How To Reopen an Unemployment Claim

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In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance, most states require that you actively pursue work and report on your progress each week that you are unemployed. Your unemployment insurance may be discontinued during any week in which you are unable to look for work. For example, if you take a vacation or become ill, you will not receive benefits for that time. In most states, reopening your unemployment claim is simple. Check with your local unemployment office to determine whether your state has any special requirements for reopening an unemployment claim.

Determine whether or not you are still in your benefit year. If you have stopped filing for benefits but are still within your "benefit year," you only need to reopen the claim. If this is the case and you have failed to file for unemployment insurance for less than a month, you will need to call the unemployment telephone center in order to have a specialist help you begin receiving unemployment benefits again.

Read More: The Deadline to File Unemployment

Reopen your claim online. If it has been more than a month since you have filed for your unemployment benefits, you should be able to reopen your claim online. Go to your state's employment security department website in this situation.

Explain why you stopped filing for unemployment benefits. If you call the unemployment help line to reopen a claim, you will need to be ready to explain why you failed to file your unemployment in a timely fashion. Were you out of town, or sick? Do your best to file on time, and if you can't, make sure it is for a good reason that you can prove.

File a new claim. If you are outside of your benefit year and want to file for unemployment benefits, you will need to file a new claim. You can find the dates of your benefit year on your unemployment pay stubs or by calling the unemployment help center. If you find that you are outside of that time frame, you will need to file a whole new unemployment claim.


  • Talk to an unemployment professional for more information.

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