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How Do I Apply?

To receive unemployment benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment program in the state where you worked.

  • You should contact your State Unemployment Insurance Program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. Check with them to see if you should file a claim in person, by telephone, or online.
  • When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information.
  • Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state UI agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.
  • It generally takes two to three weeks after you file your claim to receive your first benefit check. Some states require a one-week waiting period; in other words, you would receive your first payment for the second week claimed.

As a veteran, it's helpful to have a copy of your service and discharge documents (DD-214 or similar form) when you open an unemployment insurance claim.

Find your state's Unemployment Insurance program