Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits or Reactivate an Existing Claim

What information or documents do I need to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits?

The following information is needed to file an application (initial claim) for benefits:  

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Arizona Driver's License or Arizona State Issued ID (Note: you may still complete your application without these two items)
  • Your mailing address, city, state and ZIP code
  • If you live in Arizona, know the county where you reside
  • The names, addresses, and phone numbers of all your employers for the last 18 months
  • The last day you worked immediately prior to filing your UI claim
  • If you received severance, vacation, holiday or payment for unused sick pay: give the amount (before deductions) and the date it was paid to you
  • The name and local number of your union hall, if applicable
  • Alien Registration Number, if applicable
  • Copy # 4 of your DD Form 214 if released from the military in the last 18 months
  • SF 8 or SF 50 if employed in Federal Civilian service in the last 18 months
  • If you are collecting a pension (other than Social Security), you will need the start date of the pension and the monthly benefit amount

When you apply for UI benefits, you must provide the correct mailing address and telephone number for your most recent employer (the individual or company you worked for immediately prior to filing your application for benefits).

 When should I apply?

Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits are not retroactive: therefore, you should apply for UI Benefits as soon as possible after the last day of work.  If you are still currently working, you will need to wait until after your last day of work to complete your application for UI benefits.

What is the effective date of my claim?

The effective date of your claim is the start of your benefit year which is normally the Sunday of the week in which you file your initial application for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Your benefit year ends 365 days later.  Your benefit year ending date will appear on your Wage Statement UB-107.

How do I apply for benefits?

DES does not have Unemployment Insurance offices.  You must apply online.  If you don't have a computer, you may visit a One-Stop Center or DES Employment Service office resource center (access to computers is available free of charge).  Staff at the One-Stop Centers or DES Employment Service office can help with the online application.  Staff at those offices can also provide information about the other services available to help you find employment.

To find a One-Stop Center or DES Employment Service Office, visit the Arizona Job Connection web site.

Important note:  each time you file your weekly UI claims using the Internet you will be required to enter the Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you created when you completed your initial application for UI Benefits (if you applied online).  If you didn't apply for benefit online, you will need to create a PIN that will be used to file all future weekly claims and to view payment information. Your PIN can be any combination of numbers except all zeroes (0000), all nines (9999), or any symbols (#, *).  View more information about how to create or reset your PIN and/or Password.

Can I apply for UI benefits if I've worked in another state?

Yes, you can.  If all of your past employment was in another state and you now reside in Arizona, you can find information about that state's Unemployment Insurance Program at  If you have Arizona wages in your base period and also worked in another state, more information about your claim options can be found on our Monetary Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits page.

What can I expect during the application process?

If there are eligibility issues identified during the application process, a window will appear for each issue identified which will allow you to provide general information related to the situation.  After the application is processed, questionnaires (form UB-436) will be mailed to you for each issue.  This will give you the opportunity to provide more complete details and any supporting documents you wish to supply.

Your application is successfully completed when you receive a confirmation number after certifying that the statements you made on your application are true to the best of your knowledge and belief.   If you do not receive a confirmation number, please complete the application again or contact the AZ Unemployment Insurance Call Center.

What happens after I complete the application process?

You should expect the following documents by postal mail within approximately one week (it may take longer for the documents to arrive if you live in another state):

These documents are sent to all applicants:

Some applicants will receive:

If you did not receive the documents you were expecting, contact the AZ Unemployment Insurance Call Center or send them an email, select "Documents Not Received by Mail" for the subject.  Please see Actions Needed for more information about what is required once these documents are received.

Are there more requirements that I need to meet after I apply?  

Yes, you must:

  • File weekly claims to receive benefits.  The weekly claim filing process (also referred to as weekly certification) is used to verify that you were unemployed during the week being claimed and are eligible to receive benefit payments (provided that you qualify monetarily and are determined to be eligible to receive benefits).
  • Return the Certificate of Understanding (form UB-99Y).  If this form is not received by DES when you file your third weekly claim, any benefits that you are receiving will be stopped (a new Certificate of Understanding UB-99Y will be sent to you which you must complete and return).
  • Register with Employment Services.  View more information about this requirement.
  • File a Wage Protest if your Wage Statement (form UB-107) has incorrect or missing wages.  

Benefit payments that you may be eligible for will be delayed until you comply with all requirements.

I applied for benefits and found a job (returned to work with a previous employer or quit filing for some other reason for more than two weeks), what do I need to do to reactivate my benefits?  

When you initially apply and qualify for benefits, a benefit year is established.  The benefit year is normally the Sunday of the week in which you file your initial application for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Your benefit year ends 365 days later. Your benefit year ending date will appear on your Wage Statement UB-107.  If, during this benefit year, you stop filing because of work, vacation, illness or some other reason; you must re-activate your claim (provided that you have a balance remaining in your regular account with a benefit year that has not expired or qualify for one of the extensions that are still in effect). You may re-activate your regular UI claim online (please note that the application process is the same one you completed when you first applied for benefits).



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