SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – You or a loved one might have lost a job or been furloughed because of COVID-19; there is help available through the state and unemployment insurance. Here’s how you access that help. 

In your panic over losing work, your instinct might be to pick up your phone, but instead of opening your keypad, open a web browser and go to to file for unemployment.

Kevin Burt is the Unemployment Insurance Division Director; he explained, “Unemployment insurance is for these types of situations, so if you’ve lost your job or seen your hours significantly reduced because of COVID-19 the best thing to do is to apply online. We’re processing millions of dollars in benefits, it’s going out.”

Compared to last year at this time, Utah is experiencing 10-20 thousand more unemployment claims and that number keeps growing, so please resist the urge to call and check on your claim. 

Burt said, “Some of the resources that might be processing that work are having to answer calls, so we are trying to strike that balance between being accessible and efficient. In the end that benefit is the key to stabilize someone economically.”

To file for benefits, you need your drivers license, social security number, and about a year’s worth of pay checks to verify your employer. Then you need to check in every week to keep up with your benefits. Applications take 21-30 days to process. 

Burt explained how important it is to check in weekly, “You have to attest every week, am I working, am I able to work, those kinds of things. It’s just five questions, it’s a very simple process, it’s available Sundays. If I don’t file a weekly claim I’m saying I don’t need the benefit anymore, I’ve returned to work.”

He says if you forget to file a week, don’t worry, just hop on and answer the questionnaire for every week that you missed. 

Filing for unemployment is not shameful or beneath you, it’s a bridge in place to get us all through an extremely hard time. 

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