The uncertainty of the economy that is reeling from the coronavirus outbreak is causing a lot of people to lose their jobs. If you have been laid off or fired, you need to know how to file for unemployment benefits. You can click here for a full explanation of the steps you need to take, but here are a few things you need to know right away:

1. Apply as soon as you lose your job - Your claim begins the week you complete your application. You have to wait to apply until after your last day at work, so if you get told you are losing your job in two weeks, you will have to wait those two weeks to apply.

2. Apply online or on the phone - Click the link above to apply online at Unemployment Benefit Services and select Apply for Benefits. Read the Applying for Unemployment Benefits Tutorial for help applying online. You can call 800-939-6631 to speak to a customer service representative as well.

Make sure you have this information before you begin your application process:

1. Your last employer’s business name, address and phone number
2. First and last dates (month, day and year) you worked for your last employer.
3. The number of hours you worked and your pay rate if you worked the week you apply for benefits.
4. Information about the normal wage for the job you are looking for.
5. Alien Registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen).

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