Is It Possible to File for Unemployment Online?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Applying for unemployment benefits is often a crash course on the fine art of sitting outside an office for hours at a time. There can be a significant amount of paperwork to complete while you wait for the next state unemployment employee to become available. Even then, the paperwork is often exchanged for a lengthy interview to determine eligibility and employability. The good news is, however, that it is now possible to file for unemployment online and avoid the long lines found at state unemployment agencies.

Not all state unemployment agencies allow applicants to file for unemployment online, but the number that do appears to be growing. Visitors to an official government website can register for free and password-protected accounts which allow them to access any number of services and application forms. Many of these services are employment-related, such as a posting area for potential jobs or a list of prominent local employers to contact. But it is also possible to use the website to file for unemployment online, check on an application's status or contact a specific employee or official for more information.


The main reason many eligible workers file for unemployment online is to avoid the overcrowded and often understaffed state employment offices. The online application for unemployment benefits requests the same information as the form offered in brick-and-mortar unemployment offices, so there is no need to wait for hours for a human to receive and process the standard form. Online applicants may have to provide personal information and other sensitive information, but the websites themselves are generally secure and protected by firewalls.

The actual processing of the benefit application is the same for those who file for unemployment online or in person. Online applications are not necessarily expedited or given a higher priority over other applications received in the office that day. Online applicants must also supply detailed information about their employment history, which could also mean a detailed reason for their recent unemployment. Being fired from a job for no fault of their own, such as a layoff or firing, may qualify applicants for unemployment benefits sooner, but situations such as a voluntary quit may require more details or a face-to-face interview before benefit eligibility can be determined.

In short, many unemployed workers can indeed file for unemployment online, but that step alone does not provide any other benefit besides getting the application in the system in minutes instead of hours. There may still be a need to set up a face-to-face interview, and a denial of benefits may still require real world legal action or a visit to a real brick-and-mortar state employment office for further explanation.


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Post 3

The U.S. unemployment rate is one of the key indicators of how an economy is performing. It is cyclical. It is an unpleasant experience for anyone. When you're hunting for a career, you need all of your tools in place to be able to be effective. Hence, it is vital that you avoid these common resume warning signs, as companies will tend to forget about you if any of them appear in the final copy of your CV. It is indeed a very tough situation for anyone.

Post 2
@Drentel - Your story about the hoops you had to jump through to receive unemployment benefits highlights how beneficial the ability to file for unemployment funds online can be. There is sometimes a stigma associated with applying for unemployment benefits that can be made easier when you can apply from the comfort of your home.

However, I'm sure some people would argue that this stigma serves as motivation for people to focus and put forth the necessary effort to find a job rather than relaxing until the benefits end.

Post 1

When I was in my early 20s, I took a temporary position and when the job ended I was unemployed for a short while. That was the first time since I had started working as a kid that i didn't have some kind of employment. I had been paying unemployment benefits since I was an adult, so I decided to apply for unemployment while I was looking for a another job.

To receive the benefits I had to go to the local employment office each week and wait to be seen by a lady who would ask to see proof that I had visited at least three companies looking for a job. The whole process got to be so tedious and embarrassing that I stopped applying for benefits. Fortunately, I found a job in short time and was none the worse.

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