Most individuals who have involuntarily lost their jobs are qualified to receive unemployment benefits. The benefits may be claimed against an insurance policy, through a para-government entity or even through a union or labor group and is awarded for a prescribed number of weeks. Most of the time however, unemployment benefits are part of a social welfare package by the government.

It is always best to file your state unemployment benefits claim soon after losing your job because processing can take several weeks. Before you do so, read the following tips below.

1.       Ensure that your paperwork is complete

The Employment Development Department of California reveals that around 30% of all submitted paperwork are incomplete, which often causes delays in the processing. When filing unemployment papers, make sure to accomplish all forms completely and accurately. Your answers should be reasonably comprehensive and all items should be filled in. Don’t forget to recheck your answers for correctness. Typically, information that you will be required to provide will include your full name, social security number, employer information, the dates on which your job started and ended, as well as the reason why you lost your job.

2.       File where you paid taxes.

Unemployment benefits from the government are part of the privileges you get from paying income taxes. If your state of residence is a different one from where you worked, then the right state to file your claim will be the state where your wages were reported, not where you live.

3.       Opt for online processing

Most states now accept claims submissions online, which means that you can file anytime even after regular business hours. Sending your information through the internet will lessen the wait before you start receiving benefits, as compared to using direct mail.

4.       Don’t get cut off.

If you remain unemployment for more than a few weeks, you will need to get in touch with the unemployment to update them regarding your current situation. In some states, this needs to be done weekly or every other week. Most of these filing systems use automated phone software wherein you need to talk into the phone to record the information that you will provide. It is best to use landlines rather mobile phones for this purpose to reduce the risk of the call being cut off during recording.

5.       Know whether you qualify for other benefits.

Service members and personnel directly employed by the federal government are entitled to specialty benefits aside from the standard unemployment compensation. These benefits were not deducted from your pay but are subsidized by the federal government, so it varies from one state to another.