You can usually apply for unemployment benefits online through your state's labor office website. Unemployment benefits (also known as unemployment insurance benefits) provide temporary assistance to people who are recently unemployed through no fault of their own; however, eligibility for and duration of benefits can vary by state.

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Click on your state's link below to apply for unemployment benefits online, and your state agency will determine whether or not you are eligible.  Note that some states do not allow you to apply for unemployment benefits online.  In those cases, you will find instructions for applying by mail, by telephone or in person. If you qualify for unemployment benefits, generally you will receive your first unemployment check two to three weeks after you apply.

To apply for unemployment benefits, you'll need to provide the following information:

  • Your name, social security number, and state driver license or ID number
  • Your residential and mailing address
  • The last date you worked for your employer
  • The name, address, and telephone number of your most recent employer

Some states may require more information, such as your citizenship status and prior income.  If you need a copy of your birth certificate for identification purposes or to prove citizenship, you can create a Request for Birth Certificate.  You can also request copies of your paystubs from your previous employer by using the Free-Form Letter.  

Select the state where you currently live in order to apply for unemployment benefits. Even if you worked in another state, your state can still help you file for unemployment benefits.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
D.C.
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas

 

Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina

 

North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming 

 

Get started Visit our Tax Center Create tax documents and ask a lawyer your questions.

Get started Visit our Tax Center Create tax documents and ask a lawyer your questions.