How To Apply For Benefits

I just applied for unemployment insurance. Now what?

Report your waiting week

This is the first weekly certification, and you must file your waiting week to certify your claim. File your waiting week certification online the first Sunday after you open your claim.

Start looking for work

Keep track of your work-search contacts. You are required to make at least two contacts per week to receive payments and waiting week credit.

Report for each week

File a weekly certification application every week at until you are back to full employment. Benefit weeks are from Sunday through Saturday. We recommend filing your weekly report on Sunday. Remember you are filing for the prior week. File carefully and honestly.

If you realize you made a mistake while filing, give us a call at (208) 332-8942. To prevent delays in payment, call within 24 hours.

Possible issues

If you were discharged or quit your last job, expect a call (or email if that is your preferred contact method) to determine if you are eligible for unemployment insurance. File your weekly certifications while you are awaiting a determination.

* Need to know info

Read the Idaho Labor Unemployment Insurance Claimant Benefit pamphlet that will be mailed to you. It contains information that can protect you from making mistakes during the claim process that could jeopardize your benefits. You are responsible for reading and following all directions. Along with your pamphlet, you will receive a monetary determination stating your weekly and total benefit amount, based on the wages your employer reported to us. If the information is incorrect, call us to prevent potential overpayments.


Your claim will stop if you have not filed weekly certifications for two or more consecutive weeks OR you file and have earnings over 1 1/2 times your weekly benefit amount for two consecutive weeks.

To reopen your claim, go to Reopen your claim during the week you have reduced hours or are laid off. You must enter your most recent work history.

How do I file a claim?

You may apply at We do not accept claims over the telephone. If you do not have Internet access or need help filing online, you may file at your nearest local Idaho Department of Labor office. If you are filing a claim against Idaho, but live in another state, you may also file your claim online at

Where is the nearest local office?

Click here for a list of the Idaho Department of Labor locations in Idaho.

What are the hours and availability of services?

Local Offices are open:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Closed on observed holidays

* Wood River local office
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday
Closed Thursday, Friday and on observed holidays

* Soda Springs local office
9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Closed Friday and on observed holidays

What information do I need to have with me when I apply?

  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license
  • If you are not a citizen of the United States, your Alien Registration number and card
  • Business names, complete addresses including zip codes and phone numbers of all employers for whom you worked during the past 2 years
  • Dates your work started and ended for those employers
  • Total gross earnings from those employers
  • Reason you are no longer working for those employers
  • DD Form 214, Member 4, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, if you were a member of the military service in the past 2 years
  • County of residence if you live outside the state of Idaho

What must I do to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?

You must:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own.
  • Be a US citizen or legally authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Be available for full-time work.
  • Be able to perform full-time work.
  • Be willing to actively seek full-time work.
  • Establish monetary entitlement to benefits by having sufficient earnings in the base period:
    • You must have worked and been paid wages for employment in at least two of the quarters in your base period,
    • AND have been paid at least $1,872 in wages in one of those quarters,
    • AND the total wages paid in your base period must equal one and a quarter times your highest quarter wages.

When should I apply for benefits/file a claim?

File your claim during your first week of total or partial unemployment; a delay may cost you benefits.

What is a waiting week?

Before any benefits can be paid, you must serve a waiting week. To serve the waiting week, you must have filed a claim and be entitled to benefits in all respects. You must also submit a claim report via the Internet to report for your waiting week. You will not be paid benefits for the waiting week. You will only have to serve one waiting week per benefit year.

» Read more about a waiting week here.

What if I am not working, but being paid severance pay?

If you are receiving pay for a specific period of time and being paid on your regularly scheduled pay periods, you must divide your severance pay by the number of weeks covered and report that amount each week you certify.

What if I am not working, but continuing to be paid by my separating employer in compliance with WARN requirements?

Claimants are not required to report Warn Act payments on their weekly certification.

What if I worked in Idaho but live in another state?

Persons living in another state who want to claim unemployment insurance benefits against the State of Idaho must meet all the eligibility requirements and file at

If you are filing a claim against Idaho from another state and have any questions about your claim, please call (208) 3­32-3574.

Can I file a claim against another state?

Yes, if you reside in Idaho now but all of your wages during the base period were earned in one other state, you may file an interstate claim. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are considered "states" for unemployment insurance claims filing purposes.

If you have earned wages in Idaho and at least one other state during the base period, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands, you may request the wages be combined by transferring them to the state in which you file your claim. This is called a combined-wage claim. Canada does not participate in the combined-wage agreement.

What if I am going to move out of Idaho?

If you are looking for work outside of Idaho or planning to move to another state, it is very important to notify us so we can provide information on transferring your claim.

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