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How to Register for Unemployment Benefits

Updated April 17, 2017

Incorrectly filing for unemployment benefits can lead to lost income that can jeopardise the well being of your family. By losing unemployment benefits, you risk your ability to afford food and money you could use to cover transportation costs as you apply for jobs and attend interviews. Although the federal government makes unemployment benefits available, you must learn the proper procedures to apply for them.

Visit the Department of Labor's website and select your state. Unemployment benefits get paid according to the state you live in, so rules, amounts and time limits will vary.

Verify your benefit eligibility by visiting Bankrate.com for a general criteria or visit your state's Department of Labor website to see if you qualify. General qualifications include losing employment due to layoffs or wrongful termination. Additionally, in some circumstances, you can collect unemployment benefits even if you quit.

Register an online account with your state's Department of Labor website.

Click "File for Unemployment" from the menu.

Certify your identify by digitally signing the terms of service page.

Complete the unemployment questionnaire to determine your eligibility.The questions will request you to specify the circumstances surrounding your unemployment as well as your job-hunting routine. It will also dictate how often you must look for a job.

Submit your application by hitting "Send."

Wait up to four weeks for notification on whether your state's Department of Labor approves your application for unemployment benefits.

Tip

Apply for jobs while you await the decision. The regional unemployment office in your city can audit your job-hunting efforts, and if you don't keep records of where you applied, when and with whom you spoke, the Department of Labor can end your benefits.

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About the Author

Randal Thomas has been completing woodworking, gardening and DIY projects for over a quarter-century. A writer of career-related articles since 2003, Thomas received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. He has over 10 years in printing and publishing and is currently working on several independent writing projects.