Unemployment benefits do not begin until you have served the waiting week.  You will not receive unemployment until after that timeframe.  Considering this waiting week, you should file for unemployment on the first day after you discovered you are losing your job.  If you work a seasonal job, your incentive to apply for benefits is that you can only serve one waiting week per benefit year.  That means that if you become unemployed again during that benefit year, you will obtain unemployment benefits from the first day of approval. If you work for a company who regularly layoffs employees and rehires them.

Another thing to consider in considering when to apply is how much you have made in base period earnings. The base period of a former employee is sued to determine how much of an unemployment benefit you will receive.  Because of this fact, you may be able to increase the unemployment benefit by calculating and choosing the time to file.  If you have been working constantly and making money for the past few years, it is best for you to file right away.  If you have been unemployed for a certain period of time, you may wait to file for benefits until you have twelve months of employment moving into the base period.

Your best bet for increasing your unemployment benefit is to move as many unemployed periods out of your base period because it is solely based on a percentage of how much you made during that period.