If you’ve recently lost your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Available through an insurance program run jointly by the state and federal governments, unemployment benefits are available to those who are out of work temporarily, through no fault of their own. Depending on your state’s rules, partial unemployment benefits may also be available to those who have had their hours cut, lost a part-time job, or otherwise find themselves working fewer hours than they want.
Although unemployment works in basically the same way throughout the country, many of the details are determined by state law. For example, applicants in every state will be eligible for benefits only if they have some recent work history; how much work they must have done and how that work is measured varies from state to state. In this section, you’ll find articles explaining the general rules on eligibility for benefits, how to file a claim for benefits, calculating benefit amounts and duration, appealing a denial of benefits, and more. You’ll also find links to each state’s unemployment agency website, where you can find detailed information and forms that will help you claim your benefits.
Who Is Eligible for Unemployment?
Learn the requirements you’ll have to meet to qualify for benefits.
Can I Get Unemployment If I Was Fired?
If you were fired for serious misconduct (as defined by your state), you can’t collect benefits.
How Unemployment is Calculated
Learn how states determine how much unemployment claimants will receive.
Can an Employer Appeal Eligibility for Unemployment Compensation?
Even if you are initially granted benefits, your former employer can file an appeal.
Partial Unemployment: Eligibility and Benefits Amount
Learn the basic eligibility rules for partial unemployment benefits.
How Unemployment Works
Find information on each step of the process — and answers to common questions about unemployment benefits.