Unemployment compensation is available to people who are out of work without their fault and meet certain requirements. These benefits are generally available for twenty-six weeks or longer when unemployment rate is high. The best way to determine if you qualify for unemployment benefits is to apply once you are out of work.

You can apply through the phone or online or apply in person at the Unemployment Office of your state. Your employer should give you a separation packet with an application and instructions on how to file your unemployment benefits claim by phone using the TeleBenefits Claim system, a form that the employer fills out. However, if you do not have a pink slip or separation packet, you can still apply.

In general, you should have a valid reason for not working, available to work soon, earned a minimum amount with a specific period and actively seeking for a new job. You have to provide your social security number, address, name and dates of employment in the past eighteen months and contact number of your previous employer as well.

Keep in mind that you can receive a higher amount of benefits if people depend on your for support. This is called the dependency allowance and make sure to ask for it when you apply. You could get an additional $15 a week for every dependent, to a maximum of $75 week. A dependent is a child under eighteen, under twenty-one if a full-time student or handicapped, a wife or husband who is not working.

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