Find out if you might qualify for unemployment benefits in your state.
Each state sets its own guidelines for eligibility for unemployment benefits, but you usually qualify if you:
Are unemployed through no fault of your own. In most states, this means you have to have separated from your last job due to a lack of available work.
Meet work and wage requirements. You must meet your state’s requirements for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time referred to as a "base period." (In most states, this is usually the first four out of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the time that your claim is filed.)
Meet additional state requirements. Find details of your own state’s program by selecting your state below.
In March 2020, new federal law greatly expanded unemployment insurance. Many workers who were not previously covered are now eligible. You may now be eligible if any of the following are true:
- Your employer permanently or temporarily laid you off due to coronavirus measures
- Your employer reduced your work hours due to coronavirus measures
- You are self-employed and have lost income due to coronavirus measures
- You’re quarantined and can’t work due to coronavirus
- You’re unable to work due to a risk of exposure to coronavirus
- You can’t work because you’re caring for a family member due to coronavirus
March 2021 update: The March 2021 American Rescue Plan adds extra weeks to unemployment benefit payments:
- If you’re already receiving unemployment benefits, payments will generally be extended for another 25 weeks, until Sept. 6.
- The $300 weekly supplemental benefit, which is provided on top of your regular benefit and was scheduled to end in March, remains at $300 but will be paid through Sept. 6.
Please note that each state implements the above policies within their own Unemployment Insurance program. Since the law has changed so recently, most states have not updated their information yet. But if you are eligible, or think you might be eligible, should apply now, in the state where you worked.
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