Step-by-Step of Unemployment Insurance Application Process

As a result of COVID-19, many Vermonters are feeling the impact of job-loss. Whether you are going through the unemployment process for the first time, or are looking to gain a better understanding of the process, the steps below provide a description of the process from moment you have lost your job, to filing your weekly benefits. 

Please note we are experiencing unprecedented numbers of unemployment insurance claims. Any delays in processing on our end will not impact your eligibility or benefit amount.

1.) ESTABLISHING YOUR INITIAL CLAIM: If you are laid off from your employer and need to file for Unemployment Insurance benefits, or establish an unemployment claim. 

2.) CONFIRMATION EMAIL: After establishing your initial claim over the phone, claimants receive a confirmation number in an email that your claim has been established. The email contains information about the next steps.

3.) PROCESSING CONFIRMATION: Your claim will now be processed into the system. After processing, your monetary eligibility determination will be mailed to you via USPS. You should receive this within 3 to 4 days after processing. This monetary determination letter will serve as your only confirmation notification that your claim has been processed.

  • You will be required to certify that you have read your “Rights and Responsibilities” prior to filing your first weekly claim. This information can be found in the Department’s claimant handbook which can be accessed here
    • Benefits for those not typically eligible for unemployment benefits may now be eligible through the federal CARES Act under Pandemuc Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and federal extended benefits (PEUC) as well as state extended benefits (EB) are now available for those with exhausted benefits. While individuals must apply for PUA to become eligible, those eligible for PEUC and state EB  are automatically rolled into the respective programs.  Benefits through CARES Act  programs (including the $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation which expired on July 25) have been applied to claims filed beginning for the benefit week of March 29, 2020.

4.) FILE FOR WEEKLY BENEFITS: Once your claim is processed, you can begin filing for unemployment insurance benefits. You must file a claim weekly for each week you wish to receive benefits. You may file each weekly claim beginning each Sunday at midnight through each Friday at 4:00 p.m.

Regular UI Claimants should note that they will not have access to the online portal or be able to file a claim over the phone until the Sunday after your claim has been established. With that said, please know that due to the high-volume of claims due to COVID-19, there may be a delay in process and your ability file. Upon receiving your monetary determination letter and confirmation email, you then have access to file your weekly claim either online or over the phone. Claimants will only be able to establish an account or PIN number once access is granted.   


  • If you filed your initial claim Monday-Thursday, you should file your first weekly claim the following Sunday or any day after that up to Friday at 4pm.
  • If you filed your initial claim Friday or Saturday, you should file your first weekly claim the following Tuesday or any day after that, up to Friday at 4pm.
  • If you filed your initial claim Sunday, you should file your first weekly claim the next Sunday or any day after that up to Friday at 4pm.

5.) CONTINUE TO FILE: Continue filing for your weekly benefit for subsequent weeks as needed. You may file each weekly claim beginning each Sunday at midnight through each Friday at 4:00 p.m. 

6.) COMPLETION OF CLAIMS: If you have been called back to work, started a new job, or no longer wish to file for unemployment insurance benefits, you can simply stop filing a weekly claim. You may notify the Department, but it is not required.

*Please note, that if due to COVID-19 you return to work but see reduced hours, may still be eligible to file a weekly claim for lost wages. These Vermonters must report all gross earnings and hours worked for the week to determine eligibility.

Applying for unemployment insurance benefits, but you're also interested in career advice, a part-time job, or full-time employment during COVID-19? Contact our Workforce Development team for assistance by going to


COVID-19 Information

Contact Information

COVID-19 Update: Department of Labor offices are currently closed due to COVID-19. Please contact the Department by phone.

Vermont Department of Labor
5 Green Mountain Drive
P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, 05601-0488
(802) 828-4000

Department Directory