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File A Claim

Before you apply: Gather your documents and information

For regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, you will need:

  • Your name, Social Security number, birthdate and contact information.
  • Your complete work history for the past 18 months including:
    • employer name(s)
    • address(es)
    • phone number(s)
    • start and end dates of employment for each employer
  • Your bank account and routing number, if you want to sign up for direct deposit.

For the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, you will need the above, plus:

  • Proof of earnings (only if you want a weekly benefit amount higher than the $205 minimum) such as:
    • 2019 business tax return showing your net income
    • 2019 pay stubs
    • 2019 W-2
  • The date you first became unemployed due to COVID-19
  • How much you earned during any past week for which you are seeking benefits

Step 1: Apply by filing your initial claim

To find out if you qualify for unemployment benefits, you need to fill out an application. This is called filing an initial claim. You only file an initial claim once per benefit year. Before you start filling out an application, gather the required documents.

Take the Eligibility Quiz first to make sure you are filling out the right application. Filing out the wrong application will delay your benefits by several weeks.

For regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits:

There are two ways to apply:

  1. Online. The fastest way to apply is through our Online Claim System​. For regular unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, you will fill out an online form.

    IMPORTANT: Be sure you enter your information correctly on your application. Your money will be delayed by days or even weeks if you make a mistake. Be extra careful with your Social Security Number (SSN) and your address.
  2. By phone. You can also apply over the phone. Right now a lot of people are calling, so you may have to wait on hold.

    Regular unemployment
    1-877-File-4-U (1-877-345-3484)

For Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits:

There are two ways to apply:

  1. Online. The fastest way to apply is through our Online Claim System​. You can now submit PUA applications and weekly claims through a new online form. This means you don’t have to upload PDFs anymore.

    You will get paid fastest if you file your weekly PUA claims through the new online form. Weekly PUA claims filed using the online form will auto-process, which means faster payment and no more stopped payments (as long as you are eligible).

    Refile your weekly claims, but not your initial claim.
    If you started getting PUA payments and then they stopped, please use the online form to resubmit weekly certifications for any weeks for which you are missing payment. This is the fastest way to get your payments.

    Please do not refile your initial claim (your application) through the online form. That will not speed up payment.

    For instructions on how to file an initial claim using the new PUA online form, click here.
  2. You can continue submitting your initial application and weekly certifications by PDF upload, mail, fax, or phone if you wish. These will take longer to process than the online claim form. The PDFs are below for download.

    PUA initial claim and weekly claim secure upload through our Online Claim System

    PUA Application: English

    PUA Application: Español

    PUA Application: Tiếng Việt

    PUA Application: Русский


    PUA weekly claim form: English

    PUA weekly claim form: Español

    PUA weekly claim form: Tiếng Việt

    PUA weekly claim form: Русский


    Instructions on how to file a PUA application using secure PDF upload

    Instructions on how to file a PUA weekly claim using secure PDF upload
    PUA income documentation guide

    IMPORTANT: Be sure you enter your information correctly on your application. Your money will be delayed by days or even weeks if you make a mistake. Be extra careful with your Social Security Number (SSN) and your address.

  3. By phone. You can also apply over the phone. Right now a lot of people are calling, so you may have to wait on hold.

    PUA (self-employed, contract workers, some gig workers)
    Toll free: 1-833-410-1004
    Local: 1-503-370-5400

Need help filing your claim?

Filing a claim wrong can delay your benefits. And during COVID-19, the right answers to the questions on the claim form are different than you might think.

Use our step-by-step guides and videos to help you file your claims correctly.

After you file a claim

Application confirmation
You will get a confirmation email when you submit a any kind of unemployment application.

Watch your mail too. We will let you know if your claim has been approved or not. We will mail you a letter to let you know. If you are approved, we will let you know how much money you will get and what to do next.

It is taking us a minimum of four weeks to process regular unemployment insurance (UI) claims, and a minimum of six weeks to process Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims.

You can check on the status of your claim by logging into our Online Claim System.

Step 2: File your weekly claims

*** IMPORTANT: to get any money, you must file weekly claims. ***

To start getting unemployment benefits, you need to file a weekly claim. This is different than the initial claim. You have to file both to get your money.

A weekly claim is how we figure out how much money to send you for that week. A week is Sunday through Saturday. You can’t submit a weekly claim until the week is over.

To keep getting benefits, you need to file a weekly claim every week. File a weekly claim even if you worked that week. You need to report your hours and earnings for any work you did that week.

File your weekly claims even if you don’t know if your application has been approved yet. It can take at least four weeks for us to process your application (or longer for PUA claims). If your application is approved, we will send you money for all the past weeks you were eligible for, as long as you filed your weekly claims.

Did your regular unemployment benefits run out?

If your benefits run out, continue to file weekly like normal. Once your benefits are at $0, when you go to file your weekly claim, it will direct you to file for extended benefits. These are called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

With PEUC, you can get up to 13 more weeks of unemployment benefits for the weeks between March 29, 2020 and December 26, 2020.

If you stopped filing weekly and want to restart after your regular benefits have run out, you will need to fill out an initial PEUC application.

Frequently asked questions about extended benefits (PEUC)

Step 3: Be ready to return to work

Usually, people getting unemployment benefits are required to look for work and document their search. This requirement is now optional due to COVID-19. This change started March 8, 2020, and will continue until further notice. All that is required now is for you to be ready to return to work and/or look for work when the state and local emergency declarations are no longer in effect. Read our temporary rules to learn more.

Many employers are still hiring, even now, so we encourage anyone who has lost work to continue searching.

Learn more in the Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook.