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What Are Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims?

By Angela Wheeland
Updated Feb 04, 2024
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Many countries, including Canada, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States, offer unemployment benefits to displaced workers. Depending on the jurisdiction, the amount of money that an unemployed individual receives can compensate him or her for the lost time or provide a small sum to cover only basic needs. Generally, to receive unemployment, the individual must file an initial claim with the local government and promise to seek future employment actively. To prove that the individual is actively seeking employment, the government might require the individual to file unemployment insurance weekly claims, which are forms that help determine his or her eligibility for the associated benefits.

Generally, unemployment insurance weekly claims require an individual to answer a series of questions about his or her employment status. These questions can include "Where you available for work?" "Did you search for employment?" "Did you refuse a job?" "Did you work for money?" and "How much did you earn?" After submission, the weekly claim is sent to the unemployment office, and a representative determines whether the individual still qualifies for unemployment insurance benefits. If the claim is approved, the individual will receive unemployment insurance benefits for that particular week.

Some jurisdictions offer individuals the convenience of filing unemployment insurance weekly claims through the mail, over the phone or over the Internet. To claim over the phone or via the Internet, however, the individual must file each week without a break. If the individual misses filing a weekly claim, he or she must file by mail or contact the unemployment office to reinstate his or her privileges. Generally, the unemployed individual must file the weekly claim the week subsequent to the workweek. For example, if the unemployment workweek ends on Saturday, the individual must file a claim by the following Friday.

The length of time for which an individual can receive unemployment benefits is determined according to the laws where he or she lives. To continue receiving benefits throughout the allotted number of weeks, an individual must file unemployment insurance weekly claims for each week that he or she is unemployed. An individual's unemployment benefit amount is determined based on the amount of income that the individual received and the length of time that the individual worked. Generally, overall unemployment rates determine the number of weeks an individual can claim the benefit and how much he or she will receive.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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