IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - As the partial government shutdown continues to weigh on people's minds, some are temporarily out of work. With the fear and confusion that losing your job brings, it may be hard to ask for help. But Idaho Department of Labor Supervisor Charlie Prudent said unemployment benefits may be a great place to turn if only for a short period of time.
"Everybody has the right to file a claim and the Department of Labor is the governing body on whether you'd be eligible," said Prudent.
Even though the option to file is available to everyone, many are left with unanswered questions, like 'where does someone file for unemployment?' or 'how long do I have to wait before filing?'
"You can do that at home," said Prudent. "You can file a claim for benefits as soon as you're not employed any longer. If you are laid off today, then you can file a claim today," he said.
Some people would rather have a more personable experience for help. So if you do decide to go to the Department of Labor rather than doing it at home, you still have to file electronically. The process should only take about 15 minutes. But the unemployment process doesn't end with just a few clicks.
"Also you have to be engaged in seeking work, able to work and available for work," he said.
This means keeping a file of the people you've contacted when trying to find a job.
Although filing for unemployment could be a difficult time for anyone, there are tips that can help.
1) File your own claim to ensure that your name, address, work experience, and identification numbers are put in accurately. 2) Report all former employers whether it's full-time, part time, or temporary. 3) Report all wages, cash, check or by any other means. 4) Be willing and available to accept suitable work. 5) Stop filing if you find a job. 6) Most importantly, be honest. Ignoring rules or providing false information is illegal.
For more information and tips about collecting unemployment benefits go to the Department of Labor's website at labor.idaho.gov/uitips.