualify for unemployment benefits you must meet both of the conditions below:
- You must have worked a one-year base period within the past 12–15 months. You must also have earned enough wages to qualify for benefits, and
- 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 CareerOneStop’s Unemployment Benefits Finder to find your state’s agency. Benefits vary by state.
In some states, you can file a claim online or by phone.