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Unemployment Insurance
Managing Agency U.S. Department of Labor

Program Description

In general, the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under state law including District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico), and meet other eligibility requirements of state law.

Unemployment insurance benefits provide temporary financial assistance to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who meet eligibility requirements established by state laws. Each state, including the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico has unemployment insurance programs.

In the majority of states, benefit funding is based solely on a tax imposed on employers.

General Program Requirements

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must have worked during a specified period, usually in the past 12 to 18 months, and earned a minimum amount of wages as set by each state. You must also be determined to be unemployed through no fault of your own and meet other state eligibility requirements determined under state law.

To determine your eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits you should contact the state unemployment insurance agency in the state where you are located as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. In some states, you can now file a claim by telephone and the Internet.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.

Application Process

To apply for this program, visit:

Program Contact Information

For information about the state agencies responsible for unemployment claims, visit Career One Stop's website and select the state where you would like to file:
You can also call: 1-866-487-2365
People who are hearing impaired may call this toll-free TTY number: 1-877-889-5627