The Complete Guide to Unemployment Benefits in All 50 States

Getting laid off creates all kinds of challenges, but it’s not the end of the world. Find out how your state can help.
Last updated Apr 3, 2020 | By Lindsay Frankel
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If you’ve been laid off unexpectedly, you may have serious financial concerns. You’re likely wondering how you’re going to pay your bills and feed your family if you can’t find a new job quickly. You’re not alone; there were 3.3 million unemployment claims in the third week of March 2020 alone, the highest of any week in history.

Further complicating matters, only 58% of Americans have an emergency fund. Of that 58%, only 25% have enough saved to cover more than two months of expenses. That leaves most Americans financially fragile and unprepared for a disaster.

Luckily, a joint state and federal program offers cash to Americans who were laid off through no fault of their own. And new legislation is providing additional support through stimulus checks and expanded unemployment insurance. But unemployment benefits can be confusing and vary by state. We’re here to walk you through the process for each state, answer all your questions, and get you the money you need until you find your next job.

The first steps to take when you’re laid off

  1. Take a deep breath. Rather than panic, try to stay calm. Show yourself compassion. There are solutions to your money woes, and too much stress isn’t healthy for you. In fact, chronic stress has been shown to weaken the immune system.
  2. Learn about your options. Empower yourself with information so you can make the best choices for your unique situation. This guide is a great place to start.
  3. Ask for support. Your friends and family may be able to help you, both emotionally and financially. Let your loved ones know you’ve been laid off. There’s no reason to be embarrassed, and you shouldn’t have to go through it alone.

7 things to do while you wait for unemployment benefits

  1. Review your emergency fund. Estimate how long the funds will last.
  2. Establish or review your budget. List any debts you have in order of interest rate so you know what to prioritize. And look for ways you can trim your budget, such as eliminating dining out.
  3. Talk to your creditors. Call your creditors and ask them to work with you to alter payment schedules and minimum payments. At the very least, you should be able to change the due date of your next bill to give yourself some breathing room. And many credit card companies have stepped up to help those impacted by the pandemic by waiving late fees, reducing minimum payments, and more.
  4. Cut your spending/bills. It might be time to cancel your cable subscription, gym membership, and reduce or eliminate other bills. Apps such as Truebill can help you quickly identify areas where you can cut costs with minimal effort on your part.
  5. Steer clear of payday loans. You might see ads for fast cash from payday lenders, but avoid these risky loans at all costs. Payday loans need to be repaid quickly, usually in two weeks, and they carry average APRs of almost 400 percent. These loans can make a fragile financial situation even worse.
  6. Take care of your mental health. It’s normal to be emotional about your job loss, especially in the current economic climate. Be patient with yourself, and make sure you have someone you can rely on for support.
  7. Apply for jobs. Although the economy might seem grim, certain businesses are hiring right now. You may be able to deliver groceries or packages while you wait for new job opportunities to pop up in your industry.

New federal unemployment legislation: What you need to know

The U.S. Congress recently passed a $2 trillion relief package, which not only provides an automatic $1,200 check for most Americans and $500 per child for most families, but also expands eligibility for unemployment and increases the benefit amount temporarily. Part-time workers, furloughed employees, and self-employed people, including those working in the gig economy, will now be eligible for financial relief. Those who typically wouldn’t qualify will receive 50% of their state’s average unemployment payout.

And those who receive benefits will get up to an additional $600 per week through July 31. That’s in addition to what they would normally receive, which varies by state but averages about $385 per week.

The bill also extends the benefits for an additional 13 weeks, so people who have been laid off can receive assistance for up to 39 weeks in total. After July 31, the regular benefit amount will apply.

In addition, the legislation allows for flexibility in the requirement that claimants be actively searching for work. For example, if a claimant gets the coronavirus, the search requirement may be waived.

How to file unemployment claims in all 50 states

If you’re faced with job loss and wondering how to file an unemployment claim in your state, we’ve got you covered. Here are eligibility requirements and step-by-step instructions for submitting a claim in each state (and Washington D.C.) Note that unemployment compensation amounts and durations will likely be impacted by recent legislation.

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How to file for unemployment benefits in Alabama

In Alabama, you can file an unemployment insurance claim if you have been laid off or have had your hours cut. You can even receive your unemployment compensation on a debit card. You’ll get anywhere from $45 to $275 per week, depending on your situation.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Alabama?

To receive unemployment benefits in Alabama, you must:

  • Have been laid off or have your hours reduced through no fault of your own
  • Be a U.S. citizen or registered person authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Be available and able to work each week you receive benefits
  • Report to certain required interviews
  • Actively search for (and not refuse) work while collecting benefits

Filing an unemployment claim in Alabama

  1. Visit the Alabama Department of Labor online claim tool
  2. Click “Proceed”
  3. Follow the instructions to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Alaska

In Alaska, eligible individuals can receive anywhere from $56 to $370 per week for a duration of 16 to 26 weeks. You may also be eligible to receive an additional allowance for dependents. Benefits are received electronically through direct deposit or a debit card.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Alaska?

To be eligible for unemployment benefits in Alaska, you must:

  • Have been laid off or had your hours reduced through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Have access to transportation and child care if work is offered
  • Actively seek work and report valid work search contacts while receiving benefits

Filing an unemployment claim in Alaska

  1. Visit https://my.alaska.gov/
  2. Click “Unemployment Insurance Benefits”
  3. Log in or register for a myAlaska account
  4. Follow the instructions to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Arizona

In Arizona, you can receive up to $240 per week in unemployment compensation, and the amount you’ll get is calculated based on your previous wages. The benefit is available for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Arizona?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Arizona, you must:

  • Have worked for an employer who paid unemployment tax
  • Have been laid off through no fault of your own
  • Have earned at least 390 times the Arizona minimum wage in your highest earning quarter (plus at least half that amount in your other three quarters combined)
  • Be willing and able to accept work
  • Actively seek employment
  • Not receive severance or vacation pay while collecting benefits

Filing an unemployment claim in Arizona

  1. Visit the Arizona Unemployment Insurance online tool
  2. Select English or Spanish
  3. Click “Proceed”
  4. Read the instructions and click “File a claim”
  5. Answer the questions to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Arkansas

In Arkansas, qualified individuals can receive anywhere from $81 to $451 per week in unemployment compensation for up to 25 weeks. The benefit is calculated based on your earned wages while you were employed.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Arkansas?

To qualify for benefits in Arkansas, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be available and able to work
  • Actively seek employment
  • Not be involved in a labor dispute
  • Be free of disqualification

Filing an unemployment claim in Arkansas

  1. Visit the Easy Arkansas Claims (EZARC) online tool during operating hours
  2. Click “continue”
  3. Follow the prompts and answer the questions to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in California

In California, weekly unemployment benefits are calculated based on your previous wages and range from $50 to $1,300.

Who is eligible for unemployment in California?

To qualify for unemployment in California, you must:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be available and able to work
  • Be ready and willing to accept employment
  • Be actively seeking employment

Filing an unemployment claim in California

  1. Visit the California Benefit Programs Online tool
  2. Log in or register
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Colorado

In Colorado, it takes four to six weeks to process an unemployment claim and benefits are paid biweekly. Benefits range from $25 to $618 per week and are calculated based on your previous wages. Benefits are available for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Colorado?

To be eligible for benefits, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be available and able to work
  • Be actively seeking work while collecting benefits
  • Have earned $2,500 during your base period

Filing an unemployment claim in Colorado

  1. Visit the Colorado unemployment claim tool
  2. Enter your name, date of birth, and Social Security number
  3. Click “continue”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Connecticut

In Connecticut, the maximum weekly benefit you can receive is $649, and you can collect benefits for up to 26 weeks. Benefits are calculated based on your previous earnings during a 12-month base period.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Connecticut?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Connecticut, you must:

  • Have earned enough during your base period
  • Be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be available and able to work
  • Be actively seeking employment
  • File weekly claims for benefits
  • Participate in certain interviews and services

Filing an unemployment claim in Connecticut

  1. Visit the Connecticut Department of Labor unemployment online tool
  2. Click “Proceed”
  3. Read the instructions and click “Apply for benefits”
  4. Log in or create an account
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Delaware

In Delaware, you may be eligible for up to $400 weekly in unemployment benefits. You can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks as long as you remain eligible.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Delaware?

To qualify for unemployment in Delaware, you must:

  • Have earned enough income while you were employed
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be available and able to work
  • Be actively seeking and willing to accept work

Filing an unemployment claim in Delaware

  1. Visit the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance
  2. Click “File an unemployment insurance claim”
  3. Read each section and check the box for “I understand”
  4. Click “Start my claim now”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Florida

In Florida, your weekly benefit amount is determined by your previous earnings while you were employed. Right now, you can receive up to $275 weekly for up to 12 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Florida?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Florida, you must:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own (can include poor job performance)
  • Have earned at least $3,400 in pretax income in the first four quarters beginning 18 months before your claim
  • Be able and available to accept work (includes having transportation and child care)
  • Be actively seeking employment

Filing an unemployment claim in Florida

  1. Visit the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s CONNECT online tool
  2. Read and acknowledge the statement
  3. Click “Next”
  4. Click “File a new claim”
  5. Click “Start the reemployment assistance application”
  6. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Georgia

In Georgia, the weekly benefit amount you’ll receive is calculated based on your previous wages while you were employed. You can receive anywhere from $55 to $365 weekly. The duration of your benefits will depend on several factors.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Georgia?

To qualify for unemployment in Georgia, you must:

  • Have earned enough insured wages during the first four of the last five completed quarters
  • Prove lawful presence in the U.S.
  • Have been laid off or had your hours reduced through no fault of your own
  • Be able to work and available for work
  • Be actively seeking employment

Filing an unemployment claim in Georgia

  1. Visit the Georgia Department of Labor unemployment claim tool
  2. Click “Begin unemployment claim”
  3. Enter your Social Security number and a PIN and click “Continue”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Hawaii

Weekly unemployment benefits are determined by your previous wages while you were employed in Hawaii. Currently, the maximum weekly benefit amount for 2020 is $648, and you can collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Hawaii?

To qualify for unemployment in Hawaii, you must:

  • Be unemployed or have your hours reduced so you are earning less than your weekly benefit amount
  • Have separated from your job through no fault of your own
  • Register for work by posting your resume on http://www.hirenethawaii.com/
  • Be available and able to work
  • Not be involved in a labor dispute
  • Have earned sufficient wages during the first four of the last five completed quarters
  • Be actively seeking employment and making three weekly job contacts
  • Not a teacher filing over school break
  • Not a professional athlete filing between sports seasons
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Not refuse suitable employment
  • Not be collecting unemployment benefits elsewhere

Filing an unemployment claim in Hawaii

  1. Visit the Hawaii Department of Labor unemployment insurance site
  2. Click the green button “For new claims, please complete this form”
  3. Fill out the application
  4. Click “Submit my initial claim application”

How to file for unemployment benefits in Idaho

In Idaho, your weekly benefit amount is determined by your previous wages when you were employed. Benefits can last anywhere from 10 to 20 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Idaho?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Idaho, you must:

  • Have earned sufficient qualifying wages while you were employed
  • Be available and able to work full time
  • Be actively seeking employment
  • Have been separated from your job through no fault of your own

Filing an unemployment claim in Idaho

  1. Visit the Idaho Department of Labor’s claimant portal
  2. Log in or register with your email address
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Illinois

In Illinois, you can receive a maximum of $484 in weekly unemployment compensation, with the amount determined by your previous wages while you were employed. You may also be eligible for an additional allowance if you have a non-working spouse or dependent child. You can receive the benefit for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Illinois?

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Illinois, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Have earned sufficient wages while you were employed
  • Be registered for work with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)
  • Not refuse suitable employment
  • Not be receiving a pension or other payment through your previous employer

Filing an unemployment claim in Illinois

  1. Visit the IDES online tool and apply according to the filing schedule
  2. Click “File a UI claim online”
  3. Check the box under “File your claim” and click “File your online claim”
  4. Log in or register
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Indiana

In Indiana, you can collect 47% of your previous weekly earnings in unemployment benefits, with a maximum of $390 per week. You’ll need to submit weekly vouchers online to continue to receive benefits after your claim is approved.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Indiana?

To qualify for unemployment in Indiana, you must:

  • Have earned enough income in the first four of the last five quarters while you were employed
  • Have been laid off through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively seeking employment and not refusing work

Filing an unemployment claim in Indiana

  1. Visit the Uplink CSS online tool
  2. Log in or register with your email address
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Iowa

In Iowa, you’ll need to file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claims to continue to receive benefits. You can receive a maximum weekly benefit of $481, or up to $591 if you have dependents. The amount you’ll receive is calculated based on your previous wages while you were employed.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Iowa?

To qualify for unemployment in Iowa, you must:

  • Be partially or completely unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Have worked and earned enough insured wages in the last 15 to 18 months
  • Be available and able to accept new work
  • Be able to verify your identity
  • Be actively seeking work
  • Be registered for work

Filing an unemployment claim in Iowa

  1. Visit the Iowa Workforce Development’s unemployment benefits application system, weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and weekends from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  2. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Kansas

You’ll need to file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claims in Kansas to receive benefits. Typically, the maximum amount you can receive weekly is $488, and you can receive regular benefits for up to 16 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Kansas?

To qualify for unemployment in Kansas, you must:

  • Have been laid off through no fault of your own
  • Be physically able, available, and willing to accept work
  • Be actively seeking and not refusing work

Filing an unemployment claim in Kansas

  1. Visit the Kansas Department of Labor’s unemployment benefits online application
  2. Log in or create an account
  3. Click “Apply for benefits”
  4. Fill out the application
  5. Click “Submit claim”

How to file for unemployment benefits in Kentucky

In Kentucky, you’ll file an initial claim along with a biweekly claim to continue to receive benefits. You’ll receive anywhere from $39 to $552 per week, depending on your earned wages while you were employed. The maximum total benefit amount ranges from 15 to 26 times the weekly benefit amount.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Kentucky?

To qualify for unemployment in Kentucky, you must:

  • Have been separated from your job through no fault of your own
  • Be available and able to accept work
  • Be actively seeking and not refusing suitable employment
  • Have earned sufficient wages during the first four of the last five quarters

Filing an unemployment claim in Kentucky

  1. Visit the Kentucky unemployment insurance claims system
  2. Scroll down and click “I agree”
  3. Log in or click “New user” to create a new account
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Louisiana

You’ll need to file an initial claim plus weekly claims to keep receiving unemployment benefits in Louisiana. You can receive anywhere from $10 to $247 weekly, depending on your earned wages when you were employed. The total amount you can receive is equal to 26 times your weekly benefit amount.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Louisiana?

To receive unemployment benefits in Louisiana, you must:

  • Have earned enough income during the first four of the last five quarters
  • Be partially or totally unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively seeking employment

Filing an unemployment claim in Louisiana

  1. Visit the Louisiana Helping Individuals Reach Employment (HiRE) online application
  2. Read the instructions and click “Next”
  3. Follow the prompts to enter your identifying information and complete your application

How to file for unemployment in Maine

In Maine, you’ll need to file an initial claim and a weekly certification to continue receiving unemployment benefits. You can receive up to $445 plus $10 per dependent each week for a maximum of 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Maine?

To qualify for unemployment, you must:

  • Have earned enough insured wages while employed
  • Be a U.S. citizen or authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Not be involved in a strike
  • Be actively looking for and not refusing suitable work

Filing an unemployment claim in Maine

  1. Visit the Maine ReEmployME online tool
  2. Click “Create ReEmployMe account” (or “File a claim” if you already have an account)
  3. Enter your identifying information and click “Next”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Maryland

In Maryland, you must file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claim certifications. You can receive anywhere from $50 to $430 per week, including dependant allowance. Your benefits will be calculated based on your earned wages during a 12-month period prior to filing your claim. You can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Maryland?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned enough insured wages during your 12-month base period
  • Be available and able to accept work
  • Be actively seeking full-time work (unless defined as a part-time worker)
  • Be willing to accept suitable employment

Filing an unemployment claim in Maryland

Depending on your situation, you may need to apply by phone. To apply online:

  1. Visit Maryland’s unemployment insurance initial claim system
  2. Click “Begin filing your initial claim”
  3. Enter your Social Security number and click “Continue”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts

You’ll file an initial claim along with weekly requests for benefits. Typically, you get about 50% of your average weekly wage from when you were employed, up to a maximum of $823 per week. You can receive benefits for up to 30 weeks, or 26 weeks during periods of extended benefits or low unemployment.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Massachusetts?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned at least:
    • $5,100 during the last four quarters
    • 30 times the benefit amount you would be able to collect weekly
  • Be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Be unemployed or have your hours cut through no fault of your own
  • Be able, available, and willing to accept offered employment
  • Be actively seeking work each week you request benefits

Filing an unemployment claim in Massachusetts

  1. Visit the Massachusetts claimant online application
  2. Enter your Social Security number and click “Next”
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Michigan

Michigan has an online filing schedule by last name, and is open to anyone on Saturdays. You’ll need to file an initial unemployment claim and ongoing biweekly certifications. Michigan gives you 4.1% of your highest income-earning quarter during your base period of employment, plus $6 per dependent, up to five dependents. You can claim up to $362 weekly, and you’ll receive anywhere from 14 to 26 weeks of benefits.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Michigan?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned enough income in the first four of the last five quarters
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively seeking work
  • Register for work within two to three business days of applying by filing your resume with the Michigan Talent Bank and visiting your local Michigan Works! Service center

Filing an unemployment claim in Michigan

  1. Visit the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) claimant online application
  2. Click “Sign in with MILogin”
  3. Wait to enter the system
  4. Click “Sign up” or “Login” if you already have an account
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Minnesota

Minnesota has an online filing schedule based on the last four digits of your Social Security number. You must file an initial claim plus weekly requests to continue to receive benefits. You’ll receive about 50% of your average weekly wage during the previous 12-month period when you were employed, up to $740 per week.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Minnesota?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned enough income during a 12-month period of employment
  • Be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Be unemployed or have your hours reduced through no fault of your own
  • Be actively seeking work or be in good standing with your union and on its referral list
  • Be able and willing to accept offered employment without delay

Filing an unemployment claim in Minnesota

  1. Visit the Minnesota unemployment insurance benefits system and read the online filing schedule
  2. Enter your Social Security number and click “Start”
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Mississippi

In Mississippi, you need to file an initial claim and ongoing weekly certifications to collect unemployment. Your weekly benefit amount is calculated based on your earned wages when you were employed, and you can get up to $235 weekly for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Mississippi?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have worked two of the first four of the past five quarters
  • Have earned at least $780 in the highest quarter and 40 times your weekly benefit amount during the base period
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be available and able to accept work
  • Be actively seeking work
  • Be registered to work at your local WIN Job Center

Filing an unemployment claim in Mississippi

  1. Visit the Missouri Department of Employment Security (MDES) online application
  2. Under “Claimant services,” click “Create online claimant user ID” (or click “file unemployment application” if you already have an account)
  3. Fill out your identifying information to create your account and click “Next”
  4. Log in and follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Missouri

To collect unemployment in Missouri, you’ll need to file an initial claim along with weekly requests for benefits. You can receive up to $320 per week, and the amount you’ll get is calculated from your earnings during a 12-month base period.

Who is eligible for unemployment benefits in Missouri?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have lost your job or had your hours cut through no fault of your own, or have quit with good cause
  • Have earned at least $1,500 in your highest earning quarter during a 12-month base period, plus at least $750 during the remainder of the base period, from an insured employer
  • Have earned 1 1/12 times your highest quarter wages in total across your base period or have earned $17,250 in two of the four quarters
  • Report to a Missouri Job Center if directed

Filing an unemployment claim in Missouri

  1. Visit Missouri’s online unemployment system
  2. Click “Don’t have an account? Create one”
  3. Select “I want to file an unemployment claim” and click “Next”
  4. Enter your identifying information and click “Next”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Montana

You’ll file an initial claim and ongoing weekly requests for unemployment compensation in Montana. You can receive up to $552 for up to 28 weeks, depending on your earned wages while you were employed.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Montana?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned enough income during the past 12 to 18 months
  • Have been separated from your job through no fault of your own or quit with good cause
  • Be able and available for full-time work
  • Be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Be actively seeking employment
  • Not be involved in a strike or labor dispute

Filing an unemployment claim in Montana

  1. Visit the Montana Works online application
  2. Click the yellow “File for unemployment” button
  3. Log in or create a new account
  4. Enter your email address and click “Send”
  5. Follow the link from your email to continue registration and complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Nebraska

In Nebraska, you’ll file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claims to receive benefits. You can receive about half of your average weekly wage while you were previously employed, up to $440 per week. Benefits continue for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Nebraska?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Have earned at least $4,324 during the first four of the past five quarters
  • Have earned at least $1,850 in one quarter and $800 in another
  • Have been separated from your job through no fault of your own or quit with good cause
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Not refuse offers for work

Filing an unemployment claim in Nebraska

  1. Visit the NEworks online application
  2. Under Option 3, click “Individual” (or log in if you already have an account)
  3. Read the privacy agreement and click “I agree”
  4. Click “Comprehensive registration”
  5. Select “Yes” and click “Next”
  6. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Nevada

In order to collect unemployment in Nevada, you’ll need to file an initial claim plus ongoing weekly claims to continue to receive benefits. You’ll receive 4% of your highest quarter earnings weekly, up to the state’s maximum. You can continue to collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Nevada?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be unemployed or have your hours reduced through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively seeking work
  • Not refuse work
  • Register for work by visiting a Nevada JobConnect office

Filing an unemployment claim in Nevada

  1. Visit the Nevada unemployment insurance claim filing system
  2. Click “Sign in as an existing claimant” or “Register as a new claimant”
  3. Enter your identifying information and click “Next”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in New Hampshire

You’ll need to file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claims to continue to receive benefits. The maximum amount you can receive weekly is $427 and is calculated based on your earnings while you were employed. You can collect benefits for up to 26 weeks. Be sure to follow the online filing schedule when submitting your claim.

Who is eligible for unemployment in New Hampshire?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned sufficient wages while you were employed
  • Be totally or partially unemployed
  • Be registered for work
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively searching for work
  • Participate in Reemployment Services if selected
  • Provide a valid reason for any refusal to work or referral to work

Filing an unemployment claim in New Hampshire

  1. Visit New Hampshire’s Workforce Connect
  2. Determine which day/time you can file an initial claim (based on the first letter of your last name)
  3. Click “Create new account” (or “Log in” if you already have an account)
  4. Read the statement and click “I agree”
  5. Enter your identifying information and click “Next”
  6. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in New Jersey

New Jersey has an online filing schedule based on the last four digits of your Social Security number. You’ll need to file an initial claim and certify for benefits weekly. The amount you’ll receive is calculated based on your income while you were employed and is capped at $713 per week. You can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in New Jersey?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned at least $200 per week in 20 or more weeks during the first four of the past five quarters, or at least $10,000 in total during the base period
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available for work
  • Be actively seeking work and not refuse an offer for suitable work

Filing an unemployment claim in New Jersey

  1. Log in or register for a new account
  2. If you’re a new user, enter your email address and click “Send”
  3. Follow the link in your email to create your account and file for unemployment

How to file for unemployment benefits in New Mexico

You’ll need to file an initial claim and weekly certifications to continue receiving benefits. You’ll receive anywhere from $86 to $461 weekly, depending on your income while you were employed.

Who is eligible for unemployment in New Mexico?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned sufficient wages while you were employed
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively seeking work
  • Not be involved in a labor dispute

Filing an unemployment claim in New Mexico

  1. Visit the New Mexico Workforce Connection
  2. Click “Individual”
  3. Click “Create account/login”
  4. Click “Create account” or “Log in” if you already have an account
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in New York

You’ll need to file an initial claim plus ongoing weekly unemployment claims in New York. You can receive anywhere from $104 to $504 per week, depending on your income during a previous period of employment.

Who is eligible for unemployment in New York?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned enough in covered wages while you were employed
  • Have been separated from your job through no fault of your own
  • Be ready, willing, and able to work
  • Be actively seeking work

Filing an unemployment claim in New York

  1. Visit NY.gov ID during operating hours
  2. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in North Carolina

In North Carolina, you’ll need to file an initial unemployment claim plus ongoing weekly certifications to receive benefits. Your weekly benefit amount is calculated based on your previous income, and you can collect up to $350 per week.

Who is eligible for unemployment in North Carolina?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned sufficient wages while you were employed
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively seeking employment
  • Register for work with NCWorks online

Filing an unemployment claim in North Carolina

  1. Create an online account or sign in
  2. If creating a new account, select “I am an Individual/Claimant” and click “Next”
  3. Enter your Social Security number and click “Next”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in North Dakota

To get unemployment compensation in North Dakota, you’ll need to submit an initial claim and ongoing weekly certifications to continue to receive benefits. You can receive anywhere from $43 to $618 weekly, depending on your earnings while you were employed, and you can continue to collect benefits for 12 to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in North Dakota?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned sufficient income during a one-year period of employment
  • Have been separated from your job or had your hours reduced through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively seeking employment

Filing an unemployment claim in North Dakota

  1. Visit the North Dakota Unemployment Insurance Internet Claims Entry
  2. Log in or click “Create account”
  3. Enter your identifying information and click “Create account”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Ohio

You must file an unemployment initial claim plus ongoing weekly claims to continue to receive benefits in Ohio. You can receive anywhere from $134 to $480, or up to $647 if you claim dependents.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Ohio?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have worked a minimum of 20 weeks during the first four of the past five quarters
  • Have earned an average weekly wage of at least $186 while employed during the same period
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Not be involved in a labor dispute
  • Be available and able to accept suitable employment
  • Be actively seeking work

Filing an unemployment claim in Ohio

  1. Visit the Ohio Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations online
  2. Read the statement and click “I agree”
  3. Log in or click “Register now”
  4. Enter your identifying information and click “Next”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Oklahoma

To collect unemployment in Oklahoma, you’ll need to file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claims to continue to receive benefits. Your weekly benefit amount will be calculated based on your wages while you were employed, and you can receive anywhere from $16 to $539 per week for a maximum of 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Oklahoma?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Have earned at least $1,500 during a period of employment and have worked at least six months during the period
  • Be available, able, and willing to accept suitable employment
  • Participate in reemployment services
  • Be actively seeking and not refusing work

Filing an unemployment claim in Oklahoma

  1. Visit the Oklahoma internet claim system
  2. Read the notices and click “Continue” after each one
  3. Read the contact information acknowledgment and click “I understand”
  4. Enter your Social Security number and click “Continue”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Oregon

In Oregon, you’ll start by filing an initial unemployment claim and submit weekly claims after that. Your weekly benefit amount will be 1.25% of your total wages during a year of employment, ranging from $151 to a maximum of $648 per week, and you can collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Oregon?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned at least $1,000 in insured wages over a specific year of employment, with wages totaling 1 1/2 times your highest-paid calendar quarter of that year, or have worked at least 500 hours during the period and received insured wages
  • Be unemployed or have your hours reduced so that you are earning less than your weekly benefit amount
  • Be able and available to accept suitable work
  • Be actively seeking work

Filing an unemployment claim in Oregon

Under some circumstances, you may be required to apply by phone. To apply online:

  1. Visit the Oregon online claim system
  2. Click the “File your new claim” button
  3. Click “Begin claim”
  4. Answer the questions and click “Continue”
  5. Enter your identifying information and click “Continue”
  6. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania

To receive unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to file an initial claim and ongoing biweekly claims. The amount you receive depends on your highest quarterly wage, and you can get up to $572 per week.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Pennsylvania?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned sufficient wages during the first four of the past five quarters
  • Have been paid at least $116 per week for 18 weeks out of the same period
  • Be separated from your job through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept suitable work
  • Not refuse offered employment

Filing an unemployment claim in Pennsylvania

  1. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry online claim tool
  2. Select your language
  3. Enter your Social Security number and click “Continue”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Rhode Island

You’ll need to submit an initial claim for unemployment benefits in Rhode Island along with ongoing weekly certifications. You’ll receive at least $53 per week and a maximum of $586 per week, or up to $732 per week if you have dependents. The amount you receive is calculated based on the average of your two highest quarter earnings during a period of employment known as the base period. You can collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Rhode Island?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned enough insured wages while you were employed
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Not be involved in a labor dispute
  • Be able and available to work
  • Be searching for work and not refusing employment

Filing an unemployment claim in Rhode Island

  1. Visit the Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance internet claims system
  2. Select your language and click “Click here to continue”
  3. Scroll down and click “Proceed”
  4. Click “File a claim”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in South Carolina

You’ll need to file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claims. The maximum weekly benefit amount in South Carolina is $326, and the amount you’ll receive is calculated based on your wages while you were employed.

Who is eligible for unemployment in South Carolina?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned at least $4,455 in insured wages during a specific year period of employment, including at least $1,092 during your highest earning quarter
  • Have earned at least 1 1/2 times your highest quarter earnings during the year base period
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively seeking work and complete at least two work searches through SC Works each week
  • Report to your local SC Works Center as required

Filing an unemployment claim in South Carolina

  1. Visit the South Carolina online claim portal
  2. Log in or click “Register now!”
  3. Click “Yes, continue”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in South Dakota

In South Dakota, you must file an initial claim plus ongoing weekly certifications to continue to receive benefits. The amount you’ll receive will depend on how much you earned while you were employed. You’ll receive 1/26th of the wages paid in your highest earning quarter, up to a state maximum determined by South Dakota’s average weekly wage.

Who is eligible for unemployment in South Dakota?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned at least $728 in your highest earning quarter during a one-year period of employment
  • Have earned at least 20 times your weekly benefit in the other three quarters
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be actively looking for and not refusing employment
  • Be registered and participate in reemployment activities as instructed by your local South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation office

Filing an unemployment claim in South Dakota

  1. Visit the South Dakota reemployment assistance claim tool
  2. Log in or click “Create ID”
  3. Create an account with your email and password and click “Submit”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Tennessee

In order to collect unemployment in Tennessee, you’ll need to submit an initial claim and file ongoing weekly certifications. The amount you will receive will depend on your earned wages while you were employed, and you can get a maximum of $275 per week for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Tennessee?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Have earned at least $780.01 in two quarters of your base period, which consists of the first four of the past five quarters
  • Be physically able to work
  • Be available for work

Filing an unemployment claim in Tennessee

  1. Visit the Tennessee online application
  2. Sign in or click “Register”
  3. Under Option 3, select “Individual”
  4. Read the statement and click “I agree”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your application

How to file for unemployment benefits in Texas

In addition to filing an unemployment initial claim in Texas, you’ll need to request payment every two weeks to receive ongoing benefits. You’ll receive 1/25th of your highest quarter earnings during a one-year period of employment, ranging between $69 and $521. You can collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Texas?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of your own
  • Be available and able to work full time
  • Participate in any required reemployment activities
  • Register for work, actively seek work, and document your searches
  • Be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Have earned sufficient wages during the first four of the past five quarters

Filing an unemployment claim in Texas

  1. Visit the Texas Workforce Commission’s unemployment benefit services site
  2. Log on or click “Sign up for user ID”
  3. Fill out your information and click “Next”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Utah

In Utah, you’ll need to file an initial unemployment claim plus ongoing weekly claims to continue to receive benefits. Your weekly benefit amount is calculated based on your earned wages while you were employed, and you can collect up to $580 weekly. You may be eligible to receive benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Utah?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned at least $3,900 in insured wages during a specific one-year time period while you were employed
  • Have earned 1 1/2 times your highest quarter earnings over the course of the same period
  • Have earned wages in two of the four calendar quarters
  • Be able and available to accept work
  • Be seeking work (at least four full-time job contacts per week) and not refusing offers for suitable employment

Filing an unemployment claim in Utah

  1. Visit the Utah Department of Workforce Services Unemployment Insurance Claim Filing site
  2. Click “Continue”
  3. Log in or click “Or create a Utah ID”
  4. Enter your information and click “Create account”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Vermont

You’ll need to file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claims in Vermont. The amount you’ll receive depends on your earned wages while you were employed. The maximum benefit you can claim is $498, and you may be eligible to receive benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Vermont?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned enough earned wages in a year of employment, typically the first four of the last five quarters. There are several methods by which you might qualify.
  • Be separated from your job through no fault of your own
  • Not refuse work and accept referrals for work
  • Not be part of a strike or labor dispute
  • Be able to work and available for work
  • Be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Make three new job contacts each week you request benefits

Filing an unemployment claim in Vermont

  1. Visit the Vermont unemployment insurance application online
  2. Enter your information and click “Next”
  3. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Virginia

You’ll need to file an initial claim and ongoing weekly claims to keep receiving benefits. You’ll receive anywhere from $60 to $378, depending on your earned wages while you were employed (if you earned at least $18,900.01 in two quarters, you’ll qualify for the maximum). You’ll be able to collect benefits for at least 12 weeks and no longer than 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Virginia?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned a total of $3,000 in two quarters of a specific one-year period, typically the first four of the last five quarters
  • Be separated from your job through no fault of your own
  • Be able to work and available to accept work
  • Actively seek employment and document work searches
  • Not refuse offers for suitable work
  • Report to the Virginia Employment Commission’s (VEC) Workforce Center if requested

Filing an unemployment claim in Virginia

  1. Visit the Virginia Employment Commission website
  2. Scroll down and select your language
  3. Sign in or click “Register”
  4. Under Option 3, click “Individual”
  5. Read the notices and click “I agree”
  6. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Washington

You’ll need to file an initial claim plus weekly claims to collect benefits while you search for work. Your weekly benefit amount, which is calculated based on previous earnings, might be anywhere from $188 to a maximum of $790.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Washington?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have worked at least 680 hours during a specific one-year period of employment, with at least some wages earned in Washington
  • Be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to accept work

Filing an unemployment claim in Washington

  1. Visit SecureAccess Washington online
  2. Log in or click “Create new account”
  3. Enter your information and click “Register your user account”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Washington D.C.

In Washington D.C., you should file an initial claim as soon as you become unemployed and weekly claims to continue to receive benefits after that. Your weekly benefit amount, which is based on your previous earned wages, will be a maximum of $444. You can continue to collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Washington D.C.?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned at least $1,950 in insured wages over two quarters of a specific one-year period, with at least $1,300 in your highest earning quarter
  • Have earned 1 1/2 times your highest quarter earnings over the same one-year period
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Make at least two new job contacts per week
  • Be able and available to work
  • Report for reemployment activities as directed
  • Not be receiving unemployment benefits from another state

Filing an unemployment claim in Washington D.C.

  1. Visit the DC Works website
  2. Sign in or click “Register”
  3. Under Option 3, select “Individual”
  4. Enter your information and click “Next”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in West Virginia

To collect in West Virginia, you should file an initial claim when you become unemployed and weekly claims thereafter. You’ll receive anywhere from $24 to $424 per week, depending on your earned wages while you were employed. You can collect benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in West Virginia?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned at least $2,200 in insured wages during a one-year period of employment
  • Been paid wages in at least two quarters of the same period
  • Be totally or partially unemployed
  • Be available and able to work full-time
  • Be actively seeking work each week

Filing an unemployment claim in West Virginia

  1. Visit WorkForce West Virginia online
  2. Select the first option and click “Continue”
  3. Click “Start my claim now”
  4. Answer the questions to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Wisconsin

You’ll need to file an initial claim plus ongoing weekly claims to receive benefits in Wisconsin. Depending on your income while you were employed, you may be eligible to receive up to $370 per week.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Wisconsin?

To qualify, you must:

  • Have earned sufficient qualifying wages during the first four of the past five quarters
  • Be out of work or have your hours reduced through no fault of your own
  • Be able and available to work
  • Be actively seeking employment
  • Not be involved in a strike or labor dispute, other than a lockout
  • Not be receiving Social Security Disability payments

Filing an unemployment claim in Wisconsin

  1. Visit Wisconsin unemployment insurance benefit services online
  2. Read the terms and conditions, check “I accept,” and click “Continue”
  3. Log in or click “Sign up”
  4. Fill out your information and click “Next”
  5. Follow the prompts to complete your claim

How to file for unemployment benefits in Wyoming

In Wyoming, you should file an initial claim when you become unemployed and weekly claims thereafter to continue to get benefits. You can receive anywhere from $36 to a maximum of $508, depending on your income while you were employed. You may be able to collect benefits for up to 26 weeks.

Who is eligible for unemployment in Wyoming?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Have earned at least $3,350, with wages earned in at least two quarters of a one-year period of employment
  • Have earned a total of 1 2/5 times your highest earning quarter during the same one-year period
  • Be actively seeking work and document your searches
  • Be available, able, and willing to accept suitable work

Filing an unemployment claim in Wyoming

  1. Visit the Wyoming Unemployment Insurance (WYUI) online tool
  2. Log in or click “Unemployed worker signup”
  3. Enter your identifying info and click “Next”
  4. Follow the prompts to complete your application

The final word on unemployment

Beware of third party organizations requesting an upfront fee for processing an unemployment application, as these are typically scams. It’s free to apply for unemployment in your state. If you’re not sure whether you meet all the criteria, it’s best to apply because there are always exceptions to the rules.

And remember that the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) not only provides increased benefits and an extended duration, but also allows states some more flexibility with their requirements. For example, some states are completely waiving work search requirements for those impacted by the coronavirus, and most have waived the one-week waiting period requirement. If you’ve been laid off due to the coronavirus, you’ll likely qualify for unemployment in your state, even if you don’t meet all the requirements for regular unemployment.

Make sure to read the FAQs about the coronavirus on your state’s unemployment website. There may be information on how to file in this scenario that is not self-explanatory.

And keep your head up! Americans are being ordered to stay home for the time being, but unemployment will only be a temporary problem for most workers. The economy will bounce back, and in the event that a recession hits, there are steps you can take to prepare. What’s most important is that we all stay safe and healthy as we work together to get through this unusual time in history.

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