How To File For Idaho Unemployment

This page provides information on how to file for unemployment in Idaho. If you lost your job or your hours were reduced at no fault of your own, you may qualify to receive unemployment benefits in your state. Review the information below, if you still have questions or issues about these benefits, then we suggest to contact your local Idaho Unemployment Department for assistance. It is important that you file your new claim right away because Idaho unemployment insurance are not retroactive.

Filing Idaho unemployment claim

You can apply for Idaho unemployment benefits online at They 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

Information needed when applying for unemployment

Below is a list of information you will need when applying:

  • 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

Eligibility requirements for Idaho unemployment benefits

You must do the following to be eligible for unemployment benefits in Idaho:

  • Be totally or partially unemployed through no fault of your own
  • Be a US citizen or legally authorized to work in the US
  • 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

Apply for benefits at during the week you are seeking payment, when your hours have been reduced or you are no longer employed. Do not wait until the week is over. For example, if you typically work 40 hours Monday through Friday and you find out that you are only going to be scheduled to work 15 hours, apply for benefits during the work week. They recommend applying before Friday at 5pm so that they are available to assist you if you have difficulty with the online application. If you apply before Saturday at midnight (when the week ends), you can file your weekly certification on Sunday. If you do not apply during that week, that week will not count as your waiting week or a payable week.

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.

Personal Eligibility Requirements

You may not be able to receive benefits even though you are monetarily eligible. Being monetarily eligible means only that you have sufficient qualifying wages to establish a claim. They must also determine if you meet all the personal eligibility requirements. Like other types of insurance, the unemployment insurance program requires that you meet certain conditions before qualifying to receive payment. To qualify, you must meet both personal and monetary eligibility requirements.

Reasons for being denied unemployment benefits

Each week you claim, you must do certain things to receive a payment. You must be ready, willing and able to take any offer of suitable work. To be eligible, you must be:

Able to work

You must be physically able to work full time. Tell them if you cannot work because of illness, injury or some other physical or mental condition. Most health problems will not affect your claim as long as you are looking for the type of full-time work you can do. You may be disqualified if you have to refuse work due to illness.

Available for work

You must be ready to go to work. You cannot place unrealistic personal restrictions on such things as the hours you will work, the pay you will accept, locations you prefer to work and jobs you will take. You must be willing and able to accept both full-time and part-time work in jobs you can do during all the usual hours and days these jobs are done. Limiting shifts, days or distance you will travel to work can make you ineligible.

Availability for work is very important. For example, you must have child care arranged, a way to get to work and no other personal commitments that prevent you from accepting a job.

Actively seeking work

You must try to find full-time work each week in accordance with the work-seeking requirements you received when you filed your claim. This applies even if you are working part time. You must be willing to accept part-time work while waiting for full-time work to become available.

Actively seeking work means you must personally contact employers who hire people with your job skills. If you cannot find your normal kind of work, you must look for any other kind of work you can do. You must expand your work search and avoid recontacting the same employer every week. As your period of unemployment lengthens you may be required to look for another kind of work, accept a lower pay or search in other locations for a job. The local office can help you find work. Ask them how or go online at and click on "Search for a Job."

You must keep a personal record of your job contacts. This must include the employer name, address, phone number, person contacted, date of contact and the results of the job contact. They may ask you to provide your work-search record (in person or online) to verify your contacts. Keep looking for work as long as you are unemployed.

If the Idaho Department of Labor offers you a job referral for suitable work, you may be denied benefits if you refuse to accept the referral or fail to make contact with the employer.

If you are job attached, you must maintain contact with your employer and return as soon as work becomes available. If you have not been required to make work search contacts because you have a date to return to work or you obtain work through a union, you must notify them if these conditions no longer apply.

Out of work through no fault of your own

You must have been laid off due to lack of work, voluntarily quit with good cause connected with the employment or been discharged but not for misconduct. If your reason for separation is other than lack of work, a written determination regarding your eligibility will be issued to you.

Weekly unemployment eligibility

First, you must file your weekly report. You must be working less than full time, physically and mentally able to work, available for work and actively seeking full-time work. You must be willing and able to work all of the days and hours normal for the type of work you are seeking. You must remain in your area unless you are seeking work elsewhere.

Benefits Payments

Payments are issued as direct deposit to your checking or savings account or as money available to a US Bank ReliaCard issued to you. The following questions and answers describe some of the features of direct deposit and the ReliaCard.

Direct Deposit

You can enroll in this service online at By doing so, you are authorizing the Idaho Department of Labor to credit your bank account each time you file for and are entitled to receive benefits. What information do I need to enroll?

  • A valid email address
  • Your financial institution's nine-digit routing number
  • Your checking account number (up to 17 digits)

Your account number and routing number are on your checks or you can contact your financial institution to verify the account information

How long does it take for services to begin?

Before deposit of your weekly benefit payments can begin, the Department must verify the information you provide. This generally takes up to two days. If there is a problem with the information you have provided you will be notified immediately by email.

When can I expect my payment to be deposited into my account?

Payment will generally be available two to three business days after you submit your weekly certification. Once you have filed your weekly claim for benefits and all eligibility requirements are met, the automated system will transfer payment to the financial institution you have specified. Payments will not be transmitted on state, federal or banking holidays or on weekends.

Applying for weekly benefits

Your weekly certification can be filed online at The Claimant Portal is operational seven days a week, 24 hours a day, including holidays. You may file using your computer or by coming into a Department of Labor office and using one of our lobby computers. To access the Claimant Portal, log on to and follow the step-by-step instructions for filing a weekly certification application (formerly known as weekly continued claim report).

When responding to the questions on the Claimant Portal, you may change any responses given before submitting your claim. Once you have submitted your claim, your responses cannot be changed. If you need to change a response after submitting your weekly certification application, you must contact them at 208-332-8942.

With a few exceptions, your claim will start with the Sunday of the week in which you first file your claim. A benefit week begins at 12:01am Sunday and ends at midnight the following Saturday. You have seven full days following the Saturday week-ending date to file your weekly certification application.

After I filed my unemployment claim

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. They 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 them 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.

Filing an appeal

An appeal must:

  • Be in writing
  • Be signed by the person filing the appeal or by the person's representative
  • Request an appeal hearing
  • Identify the determination being appealed
  • Any interested party to a determination issued by the Department can appeal. The term "interested party" includes the claimant, the employer (if applicable) and/or any employer who may be charged, a representative of any of the above, or an authorized representative of the Department

An appeal may be filed by:

  • Hand-delivering the appeal to the Appeals Bureau at 317 W. Main St., Boise, Idaho 83735
  • By mailing the appeal to the same address
  • Or by faxing the appeal to the Appeals Bureau at 208-334-6440

In order to be considered timely, the appeal must be filed within fourteen days after service of the determination being appealed (almost always the date of mailing - not the day you may have actually received it).

  • If you hand-deliver your appeal, it will be stamped and considered filed on the date of personal delivery
  • If you mail your appeal, it will be considered as filed as of the date of the U.S. Postal Service postmark
  • If you fax your appeal, it will be considered as filed on the date it is received by the Department
What if I file my appeal after the 14-day deadline?

If no appeal has been filed within the 14-day appeal period, the Determination will go final. If an appeal is filed after the determination has gone final, it will be processed by the Appeals Bureau and a hearing will be scheduled to determine whether an appeal has been timely filed, considering any special circumstances that may apply.