The unemployment insurance program has been put in place to ease the burden of job loss. It's an immediate help in a time of need, and is available to most people who have found themselves suddenly out of work.
The first step in applying for unemployment benefits is to determine whether or not you qualify. There are two basic requirements necessary to be eligible for unemployment. One, you must have been fired or laid off through no fault of your own- so if you quit for any reason, or were fired due to misconduct you may not be eligible to receive unemployment. Two, you must be willing, able, and actively seeking to work full- time.
Once you have determined that you are eligible, contact your state's local unemployment office and apply. In most states you have the options apply either in person, online, or by phone. In order to complete the application process you will need to have a few things handy: proof of identification, social security number, and a list of employers along with the dates of employment. Also, be prepared to attend a mandatory orientation, or a phone interview for a brief overview of the Unemployment Insurance program. During your orientation or interview you will also receive instructions on filing your first claim.
Next, you will need to register with your state's career services center where you can receive help with resumes, job searches, and career advice. All these services will be available to you for free. It is a great resource that you must sign up for in order to receive benefits. Be sure that you remain in the career center database. If you are not active in using the center resources after three to six months you may be booted out of the system, and required to register again to prevent any delays in your payments.
Continue claiming your benefits, weekly or bi- weekly, as instructed. Be honest in your claims, because you may be called in for a review at any time. Most states require that you make at least three job searches per week by either inquiring about employment, filling out an application, or submitting a resume. Keep an accurate records of all your job searches by answering Who? Where? When? and How? you applied.
Remember that unemployment benefits do expire, so be diligent in finding a new job. Take advantage of the many resources that are available to you, and stay positive.