Can I Make Changes to an Unemployment Claim While It Is Pending?

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Correcting your application for unemployment benefits can be a simple as visiting your state's unemployment compensation website or obtaining the correct form from a local unemployment office. Delaying the corrections could hurt your chances to properly receive benefits and may hinder your ability to win your case if your previous employer chooses to contest your eligibility.

Online Changes to Application

For simple changes of address, you may be able to visit your state's unemployment department website and submit a change of address electronically. The website may require you to enter a personal password or identification number you obtained when you first filed your unemployment claim.

If your state does not take changes of address electronically or you need to make corrections to more sensitive information, such as your driver's license number or Social Security number, you may have to call, mail in a form or visit a local branch of your unemployment office to make the necessary changes. However, call before heading out since many physical offices have closed temporarily due to COVID-19.

Importance of Correcting Information

Correcting information on your unemployment application can mean the difference between the approval or denial of your request for benefits. Entering incorrect information, including dates of employment or your identifying formation, could cause your state's unemployment department to wrongly classify your benefits application.

This can lead to a lower-than-expected level of unemployment compensation, which can make it even more difficult for you to meet your financial obligations and keep your creditors satisfied until you find new employment.

Providing False Employment Information

Intentionally providing false information on your application for unemployment benefits, including on application correction forms, to inflate your eligibility for unemployment compensation is a crime.

Penalties for committing this offense include paying back all illegally received benefits plus interest to your state's unemployment department and suspension of your unemployment rights until you pay back all illegally received benefits. You may even face jail time if you are a repeat offender or your gain from your unemployment fraud is particularly large.

Unemployment Compensation Hearings

You or your employer has the right to contest the decision regarding your unemployment benefit eligibility with your state's unemployment department. At this hearing, you may provide the arbitrator with any additional information to correct your initial application for unemployment. Your employer is also free to provide information, including disciplinary records, to prove that you should not receive benefits from the state.

If the corrected information you present to the arbitrator renders you eligible for benefits, the arbitrator should approve your case.

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