How to claim job seekers benefits

Written by krystal wascher
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Job seeker's benefits or "unemployment compensation" is available to U.S. workers who have lost their jobs or have been laid off for an extended period of time. The purpose these benefits is to allow workers to continue to pay for life's necessities while they search for suitable employment. The specific procedures and requirements for job seeker's benefits varies somewhat from state to state; however, the basic process is fairly uniform across the country.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Locate your state's labour department and request an application for unemployment or job seeker's benefits. You can use the "Service Locator" tool on the U.S. Department of Labor website to find contact information for your state's unemployment services office (see Resources). In most states, you can choose to use a paper or an online application to initiate the benefit process.

  2. 2

    Complete the application for benefits. You will need to provide identifying information such as your address, date of birth and Social Security number. You will also need to provide the name and contact information of your previous employer and a copy of one or more pay stubs. Submit your completed application to your state's labour department for processing.

  3. 3

    Submit weekly or bi-weekly claims to continue receiving benefits. Once you are approved for job seeker's benefits, you must file periodic claims with your state's labour department to continue receiving benefits. Although the process may vary from state to state, most states allow you to make periodic claims over the telephone or online.

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