1. Careers
Send to a Friend via Email
Alison Doyle

Do You Have an Unemployment Question?

By October 24, 2013

Follow me on:

Getting through to an unemployment office seems to be getting harder and harder. One unemployed worker told me, "I had to call more than 20 times to get through to my state unemployment office! I just sat there in front of the TV and called over and over."

Another commented on blog post about unemployment being impacted by the government shutdown, saying, "I've sent two emails to IDES and have yet to hear back. Calling the number results in a recorded message that says all lines are busy and to  call back. I don't know what else to do at this point. I'm so very frustrated by this!"

Do you have a problem with your unemployment claim? Are you having difficulty navigating the unemployment system to get answers? Here are frequently asked questions and answers on unemployment claim issues, from career and employment experts, that will help you collect unemployment benefits and handle glitches in the process.

Review these unemployment claim questions and answers for information on why you didn't get your unemployment check, how to get in touch with the unemployment office, and how to get help if you can't find answers to your questions.

Read More: Unemployment Benefits | How to File for Unemployment | Unemployment FAQ

January 3, 2009 at 1:31 am
(1) margaret a. jones says:

hi! my name is margaret a. jones i have the extended benifits but i havent got any benifits on my card for 3 weeks why?

January 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm
(2) sam blevins says:

This would be the third week in a row that my checks have been returned to sender. I have contacted the post office, and they have not given me an explanation. I would like the funds directed towards the automatic deposit account once it is established.

February 15, 2009 at 10:58 am
(3) Royane Pose says:

Good to see all kinds of unemployment information in one place. It is still confusing how Feb 2009 stimulus package will affect our unemployment benefits and would like to see more articles.

Here is another useful guide that provides a step by step guide explaining how to file for unemployment benefits

March 7, 2009 at 12:18 pm
(4) S.Rain says:

Here’s a page that lists links to how to file for unemployment for each state. Hopefully it is useful:

March 9, 2009 at 11:51 am
(5) Edgar Jusino says:

Worked for two years, now I just find out that employer nver paid SS or any other deductions and he desapear.
Are there any assistance?

May 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm
(6) Laura says:

If I am claiming unemployment in Arkansas and moved to Florida, do I need to transfer to Florida or keep claiming in Arkansas until I find work?

May 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm
(7) ryan says:

My hours were cut from full time 40 hours down to 30 hours a week. I know if work 3 10 hour days I would be eligible for one day of unemployment benefits. However, my company will not allow this, so my question is what if I quit and use the arguement that the pay I get out of 30 hours a week is not enough to live off of, which is true, its not…Does this qualify me for unemployment benefits, or will they say work was available and you denied it?

June 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm
(8) patrick porter says:

can a person tranfer his unemployment from one state to a nother if so how i an loosing home and all here in hillsdale and feel else were may be better for me also i an 57 and feel this doesnt help the va beleve they may be able to guide me

August 8, 2009 at 9:18 am
(9) Janet C. says:

I am on a FMLA, without pay, am I eligible for unemployment payments? I am caring for my parent who is disable.

September 11, 2009 at 11:34 am
(10) bankhead says:

how many extended benefits do you get?

September 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm
(11) BRUCE says:

while filing on line i cannot find my profession in the drop down box. i am an automotive service technician. what would i file under if this is not available? please help fast.

October 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm
(12) joe says:

I got married and quit my job and moved to canada. Am I entitled to unemployment checks until i find a job in canada??

November 1, 2009 at 9:29 pm
(13) Jenny says:

Can I receive unemployment benefits if, the company moves to a location that is further 100/miles to/from used to be 70miles to/from. I used to carpool which saved on gas but now the carpool person accepted another position and can’t carpool anymore.

November 7, 2009 at 12:16 pm
(14) james m says:

My wife is taking a job in another state and I must leave my job. Am I entitled to benefits.

November 7, 2009 at 12:43 pm
(15) Job Search Guide says:

When you move with a spouse who has a new job some states provide “following spouse” unemployment benefits. I’d check with both your current state and the new one to see if you’re covered – info should be on the state unemployment web site.

November 13, 2009 at 2:20 pm
(16) jennifer says:

Can you get unemployment benefits if your company moves within state? my commute is insanely long. especially with the traffic around here.

November 23, 2009 at 4:06 am
(17) Tavola B. says:

If your job involuntary moves you out of state and I decide to quit because I have a family and a morgage to up keep, can I receive unemployment?

November 28, 2009 at 11:13 am
(18) Beth says:

After 20 years with the same company , my hours have been cut to 12 hours a week minimum wage. Do I qualify for unemployment benefits?

March 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm
(19) Michael says:

I am planning to quit my permanent full time job to work in contract full time position. This is will turn later to permanent job. If I get fired on contract posistion can I get unemployment benefits?

March 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm
(20) Alison, Job Search Guide says:

If you’re self-employed, in most cases, you won’t be eligible for unemployment. Here’s more info:

March 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm
(21) Kara says:

I live in NV & am collecting unemployment. I can’t find work here. If I move Minnesota do I keep collecting unemployment from NV or from MN? How does that work?

March 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm
(22) Sue says:

My question is regarding vacation time pay! If your employer lays you off and you have vacation time accrued and owed to you does your employer have to pay you it.?

April 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm
(23) carrie says:

will I be denied unemployment for refusing manadation into a shift i do do not have daycare for. my employer keeps trying to mandate me into a pm shift after i worked my day shift and is threating to fire me

May 5, 2010 at 1:17 pm
(24) Patricia says:

My employer moved offices and they say there are technical problems and so far I have been told every day for a week not to come in. How long can they do this before it’s considered a lay off.

May 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm
(25) Mary says:

My current employer has cut our hours we were working 38-40 and now we are working 26-30. Can we draw the difference in hours sometimes we don’t hardly get 26 hours i can’t live on it.

May 29, 2010 at 11:36 am
(26) Cathy Schulbaum says:

I am still out of work and have started a small home based business and just made it an LLC. I’m not making much money since the business is just in the starting phase. Can I still receive unemployment?

July 13, 2010 at 11:00 am
(27) Margaret Mitchell says:

My brother recently passed on…. he just received two of his missing checks… but did not deposit them … have tried to contact someone in unemployment to find out if these checks are part of his estate or must be returned and to whome and how

July 23, 2010 at 10:45 am
(28) dc313 says:


September 27, 2010 at 11:20 am
(29) Devbb says:

I was reciving unemploment, but had to stop because i won my sevrance pkg, now that my sevr is done. do i lose all those weeks of unemploymen ?

October 22, 2010 at 8:52 am
(30) Samy says:

I am so sick of reading & hearing all the B.S about all the social benifit programs being cut. There would be plenty of funds to support ssid ssa and other programs IF persons like Goerge W. B. and his village idiots were not given the power to send the people of tee thousands of persons and billions of dollars spent for a war based on a bunch of made up Bull****! All that money sure would help programs you think? That man is so stupid i am sure he still feels he did the right thing.Loser w a capitol L. My opinion on security s continue to pay the persons who have payed into it which is only right, and keep their stickey fngers out of upcoming generations paychecks and let them decide how much they want to put away for retirement. WE all know these programs were made up to help the people it was just another way for the theives to get that chunk of ones pie!!

December 3, 2010 at 2:15 pm
(31) robby says:

this is robby in louisiana i work shut downs and want to no how to do interstate claim i work all over southeast very lil in La tho what is the process and guidelines for claiming 3 states on this type claim

January 5, 2011 at 2:36 am
(32) Jason says:

My unemployment benefit year end was December 4th 2010. I filed a new claim and it was denied because I had no more benefits since I have been out of work for a year. When this happened I was on the Tier 2 federal extension. So I guess my question is since I was denied a new claim will I be put back on the Federal Extension since I have not exhausted all extended benefits and if so about how long before I receive back pay?

Jason (Illinois)

January 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm
(33) Lea says:

I had to recently move to another state because I am going through a divorce and couldnt live there anymore, it was making me physically ill, can I get unemployment?

March 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm
(34) Noreen Golden says:

My husband was fired from his job back in Nov. 10 because the company could not afford his salary anymore. He has been receiving benefits since and unable to find work in his field since it is extremely specialized. Now,the company has recreated a position for him at one third of the salary they were paying before he was let go, as they now realize their productivity has greatly diminished since his leaving. Will he lose his unemployment if he doesn’t take job? Another job is opening in 5 mos. that will pay double what he was making to start with!

March 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm
(35) Terri says:

The company I work for has just moved 53 miles from where I live. I was commuting about 6 now it’s 53. If I quit my job to except another and get laid off after a few months with this economy can I collect unemployment?

July 14, 2011 at 9:31 pm
(36) Bob says:

My dad was approved for the extension through Ohio back in January. About 5 weeks ago payments stopped. Once they dug into it Ohio told my parents that he should not have been approved due to him having wages from Indiana and Kentucky (He is a heavy equip. operator). Ohio said it shouldn’t be a problem, just file through IN and KY. Once denied, everything would go back to as is. Just found out today that they now owe back over $17000 with penalties. So they go from not being a problem to owing back for Ohio’s mistake. How in the world does this happen and other than appealing is there anything that can be done?

August 23, 2011 at 3:58 am
(37) Ashley Kramer says:

Can I recieve unemployment?
I worked 3rd shift at Sara Lee. My start date was March 19, 2009 and my last night I worked was February 13, 2011.The last few months I was working there I had to work 20 days in a row with 1 day off and then we would work another 20 days in a row and so on. It was physically draining especially considering I was pregnant and I was due March 9, 2011. The last night I was there I was 8 months pregnant and I was having irregular contractions and I couldn’t physically do the job. Since we no longer had a nurse on 3rd shift I talked to my supervisor about partnering up with someone while I was having the contractions but she told me there could be no “restrictions or light work” and that if I can not do the job then I need to get a doctors approval to be off work or don’t come in. Sara Lee uses a point system and if I were to get 8 points (miss 8 days in a year) I would be fired. I already had 7 points and if I were to use a doctors note for the remainder of my pregnancy then I would be charged another point. I tried getting an appointment at my OB doctor on February 14th but they couldn’t get me in unless it was an emergency and the receptionist said this wasn’t an emergency considering how I was no longer having contractions (FYI I didn’t have contractions at all for the remainder of the few weeks I took off work before the actual labor, so that tells me that those false contractions were caused by the job.) I set up a doctors appointment for the following week but my OB doctor wasn’t in so I saw the other doctor but she could not approve of me taking off of work. I couldn’t get an appointment to see my doctor until March 3rd (a week before my due date).

August 23, 2011 at 4:01 am
(38) Ashley Kramer says:

I ended up having my baby March 2 and my OB doctor wasn’t even present to deliver my baby and I had to use the house doctor who was at the hospital. I filed for FMLA for maternity leave starting February 14th until the 6 weeks after the baby was born and then an additional 6 weeks for “baby bonding”. I was approved for the time after the baby was born but not from February 14th through March 1, 2011 because my doctor did not approve it. I then called the HR office at Sara Lee and explained the situation and the lady that I spoke with told me that if I could not get February 14th – March 1st approved then I would be fired. At my 6 week post partum check up I spoke to my doctor about my FMLA and he said he could not approve it because he did not see me. I received a letter from Sara Lee saying this…

This letter is to provide you written confirmation that your employment with Sara Lee Food has been terminated. Your FMLA case with the Reed Group was not approved and you failed to contact HR to discuss your employment with Sara Lee. This is consodered job abandonment and your employment with Sara Lee has been terminated.

August 23, 2011 at 4:05 am
(39) Ashley Kramer says:

I knew there was no way to prove that I had talked to someone from HR and I knew the company was trying to get rid of people anyways and had been for

some time so I filed for unemployment on 7/19/2011.
I just received a letter from the unemployment agency saying that it was denied. It also said this…

FINDINGS: In accordance with the statute, benefits are not payable for voluntarily leaving work without good cause attributable to the emploment.

The claimant voluntarily quit due to a health condition.
The claimant was not approved for FMLA to have her baby.
The evidence of record establishes that either the claimant did not pursue all reasonable alternatives prior to quitting or the claimant’s health condition was not caused or aggravated by the work. Therefore, the claimant quit without good cause attributable to the employment.
RULINGS: The claimant is disqualified from 2/13/11 and until work is performed in covered employment in each of ten weeks and has earned ten times the weekly benefit rate.

August 23, 2011 at 4:06 am
(40) Ashley Kramer says:


I plan on appealing and I’ve been doing research and it seems after I appeal it will go to a hearing that I will have to attend as well as one of the employers at

Sara Lee. I was interested in getting a legal opinion on what I should do and if appealing would be worth my time and what I should expect and any other

information anyone could give me. Thank you for your time!
You can email me at anytime at Kramer0507@hotmail.com

September 11, 2011 at 11:59 am
(41) Gail says:

If an EE’s hours are cut back by one day, from 40 hrs to 32 hrs, can the EE claim unemployment for the difference?

October 27, 2011 at 10:29 am
(42) jason says:

can you receive unemployment if you quit a job that they sent600 miles away from your house

June 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm
(43) Cristine says:

My Newphew lives in Arizona and has been out of work for about 15 months now and he never filed for unemployment. Is it to late to file? Also I live in Nebraska and in Nebraska if you quit your job you can still get unemployment you just get penalized a few months is it like that in Arizona.

October 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm
(44) amy says:

my question is i am still collecting unemployment and i rushed into taking a job that only pays $13 and the benefits are not good and i am a single parent. will that jepordize my benefits that i am still receiving.

June 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm
(45) steve says:

I been working for this company as a part time employee for about 3 years but now they are moving to another state new mexico I tried to become a full time in two times but they wont change my status, this in going to be my third try. Can I collect unemployment if I quit when they moved and if they don’t change my part time status. I,m from texas

October 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm
(46) Sarina Starfish says:

I lost my job with First Transit in 08/ 2011 and I started working do to my divorce stress. Started working part time for sunflower transportation and worked for this company until 10/ 2012. Started working for Amazon in 10/2012 and lost this job because the position was temporary. After this I filed for unemployment benefits . made a 4 or 5 weekly claims and did received amount for 3 weeks. when I called unemployment department I WAS TOLD THAT I WILL BE BACKPAYD BUT NEVER DID. ON 01/26/2013 I STARTED WORKING FOR FRY’S FOOD STORE AS PART TIME CLERK FOR NUTRITION DEPARTMENT AND IN FEBRUARY STARTED FORKING FOR GRAND CANON HOME CARE ALSO PART TIME. I worked for Grand Canon for couple of months because I could not keep booth job . Fry’s expected from me to be available whenever. My question is: WHAT HAPPEN TO THIS TWO WEEKS OF CLAIMS I MADE . YOU CAN E MAIL ME TO: SSTARFISH88@GMAIL.COM OR CALL ME AT:(602)465-9776

October 30, 2013 at 4:31 am
(47) Syndi says:

I had an interview and was offered orientation. 3 hours of work. Employer said they’ll call me when they have start date to start working. They never called me. My benefits had exhausted the week I worked the 3 hours. I wasn’t able to report that money because I didn’t have benefits. It took about a week and a half to get a federal extension approved. Now the employer is reporting I work for them and unemployment is questioning me. Did I do so etching wrong? Or what is going on? Will they call the employer and if so what will they ask?

November 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm
(48) billy says:

I was let go from my job on oct 27 2013 I didn’t file my claim until oct 30 2013.i’m filing the second week and it asking me since you file your claim on 10/30/2013 for unemployment insurance benefits, have you been fired /discharged from a job asking yes or no
I haven’t found any work yet .

November 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm
(49) Deb says:

I was laid off for 7 weeks due to a move I am now at new location I was told I can receive unemployment benefit for that time off.
is that correct? How would I go about it? Can it be done on line?

December 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm
(50) Christy says:

The Agency is working diligently to modernize our phone and computer systems which have been stretched to the limit by system modifications for changes in the unemployment insurance program,” UIA Director Steve Arwood said in a statement to MLive. “Efforts are on track to implement the new systems by September 2013. The Agency will then be able to significantly increase the level of service we can provide to our customers and employers.”

Here it is December 2013 and the people still cant get a damn human being on the phone through UIA. The people are still waiting MONTHS for even a decision on their claim. Day 123 for me. Mr. Arwood needs to lose his job and get to the back of the line!!!

December 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm
(51) Tracy says:

I am currently collecting unemployment. I was pregnant when I started but have since had my baby. I’m married & my husband works but am unsure if I should let unemployment know & add her? Will that mess up my benefits? We cant afford for me not to get some income coming in.

January 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm
(52) Steven King says:

from experience in Michigan, after loosing my job that went to India thanks to Snyder, then my home, I went to stay with my sister in NC to check there for work and when Michigan UIA found out I was not in State, it meant i was Ineligable do to not searching for work (apparently in Michigan), therefore your UIA benefits are (were) cut off until I came back to Michigan, and after a cpl weeks dealing with the UIA Office, and re-established a Michigan Address… luckily got in back.

January 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm
(53) Steven King says:

Anybody have this issue in Michigan? The last week of NOV13, I went from Teir 2 to Teir3 EU. They, (UAI) said I do not need to do anything but keep doing my Cert. and it will transition from tier 2 to 3, no problem. Well, after waiting for my cert date and cert-ing, the “MIWAM” certification said I had “weeks to claim” …and after doing the first part, i figured out quickly it skipped one week and only paid me one week. because it only allowed me to claim one week (not the two you typically get). After writing 3 letters dated 12/2/13, 12/17/13 and 1/9/14, on the MIWAM “send letter” tab, (in which your legal letter/doc instantly disappears) and not being able to get thru to 866-500-0017 as usual, I have still heard NOTHING from anybody about my “Missing Week” and 50 miles to the nearest UIA does not help when ya can’t get there.

January 11, 2014 at 9:56 pm
(54) Tasha says:

Hi I just had a baby January 3rd and I’m wondering what I do about my unemployment it is not up yet and once I’m recovered from my c section I’d like to be able to file again until I get a new job from being laid off during pregnancy how do I do that …I went into labor on a Thurs also so how do I file for just those few days that week!

January 12, 2014 at 11:58 am
(55) john says:

hi my names john and I currently work at a shop in Michigan. I have a couple questions regarding whether or not I would be eligible for unemployment. My shop runs a plasma cutting table which gives off smoke and in the smoke is tiny metal particles that are extremely harmful to somebody if no ventilation system is installed, which at my shop there is NO ventilation system so we are constantly breathing in these particles and having difficulty breathing at times. I also have asthma to add to this issue. My other complaint is that over thanksgiving break we worked overtime but the owner only paid us for straight time leaving myself and 3 others short on our paycheck. The owner said he is going to take care of the problem but still have yet to be reemburssed for those hours unpaid. Would I be eligible to collect unemployment for these reasons if I were to put in my 2 week notice?

January 13, 2014 at 11:13 am
(56) heather says:

we’ve been trying for 3wks to make a claim through unemployment its busy all day every day we really need a check are bills are going to all be late and our kids need somethings we have no income how can we get through to someone?

January 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm
(57) Joseph says:

I have filed for unemployment on December 2 2013 I am still waiting on a decision. I called almost 200 times today and finally got through because it says to wait up to 6 weeks. I was told I have to wait longer. Can I do anything to speed the time up? I am broke had to sell my cars to pay rent and I am out of ideas to stay a float. and yes I have been applying to jobs every day.

January 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm
(58) Cindy Lee says:

Camps I collect benefits in Ohio if my hours and pay have been cut substantially? I’ve gone from 35.7 hours to 31.5 w no pay raise in the past 10 years. Now, I’m going from 31.5 to 20 hours w a 17,000 pay cut

February 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm
(59) latania says:

I am planning on relocating from Chicago to Texas, if I can not find a position in the new state within my company can I receive unemployment benefits.

February 20, 2014 at 3:36 pm
(60) Anthony Tenner says:

I recently got laid off from my main job but recently got a second job. Can I receive unemployment for being laid off from my first job. (Arkansas)

February 20, 2014 at 10:11 pm
(61) Iris aladonis says:

My hour was cut at Aero, but im only part time to begin with. I was getting more then managers 40+ but now im “on call” but havent worked in over three weeks!!! what can i do??? i have bills i need to pay =(

February 25, 2014 at 9:16 am
(62) jessica says:

Why is it impossible to get through to a human being on the phone lines? I wonder why this government run agency doesnt function adequately? There is NO reason why it has to take months to come to a decision regarding ones unemployment claim. I have worked and paid taxes for over 20 years, and am deserving of this benefit. Why I have to wait so long for decision, or 2 weeks for a simple answer of a phone call, is ridiculous. Its a disgrace our government cant find a solution. Many other companies received 100,000,000 of phone calls daily and at least have some sort of answering formula.

February 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm
(63) Brandon D. says:

I was laid off in November. After getting the run around from the unemployment office for a few months my claim finally got filed on 02/02. Do I still get the benefits from the previous 4 months?

March 10, 2014 at 1:54 pm
(64) Diana says:

Can a unemployment office put your benefits on hold for a medical condition if your doctor did not put you off from work? The one in Kentucky did this to me and said I would need a doctors release before I could return to receiving benefits or work, since my doctor did not say I could not work why would he need to release me for work?

March 13, 2014 at 11:40 am
(65) Gabe says:

I was recently laid off from my previous position as of 02/07/2014. I found another job on 02/18/2014. Issues pertaining with both managers at my employer are causing a conflict of interest in a personal matter as to where I can lose my job only working here for a month. Will this effect my unemployment qualification by any chance?

March 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm
(66) DANA GARVEY says:

Hello I need to move from the bay area to Sacramento Ca . My father is ill and my stepmom has no way to get him to his dr apt can I collect unemployment until I can find a job there?

March 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm
(67) KAYLIE says:

hello.. i was just wondering if any of you could help me . my partner was working a high paid job since before Christmas .. so because it was highly paid we were not eligible for tax credits etc so all i get is £20 a week child benefit for my little girl. however a couple of weeks ago was laid off till a new contract starts which is guaranteed but unfortunately they do not know when this new contract will start .. so we have fastly run out of money.. do i was just wondering if any one noes how to go about getting some help ??

March 27, 2014 at 4:10 pm
(68) Chad Morton says:

I was receiving federal extension benefits until they were cut off on Dec 28th. 6 months prior I had to do another claim that reduced my weekly amount; however there was about $4,000 left for them to pay from the federal ext. They put me under a plan A.

In January they began sending me weekly payments considerably lower then what I was getting.

Do they still owe me the difference in money? Will they now change back to the original weekly amount (higher amount) if they pass the new extension?


April 9, 2014 at 11:30 am
(69) edward says:

hi my first 6 months of unemployment ended march 1st 2014 and i wasnt able to have an extension due to that they needed to pass the law. it seems like they will pass it this time the thing is i had to borrow money from my parents for the 3 weeks that i didnt received a check from unemployment but luckily i started this new job march 24th and im working fulltime.

my question is once the pass the law to extend unemployment and retroactive will they pay me for the 3 weeks that was owed to me until the day that i started working? some people say i will some say i dont i dont know what to do anymore. i hope i get paid for the weeks that i didnt work that will make me catch up on my bills… i just think its messed up that i wouldnt get just because i recently started working a full time and people that didnt bother looking for a job will get it automaticly just because they are stil unemployed

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.