Unemployment insurance (UI) pays benefits to workers who have lost their jobs and who satisfy eligibility requirements. Most states have automated the UI application process by providing websites where laid-off workers can apply for benefits and check the status of their claim. For example, Colorado residents can visit the My UI Claimant website at myui.coworkforce.com to check eligibility, file claims and check on the status of a claim.
Check My Unemployment Status
In California, Texas and many other states, you can check on your unemployment claim status either online or by phone. For online checking, you will first be required to create an account on the state employment department website. You may already have an account you created when you filed your initial claim. Logging in to your account is the quickest way to find out whether your claim has been processed or if there are any updates about its status.
Some states provide toll-free numbers to provide assistance to those filing for unemployment benefits. To check a claim by phone, you'll probably need to provide additional security information such as your date of birth, Social Security number or driver's license number. An automated status will typically be provided. If you need more information about your claim, you'll need to call and speak to an unemployment agent.
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Unemployment Claim Waiting Period
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that it takes two to three weeks on average to receive your first benefit check after you file a state unemployment claim. In California and some other states, there is a one-week waiting period that is not covered by payment. It's important to apply for benefits as soon as you become unemployed since the waiting period doesn't begin until the claim is filed.
Checking Unemployment Claim in California
In California, UI benefits are handled by the Employment Development Department (EDD). If you lose your job in that state through no fault of your own, you can register for UI Online on the EDD website at edd.ca.gov. You can use your UI Online account to file for benefits, provide certification for eligibility and get current claim and payment status.
A mobile app called UI Online is also available where you can check your EDD claim status. Workers also have the option of filing a paper claim by mailing or faxing an application to the EDD and then waiting to hear the status of the claim by return mail.
Checking Texas Unemployment Claim
Workers in Texas can submit an online claim for unemployment benefits with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) at twc.texas.gov. You can also sign up to have TWC correspondence delivered electronically to a TWC online mailbox. Alternatively, you can apply for benefits by phone by calling the TWC Tele-Center at 800-939-6631. Texas has a waiting period known as the waiting week for which benefits are not paid until you get full-time work or use up all your unemployment benefits.
Appealing an Unemployment Decision
If your unemployment claim is refused by your state's department of employment, you have the option of appealing the decision. You are not expected to have an attorney for the appeal process, though if you choose to have one you can do so at your own expense. There is usually a 10 to 30 day limit on the amount of time you have after receiving a benefits decision to begin the appeal process.
Based on the reasons given for benefits denial, you should provide documentation that defends your claim. For example, if you voluntarily left your job and were denied benefits, you may be able to show that your reasons for leaving qualify you for benefits. While your appeal is being considered, you may be able to check its status by logging on to your state's unemployment website.