File your weekly claimIf you understand the requirements for filing a weekly claim listed below, go directly to the weekly online unemployment-benefits claim.
After you file your application for unemployment benefits, you must start filing your weekly claims. You need to file each week, even if you are:
- Waiting for a decision about benefits,
- Waiting for your claim to become valid, or
- Appealing a denial of benefits.
If you have questions about how or when to file your weekly claims, the submitting a weekly claim video (Spanish video) (captioned video) will give you basic claiming information. Please read your Handbook for Unemployed Workers (PDF, 2.9MB) for more information.
NOTE: You can file your weekly claims only from one of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands or Canada. This is because you must be available to report in person to a local employment office for reemployment services when asked to do so.
We will ask you a series of questions when you file. Be sure you get the “your claim has been accepted” message after you answer all questions. If you hang up or disconnect before receiving this message, your claim was not accepted and you must file again.
When to fileYou can file a weekly claim any time beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sunday to 5 p.m. of the last working day of the week -- this is usually Friday, unless there is a state holiday.
You cannot claim a week of benefits until the week ends. All weeks end at midnight on Saturday night. Sunday is the first day you can file for the week that has just ended. If you do not file your weekly claims on time, we may deny your benefits (see example).
File each week that you want to claim benefits and continue to file until you go back to work, run out of benefits or stop looking for work. You must claim at least one week before we can make a decision on your eligibility.
There is no difference between the two filing options. It is the same application and requires the same information. When you use the telephone, you hear the questions; when you use the Internet, you see the questions. Both systems process the information you provide using the same database.
If you cannot file your weekly claim because of an issue with your claim (for example, claim not current, no claim on file, already filed, etc.) using one process, you won't be able to do it using the other one.
However, if only one of the systems is down due to a system-specific problem (phone outage, network problems with the Internet, etc.), you will usually be able to file using the other system.
Note about filing by phone: You can use a touch-tone or rotary phone. You may have difficulty using cordless or cellular phones.
Using a rotary phone. You can use a rotary telephone to file your claim, speaking your responses instead of using the touch-tone keypad.
Using a TTY. Callers using a TTY device for the hearing- or speech-impaired must call using a touch-tone telephone. Enter responses on the touch-tone keypad, not the TTY device.
Before you file, you must set a personal identification number (PIN). Once you choose your PIN you can begin filing by either Internet or phone.
You must create a PIN before filing your weekly claim or getting information about your claim.
You create your PIN the first time you use either the Internet or weekly claims line. Your PIN is a four-digit number and is your electronic signature. We set a default PIN at the beginning using your birth month and birth year.
You must create a four-digit PIN before you begin. Select a PIN that is easy for you to remember. Do not use numbers in a sequence (like 1234), repeating numbers (like 3333), four digits of your Social Security number or your birth date.
- Enter your Social Security number.
- Enter your two-digit birth month.
- Enter your four-digit birth year.
Example: If your birthday is 01/26/76, you enter 01 for the month and 1976 for the year.
- Enter your new four-digit PIN.
- Enter your new four-digit PIN again to verify it.
Do not give anyone your PIN. Remember, it is your electronic signature. You are responsible for all payments made using your PIN.
If you forget your PIN, call the claims center to have it reset. The claims center will verify your identity as part of the reset process.