How to File For & Collect Your Unemployment Benefits

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If you have recently found yourself unemployed you need to file for your unemployment benefitsmag-glass_10x10.gif. Set your pride aside because collecting your benefits has nothing to do with it. You have been paying for those benefits out of every paycheck you’ve ever received, just for a time like this.

1. You were laid off or fired. (you will not qualify if you refused work for no good reason, were dismissed for misconduct or voluntarily left your job)
2. Are able & available to work.
3. Must be actively looking for work & willing to take anything (technicalities)
4. Must have been employed for 6 months (in CA) & paid into your benefits.

*CONTACT YOUR LOCAL UNEMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT* A simple google search will help you find your state’s unemployment department contact information & web page.

Once you are on their web page click the tab or link that says “Unemployment”. Then find the tab or link that should be labeled “Filing a Claim”. The Fill out ALL the information.

*DON’T WAIT* You can file your claim by phone or online. I suggest you do it online, it’s faster & more legible. If you fill out your papers by hand you run the risk of delaying your claim because they couldn’t read your writing.

*IMPORTANT* Unemployment insurance often requires a one week waiting period before you can receive your benefits. Typically that one week begins the Sunday of the week you file. So If you are laid off on Monday & you file on Monday your waiting period still doesn’t start until Sunday. If you are laid off on Friday & file on Friday your week waiting period still starts Sunday. If you are laid off on Friday and forget to file until Monday your waiting period wont start until Sunday and you just cheated yourself out of a whole extra week. SOOOO DON’T WAIT!

*TAKE YOUR CHECK TO THE BANK* You’ll likely only make about half of what you were making, but hey it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Make sure that any paper work the unemployment office sends you, you open immediately. Everything through unemployment is date sensitive. Return your papers when they tell you to not early or late, if you like getting paid on time.

It’s not uncommon for EDD to want to do a phone interview with you. Make sure you are available for it, because if you miss it chances are you wont get a check.


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