An unemployment claim isn’t just one claim. Instead, it’s a series of weekly claims verifying your continued eligibility to participate in the program. Although the process is called a weekly claims certification, whether you have to do it each week depends on the state you live in. If you miss a certification, you won’t get paid for that week. However, you can usually file it on you next certification date.


If COVID-19 has affected your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Head to the Department of Labor's website for updates, and check out careeronestop to learn how to file for unemployment in your state.

You may also be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which is now available to individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits (e.g. self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig workers)

Weekly Claims Certification

An unemployment program’s weekly claims certification is the process through which you verify your eligibility for each week of benefits. You answer a series of questions about your eligibility, including your job search, your income and any offers of work you may have received for that week. The state reviews your answers to the questions and releases your compensation payment according to the answers. If you don’t file your certification, you don’t get paid for the week in question.

Biweekly or Weekly?

Whether you file your claim every week or every other week depends on the state in question. If your state is a on a weekly schedule, it means you also receive your compensation payments on a weekly basis. Biweekly states ask you to certify every other week for two weeks and then distributes double payments after you certify. Each schedule has its benefits. You receive payments more frequently with the weekly schedule but the biweekly schedule mimics a paycheck more authentically.

Why Is It Called Weekly?

Often claimants wonder why a it’s called a weekly claims certification in the states that use a biweekly schedule. The reason is that each week of unemployment benefits stands on its on own. When you file your certification, you answer the questions about each week separately. If your answers indicate you’re eligible for one week and not the other, your payment will include compensation for that one week only.

Missing Dates

Sometimes you miss a certification date you are eligible for. In that case you can often file a weekly claim for that week on your next certification date. You receive payment for that week on the next payment date. In most states, if you fail to certify for more than three weeks, that labor office closes your claim. To make up those dates, you have to call the state’s claims line.