Are you a first time filer for unemployment? Here's what you should do to keep your benefits!
So my unemployment application got accepted…what now?
If you were approved to receive unemployment benefits, that great! You’ll now begin receiving payments which should help you make ends meet during this very uncertain time in our economy.
If it’s your first time claiming unemployment benefits, you should know that once your application is approved, there are still plenty of things you need to do so you can continue to collect unemployment benefits. If you don’t do these things, your benefits could end before you’re ready!
What do I have to do to keep my benefits?
After your initial unemployment benefits claim is approved, you must complete certain job seeking tasks in order to remain eligible for benefits. Your completion of these tasks notifies your state’s unemployment office that you’re still keeping up with your job search and actively trying to transition out of unemployment. Many states will track your efforts by having you report on your job seeking habits and successes on a regular basis.
To remain eligible for benefits, most states require you to:
- File claims on a weekly or biweekly basis. This lets your local unemployment office know that you’re still in need of unemployment benefits and will update them on your progress in finding new employment.
- Be unemployed, or working significantly reduced hours, through no fault of your own. If you start earning money again (in any way), you will have to report those earnings to your unemployment office. Depending on the amount earned, you may still be eligible for prorated benefits, meaning the amount you earned will be subtracted from your initial benefit amount.
- Accept any reasonable job offer that aligns with your previous training, experience and work schedule. Note that you can still decline a job offer and keep your benefits, but you should be ready to provide a valid reason why you declined that offer when you report it in your claim. Not providing this information reliably can lead to you losing your benefits.
- Register with your state’s employment agency in order to help you find work. Some states will have you participate in training programs for job seeking and career building skills while unemployed. Participating in these programs can be crucial to ensuring that you continue to receive benefits, so make sure you stay aware of any of these requirements and participate where you are able.
How do I know what my state’s specific requirements are?
Every state has slightly different requirements, so make sure you check out your state’s specific guidance by checking our state unemployment resource center where you can be directed to your state’s specific unemployment page, with information that best suits your needs.
I’m unclear on where to find new opportunities right now...help?
Job searching is never easy, but especially now it’s a strange and difficult time to be looking for work. It’s likely that many of the jobs you’d normally go for aren’t hiring right now, but there are still options for you if you’d like to get earning again! Check out Jobcase’s job search to see new opportunities and explore more of our articles for the latest in hiring news!