Filing an Application for Unemployment Benefits
When should I file an application for benefits?
A: File an initial claim the same week you are unemployed or working reduced hours. Your unemployment insurance claim DOES NOT begin on the date your job ended or your hours were reduced. Your claim is effective the week you apply.
How do I apply for benefits?
A: File online at dol.nebraska.gov. Click HERE for instructions.
If you need assistance, call the Nebraska Claims Center at 402-458-2500 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You must register in NEworks, neworks.nebraska.gov, as part of the initial unemployment claim process. All claimants must complete an online resume unless you have a recall date with your employer or are a member of a union with a hiring hall. If you are filing a claim from another state and do not live in a county bordering Nebraska, you must also register for employment services in the state of your residence.
What information do I need when I apply?
A: You will need the following information to apply for unemployment benefits:
- Social Security Number
- Complete home mailing address, including ZIP code
- Telephone number
- Email address
- County you live in
- Driver's license number or State ID card number
- If you select direct deposit, your bank routing number and account number
- The company names for all your employers from the past 18 months as they appear on your paycheck stubs or W-2 forms
- Complete mailing addresses of employers, including ZIP code and the city in which the business is physically located
- Your start and end dates with each employer, including month, day, and year
- Your reason for leaving each employer (lack of work, voluntary quit, discharge, leave of absence)
- Employment authorization number and expiration date (if a non-citizen)
- If you served in the military the past 18 months, DD 214 Member #4 Form
- If you worked for the federal government as a civilian employee in the last 18 months, Standard Form 8 or Standard Form 50. Also, compile your total wages earned with the federal employer in the last 18 months and indicate how you were paid (hourly, weekly, and monthly).
What happens after I submit my application for unemployment benefits?
It takes several weeks to process an initial claim. If necessary, we’ll call you just as soon as your claim is ready to be completed. Remember to do the following while your claim is being processed:
Read all communication about your claim. Check your email, the NEworks Message Center, telephone messages, and the mail for any claim-related updates. Keep your address current because you’ll receive letters outlining what you need to do to maintain benefit eligibility. The decisions about your claim are made based on available information, so it is important that you respond on time when you’re instructed to do so.
File for weekly benefits at neworks.nebraska.gov while your claim is processing. You have from Sunday to Friday to file your claim for the previous week. If you don’t file your claim on time, your benefit payments may be affected.
Report your gross earnings (before taxes are deducted) each week. Gross earnings include, but are not limited to: your hourly rate of pay multiplied by the total hours worked, tips, commission, and earnings from self-employment. You must report all earnings for the week that you perform the work. Do not wait until you are paid. Keep track of the total hours you work each week, Sunday through Saturday. Misreporting wages is fraud and could result in penalties and criminal charges.
How can I reopen my unemployment claim?
A: If you become unemployed again and wish to file for benefits, go online to neworks.nebraska.gov and reopen your claim during the first week your job has ended or your employer has reduced your work hours. If you need assistance, call the Claims Center at 402-458-2500. You will not be able to file a weekly claim for benefits until you reopen your claim.
What should I do if my resume or registration expires?
A: You are required to maintain an active NEworks registration and online, searchable resume while you are receiving unemployment benefits. The online resume is not required if you are going back to work for your emloyer or are a member of a union with a hiring hall.
If no activity is recorded for 45 days, your registration will expire. If your registration has expired, open your personal profile. Review the current information and make sure it is up to date. Make any necessary changes and then save your profile. If your resume has expired, open it and review and update the information. You may also create a new resume at this time. Make sure to save your profile and resume even if there were no changes. NESL: 48-627(1); 219 NAC 2
Can I file a claim if I live outside Nebraska?
A: Yes. If you are filng a claim from another state and do not live in a county bordering Nebraska, you must also register for unemployment services in the state of your residence.
Can I file a claim if I worked for the federal government or military?
A: Yes. Federal employees will be asked to provide a Standard Form 8 and Standard Form 50, if available. Ex-military claimants will be asked to provide a Member 4 copy of the DD214.
How long will it take to apply for benefits?
A: Plan to spend one hour completing the online registration, resume and initial claim.
Why do I need to create a personal profile and put my resume online for employers to view?
A: You will not be able to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits in NEworks unless you have created a personal profile and posted your resume online. The online resume is not required if you are going back to work for your employer or are a member of a union with a hiring hall.