Weekly Unemployment Income
How to Collect Your Jobless Benefits
Each state has a certain set of procedures and requirements to which you must adhere when you file for unemployment insurance. After you’ve filed your initial claim you need to find out:
- How will you get your unemployment funds?
- How do you request payments?
Receiving Your Unemployment Pay
Most states encourage you to file a new unemployment claim with an online claims application or through a telephone claims line. However, there are a few states that may require you to file in person.
**During periods of high unemployment expect phone lines to have lengthy wait queues and the processing of online applications to take a bit longer.
Gone are the days of paper checks. States typically pay their unemployment benefits one of two ways:
Direct deposit – Your weekly or bi-monthly benefits payments are deposited directly into your personal savings or checking account.
Special debit cards – Many states deposit your requested benefits payments to an account attached to a special debit card which you activate similarly to any new debit or credit card. For example, in Colorado unemployment recipients receive the Visa CAP (Colorado Automated Payment) card issued through Chase Bank. If your state uses a similar payment tool then once you file for unemployment and your claim has been approved you’ll receive your debit card and instructions for accessing your unemployment funds at ATMs or by other means.
Requesting Your Unemployment Income Payments
Just because you file for unemployment compensation and are approved to receive payments does not mean you automatically get money—you must take steps to officially request your payment benefits.
Here’s how it typically works: Once weekly or once every two weeks you will be required to request your benefits payment. You could be required to request unemployment income via phone or via online request form. Each time you request payment you must be approved before any money is deposited to bank or debit card. Be expected to answer a series of questions regarding your unemployment status for the pay period for which you’re requesting payment. Questions could include:
- Have you been available for work?
- Have you worked any hours?
- Have you earned any extra money for the week/weeks you’re requesting payment?
- Have you returned to full-time work?
Remember, your unemployment benefits are your right, but you must be conscientious about filing and requesting on-time and according to your state’s unemployment insurance procedures.