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Unemployment benefits

Unemployment insurance pays you money if you lose your job through no fault of your own. Learn how to apply and where to find eligibility rules.

How to apply for unemployment benefits

There is not a federal unemployment program. Each state manages its own unemployment insurance program and pays benefits.

Select your state on this map to learn how to file for unemployment.

If you live and worked in different states, file for unemployment in the state where you worked.

Eligibility for unemployment benefits

States set eligibility rules for unemployment benefits. Select your state on this map to find the eligibility rules for unemployment benefits. When deciding if you get benefits, many states require that you:

  • Earned at least a certain amount within the last 12-24 months
  • Worked consistently for the last 12-24 months
  • Look for a new job 

Learn how to keep your health coverage temporarily

COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, lets qualified workers keep their group health insurance for a limited time after a change in eligibility. Visit USAGov’s page on COBRA insurance.

Protect yourself from unemployment scams

Scammers are filing unemployment benefits using other people's names and personal information. Visit the unemployment scams page and learn how to protect yourself and your benefits from this type of identity theft.

LAST UPDATED: July 10, 2024


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