After you have established your unemployment claim, you must certify that you are fully or partially unemployed each week to receive an unemployment payment. This is done by filing weekly claims over the internet, telephone, or thought the mail.
Important: If you are filing your claim by phone DO NOT hang up prior to the system telling you “good-bye” your claim will not be processed!!
Your eligibility to receive unemployment compensation is determined every week you file a claim for benefits.
Am I eligible for Benefits?
To determine your eligibility, we ask eight questions:
1). During the week ending ______ were you able to work and available for work?
2). Did you refuse an offer of work or referral to a job?
3). Did you quit a job during the week ending ______?
4). Were you fired from a job during the week ending ______ ?
5). Did you receive a back pay award or settlement?
6). Did you receive Workers’ Compensation, vacation pay, or wages in lieu of notice?
7). Did you look for work as directed during the week ending ______ ? (PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO COVID-19, YOUR REPONSE TO THIS QUESTION DOES NOT IMPACT YOUR ELIGIBILITY)
8). Did you perform any work or earn any wages?
Depending on how you answer these questions, other questions may also be asked. Please answer these questions accurately. A misstatement of fact made in connection with filing a claim for unemployment benefits will result in liability to repay the benefits received to the Department.
In addition to the liability to repay the benefits, the Department may impose “penalty weeks.” If a claimant is assessed penalty weeks, that claimant will not be paid for future claims for benefits UNTIL he or she has “offset” the number of penalty weeks by filing the same number of weekly claims as penalty weeks. Unemployment benefits will not be paid for claims, which are filed to “offset” penalty weeks.
Timeframes for Filing Your Weekly Claim
Unemployment compensation benefits are paid for the seven-day period, which begins on Sunday and ends on Saturday. The earliest you can file a Weekly Continued Claim for benefits is 12:01 a.m. on the Sunday following the week for which you are filing a claim. The latest you can file a claim for a week is the following Friday before 4:00 PM.
*NOTES FOR COVID-19: If you were not able to file by the weekly deadline due to processing errors, you will still receive benefits, as claims will be back-dated to the date of separation. Please note that while there may be a delay, you will still receive benefits for the benefit week(s) for which you are eligible.
If you do not file your Weekly Continued Claim by telephone or Internet by 4:00 p.m. on the Friday following the week being claimed, you must contact the Claimant Assistance Line toll-free at 1-877-214-3332. If you stopped filing for unemployment benefits for any reason or missed filing a weekly claim, you must reopen your claim on-line or call the toll-free Initial Claims line at 1-877-214-3330 before you can resume filing weekly claims.
What to Do if You Make a Mistake:
If you have filed either by telephone or via the Internet and you discover you have made a mistake on your response to any question for your Weekly Claim, the error can be corrected as long as you re-file the claim on the same day before 4:00 p.m. If you discover you have made an error on a day other than the day you filed your original weekly claim, or if your error is on a claim filed through the mail, you must call the toll-free Claimant Assistance Line at 1-877-214-3332 to correct the error.
Keep Filing Claims If You Have Filed an Appeal:
If you file an appeal of a determination or decision that was not in your favor, continue to file a claim for benefits for each week that you remain unemployed until a decision on your appeal has been made. Filing each week ensures that you will be paid if your appeal is successful. If you don’t file claims for benefits while your appeal is pending, you won’t be paid for the weeks during which you failed to file a claim, even if your appeal is successful.
Ways to File My Weekly Claim
Filing your weekly claims over the Internet is easy, fast, and saves you the cost of a stamp! The first time you use the UI Weekly Internet Claims system, you will be required to establish your Personal Identification Number (PIN). It is your responsibility to make sure that no one else, including family members, knows your Social Security Number and/or PIN number. If you give your SSN and/or PIN to another individual, and as a result we make a payment that should not have been made, you will be required to repay the full amount of benefits that were improperly paid. You may also have “penalty” weeks assessed against you.
To file your Weekly Continued Claims online, visit the Claimant Portal and follow the prompts. Remember, you’re always filing for the week, which ended on the previous Saturday. CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE CLAIMANT PORTAL.
Once you complete and submit the Internet claim form, the screen will display general information about your weekly benefit payment amount and the maximum amount of benefits you may receive in your benefit year. If you do not complete the claim form your claim will not be processed.
Mailing your claims is the slowest method of filing weekly claims. If you elect to choose this method of filing, you would mail your claim to the following address:
Vermont Department of Labor
ATTN: Mail Claims
PO Box 189
Montpelier, VT 05601-0189
Over the Phone:
After filing your first claim for unemployment benefits, you may file your weekly claims for benefits by calling the toll free Weekly Claims Line at 1-800-983-2300 and selecting Option #1. It’s your responsibility to make sure that no one else, including family members, knows your Social Security Number and/or PIN number. If you give your SSN and/or PIN to another individual, and as a result we make a payment that should not have been made, you will be required to repay the full amount of benefits that were improperly paid. You may also have “penalty” weeks assessed against you.
Next, you will be asked eight questions concerning the week of unemployment for which you are filing your claim for benefits. Remember, you are always filing for the week, which ended on the previous Saturday. Once you have answered the questions, and you hear the words “thank you for using the weekly claim and information line, good-bye,” your claim has been accepted. Remember, If you hang up prior to the system telling you “good-bye” your claim will not be processed.