You can apply for unemployment benefits at your local state unemployment agency either online or in person as determined by your state’s unemployment agency.  The requirements of what to bring vary from state to state but here’s a sample of the information you will need to have available when filing for unemployment:

  • Mailing address, including zip code and phone number
  • Your social security card or an official form of identification (If you’re an immigrant, bring proof of your official immigration status.)
  • Driver’s License number (if you have one)
  • Veteran/Military separation date
  • Mother’s maiden name (for security/access purposes)
  • Name, address, phone number of your last employer
  • Employer’s Federal ID Number (from your W2 form or pay stub)
  • Date started and date ended employment
  • How much you earned

Previous employer information, depending on how long you worked for your last employer. Employer information for the last two years is requested.

You may be asked whether you want taxes withheld from your unemployment check. You also may be asked if you are owed vacation or holiday pay. In addition, the unemployment office will want to know the reason you left the job. The criteria for unemployment eligibility includes being out of work because of no fault of your own. If you quit or if there are questions on your termination, the application process may be more complicated. However, if your claim is denied, there is an appeals process.