Top Mistakes to Avoid When Filing for Unemployment

An error can delay your payment


The number of people filing for unemployment has started to slow, but states are still seeing a record number of claims. There are tens of thousands of people in the D.C. metro region who filed for unemployment benefits weeks, and even months, ago who are still waiting for their benefits. 

Mistakes on applications or weekly certifications can delay the process. We asked D.C., Maryland and Virginia about the top errors they see. Continue reading to make sure you avoid these mistakes so you can get your money quicker.


1. Entering the incorrect information in your initial claim (ex. wrong Social Security number).

2. Not uploading sufficient documentation while filing an initial claim (you can now upload additional documentation in the BEACON portal after submitting a claim).  

3. Providing conflicting information from previous employer (ex. reason for separation and/or wage discrepancies that must be investigated and adjudicated).

4. Expecting a UI debit card in the mail, but funds have already been deposited on their previous UI debit card issued to them in the past three years (more on this here).


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5. Not filing a weekly claim certification every week after filing an initial claim in a timely manner. Weekly claim certifications are critical for the labor department to determine eligibility and provide payment.

6. Filing a claim in the wrong state. Individuals must file for benefits in the state(s) where they have worked and earned wages, not simply the state where they are living. 


1.  Wrong banking information 

2.  Wrong Social Security number

3.  When filing, indicate Lack of Work

4.  Report gross earnings when filing your weekly claim 

5. Make sure that you file your weekly claim 


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