Unemployment Guide for all 50 States

Unemployment is very common right now and we’ve assembled a state by state list of guides and tips on how to apply.

You have nothing to be ashamed of, losing work happens to anybody and you can get the help you need to thrive.

Step One - Take a deep breath

This can be a hard time, making sure you are taking care of yourself with rest and nutrition is vitally important.

Close your eyes and count to 10.

Then we can continue.

Step Two - Read the guides for your state

Click the state aboveon the left to find instructions for your state.

Step Three - Gather Documents

You’ll need to assemble documents regarding your employment. Each state is different but we have guides for each. Common documents are your last pay stubs and tax returns but some states require much more.

Step Four - Apply for Unemployment Benefits

The state websites sometimes have times of operations (Yes we know!) so be aware of the best time. Some state websites lose information easily so save your work often or write it down somewhere else first.

Step Five - Get Help

You don’t have to do this alone. We are offering free career coaching to help you navigate this very difficult time.


The CARES Act – the economic relief bill signed into law on Friday – provides much-needed temporary support for American workers impacted by COVID-19. It dedicates $250 billion to give workers more access to unemployment benefits during this public health emergency.

Are self-employed and independent contractors eligible?

Yes. Self-employed and independent contractors, like gig workers and Uber drivers, are eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This also covers workers laid off from churches and religious institutions who may not be eligible under the state’s program.

What about furloughed workers?

Yes. States have policies in place to allow furloughed workers to receive unemployment benefits and part-time workers can receive partial benefits. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program also helps workers stay connected to their employer by allowing unemployment benefits for workers who have a job but are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19-related reasons and are not receiving paid leave through their employer.

How much do unemployed workers get?

It varies. Unemployment benefits across the country averaged $385 per week in February 2020 but vary significantly by state. Generally, a person’s benefits replace about 1/3 to 1/2 of their wages. The CARES Act provides an additional $600 per week on top of whatever a person would normally receive in their state – limited to the next 4 months (expires July 31, 2020). This will end up providing a higher than average wage replacement rate for low-wage workers.

Can individuals get more on unemployment than they got in their paycheck?

The additional $600 in weekly benefits is designed to keep as many workers as whole as possible through the emergency. Some may temporarily receive more benefit than their paycheck – though that number is very small compared to everyone receiving Unemployment. Of course, people receiving Unemployment do not receive health insurance, retirement or other important benefits that can be available at work. The temporary $600 is only available through July 31.

How long do unemployment benefits last?

It varies by state, but most states provide access to unemployment benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks. The CARES Act provides federal funding for an additional 13 weeks for those who need it. Funding for this expires December 31, 2020.

Are unemployment benefits taxable and do they count as income?

Yes. Unemployment benefits are taxable income and they generally count as income when determining eligibility for public assistance programs.

If you've been affected we're here to support you!

You can talk to one of our career coaches to plan your next move.

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The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.