My Unemployment Says I Have a Break in My Claim: What Does That Mean?

You rely on your unemployment benefits to get you through, so seeing that you have a "break in claim" may be a bit upsetting. Fortunately, this doesn't usually signal a serious problems. In most cases, you'll quickly be able to remember why it might say that. It's also easy to rectify the situation.


Generally, you're eligible to receive unemployment benefits for 52 consecutive weeks. The term "break in claim" means that for some reason, you did not claim benefits for a week or more.


A break in claim can occur for a variety of reasons. You may have simply missed the filing deadline last week. If you were working a temporary job assignment for the week, you wouldn't have been eligible for unemployment, causing the break. Additionally, you may have skipped filing one week because you were ineligible for work -- by going on vacation or taking care of your sick mother, for example.

Getting Payment

A break in claim usually means that you won't receive your benefit for that week. Payments usually resume once you reopen your claim. You will still be eligible for the 52 weeks of unemployment benefits -- a break simply pushes the payments back. If you are not sure why your claim shows this or when you will start to receive your payments, call your local unemployment agency to ask for details.

Reopening a Claim

Though the precise process can vary from state to state, to start receiving benefits again, you have to reopen your claim. Typically, there is a special form for this, where you will detail the reason for the break.