How to File for Unemployment Online

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While filing for unemployment benefits in the United States may conjure images of long lines and unbearable waits, many state agencies are now taking advantage of the internet to allow you to apply from home without wasting a whole day in line. Check out the following information to find out if you can apply online.

Visit your state's unemployment office website and find out if you are able to apply online. If so, be sure to check out what information you will need before you start your application.

Read More: The Deadline to File Unemployment

Gather your information. Your state may require your last pay stub, last year's W-2 form, your Social Security number or other materials. You should know your bank information so you can get your benefits directly deposited in your bank account.

Complete the application. Be sure to answer all questions to the best of your knowledge and have all the information with you when filling it out.

Follow-up online or by mail. Your state's website will have the information you need as well as instructions for checking status.


    • Beware of places that offer to file for you. Many times they charge a fee, when you can do it yourself for free.


    • Be sure to follow all instructions exactly. Any deviation from them may disqualify you.

About the Author

Sharon McElwee is a writer and designer in Virginia who has written since 1997. She has been published on Greenbelt Interfaith News, Writer On-Line, and Writer's Weekly. Ghostwriting credits include blog posts, sales copy, and Web content. McElwee is an Adobe Certified Expert and completed courses from MediaBistro, Writer's Digest and Inscriptions Magazine in magazine writing and copywriting.