Unemployment

How do I sign up for unemployment benefits?

by
Bridge
|
March 10, 2021

This blog post is intended to provide informational content to assist you with unemployment benefits. Please refer to federal, state and local government websites for official and up-to-date information regarding unemployment benefits.

If you’re facing unemployment at no fault of your own, there are resources and government benefits available to you to keep you afloat while you search for employment. Each state has different eligibility requirements.

Smart Tip

Fraud/scam programs asking you to pay a fee to file for unemployment benefits. Governments will never charge you to file for unemployment benefits.

What is Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment insurance (UI) programs, often referred to as unemployment benefits programs,  are jointly run by the U.S. Department of Labor and state governments. Each state provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and meet additional state-specific eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for unemployment insurance, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are unemployed through no fault of your own
  • You were employed for a specific amount of time, usually up to 18 months
  • You earned a minimum amount of wages as determined by each state
  • Actively looking for work

Each state may have additional requirements determined by state law. 

March 2021 update to pandemic unemployment assistance

The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March 2021 extended enhanced pandemic-related unemployment assistance through September 6th, 2021. This provides an additional $300 per week on top of what your state provides you for unemployment insurance.

Find your state or territory's unemployment insurance portal below:

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

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

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

U.S. Virgin Islands

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming