Unemployment Benefits Finder Help

Unemployment Benefits Finder Help

Unemployment Benefits Finder help

Learn more about unemployment benefits and COVID-19 provisions.


What is Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides unemployment benefits, usually in the form of weekly payments, to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own, and meet certain other eligibility requirements. UI is administered jointly by the U.S. Department of Labor and individual states.

Each state develops their own system for delivering benefits. Extended federal unemployment benefits ended on September 6, 2021. Find details at your state's Unemployment Insurance website.

I heard my state is ending extra unemployment benefits. What does that mean?

Extended federal unemployment benefits ended on September 6, 2021, but you are still eligible for your state's benefits.

How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

First, select your state in the Unemployment Benefits Finder, and follow the links to find details of your state's program. You'll see information about how to file in your state.

Scam alert: CareerOneStop has been notified of a fraudulent use of the name CareerOneStop in messages and emails asking users to pay money to file for unemployment benefits or apply for a job. Please note that CareerOneStop (or any state or federal Unemployment Insurance program) will never charge a fee to provide information or file an application for benefits.

I’m self-employed. How do I file for unemployment benefits?

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that provided benefits for self-employed people ended on September 6, 2021.

Which state do I file in?

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, contact the state unemployment agency in the state where you now live for information about how to file your claim with other states.

What do I do if I can’t get through to my state’s website or phone line?

Many state websites, phone numbers, and unemployment systems are overwhelmed by extremely high levels of traffic. State unemployment agencies ask that you have patience if you have trouble getting to a website or filing your claim. They suggest trying at different times of the day, and to keep trying. If you have trouble loading a website page on your computer, you can try your phone instead; sometimes phones have faster Internet connections.

What do I do if I have trouble completing my application?

Most state sites provide a list of FAQs to answer questions you may have including application issues, PIN numbers, and security questions. If you don’t see information about your specific problem, look for a phone number in your state to call.

Do I have to pay tax on my unemployment benefits?

You have to report your unemployment benefit payments as income on your federal and state tax returns. In March 2021, new law made the first $10,200 of benefits tax-free for people with incomes of less than $150,000. This applies to 2020 only.

My state says I need to register for work to be eligible for unemployment insurance. How do I do that?

States have different requirements for unemployment recipients to prove they are ready to work. Some states have waived these requirements. To find your state’s requirements, visit your state's Unemployment Insurance website and look for a COVID-19 page or an FAQ page, or search for ”register for work". If you have trouble finding the information, contact your local American Job Center (many offices are closed but services are available online o by phone). You can also check your state’s job bank to see if registration there is required.