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File for Unemployment in Vermont
If you are ready to file for unemployment in Vermont, you can do so through a variety of methods. The easiest is to create an online profile with the Vermont Department of Labor and signing in at the Labor Claimant Portal. The portal requires you to use your social security number to create a username, password, and PIN for your login information. This will allow you to file your initial claim, file your weekly claims, and update direct deposit information.
You can also visit a Claims Center between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday or 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday. Filing here gives you access to customer service representatives who can assist you in filing for unemployment every step of the process.
Filing for unemployment by the phone is also possible if you call the toll-free number 1-877-214-3330 or 1-800-650-4152 if you are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Unemployment Application and Initial Claim
File Your Unemployment Application and Initial Claim Process
To successfully file for unemployment benefits in Vermont online, complete the following steps:
- Create your user profile on the Claim Portal
- Login using your social security number and PIN
- Click “yes” when asked if you read “Your Rights and Responsibilities” in the unemployment handbook – Make sure to read this document fully
- Fill in information about your employers over the last 18 months, including:
- Reasons for dismissal
- Dates of employment
- Wages earned
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- All personal contact information must then be added
- Submit your application
- Register for the work search program
Documents and Information Needed During Filing
- Social security number
- Contact information (mailing address, telephone number, and email)
- Alien registration number (if not a citizen)
- Separation pay status, including vacation pay, severance pay, retirement pay, etc.
- Return to work date, if applicable
- Driver’s license number or state ID Number
- Banking information for direct deposit
- Military form DD-214, member 4 copy if you served in the military in the past 18 months
- Form SF-8 if you worked for the Federal Government during the past 18 months
- All information about your employers over the last 18 months, including name, address, payroll address, employer phone number, dates of employment, and reason for separation
Claim Weekly Benefits
Every week you receive unemployment benefits, you need to file a weekly claim. Filing for weekly benefits requires answering a few simple questions to verify your current employment status.
It also ensures that you haven't made too much money to continue receiving benefits and that you continue to meet eligibility requirements fully.
How to Claim Weekly Benefits
- Sign on to your online Claim Portal account
- Click on “File Weekly Claim”
- Answer the following questions to the best of your abilities:
- During the week were you able to work and available for work?
- Did you refuse an offer of work or referral to a job?
- Did you quit a job during the week?
- Were you fired from a job during the week?
- Did you receive a back pay award or settlement?
- Did you receive Workers’ Compensation, vacation pay, or wages in lieu of notice?
- Did you look for work as directed during the week?
- Did you perform any work or earn any wages?
- Answer any other questions that result from the survey
Make sure to file for your weekly claim as early as possible. All claims are made for the previous week and can be filed as soon as 12:01 a.m. on the Sunday following the previous week's Saturday. The latest they can be filed is that week's Friday at 4:30 pm. To file by phone, call 1-800-983-2300.
You can also call the Claimant Assistance Line at 1-877-214-3332 if you fail to file on time. They can help you fix the error and get your claim filed and allow you to receive the benefits that you deserve.
Claiming by mail is also possible by sending a weekly claims form to the following address:
Vermont Department of Labor
ATTN: Mail Claims
PO Box 189
Montpelier, VT 05601-0189
Claim Denials or Discrepancies
There's a chance that your claim may be denied or that your former employer may spot discrepancies in your payments. In these, and other instances, it is necessary to appeal your determination.
The appeal process is performed by the appeals division in the Department of Labor and it can help protect your unemployment insurance rights. Filing an appeal on your determination may help get a denied claim overturned and help you earn benefits you would have otherwise lost.
It also helps your former employer protect their rights, if they believe that you are receiving benefits you haven't earned. Often, filing errors lead to mistakes in payment, so make sure to double-check all of your information first when filing.
Appeals Process for Denied Claims
Pick up an appeal form at your local unemployment office or print one out from your Vermont Department of Labor Unemployment site. Fill it out completely, including why you think the appeal is necessary.
Mail the form to the physical address or email it to the address below. Wait at least a week to receive your hearing notice.
The first part of the appeal process is appealing to an administrative law judge. They require you to submit evidence before the hearing and present it, along with your former employer, at a formal hearing.
Hearings take on a structure very similar to a legal trial. However, they are a civil case, not a criminal one. If during the hearing, it is shown that you or your employer committed fraud, there is a chance that criminal charges could be pursued.
After this hearing is finished, a determination will be sent to you. It should take no more than a week to receive this in the mail. Make sure to continue filing for weekly claims during this process in case you win, as all denied claims will be paid to you immediately upon the success of your appeal.
If your appeal was unsuccessful, you can appeal to the Employment Security Board. This group will review the records created by the judge, but does not accept new evidence beyond an explanation from you as to why you believe this appeal is necessary.
A new hearing in Montpelier will be scheduled and attendance is mandatory for this hearing. Decisions made by this board will include sustaining, modifying, or reversing the decision or calling for extra hearings.
In an instance when this hearing fails, you can file to the Vermont Supreme Court. Brief arguments will be made to the court, though no new evidence or records will be given. Typically, the Supreme Court follows the ruling of the Board, so this step is typically not recommended.
Avoid these delays and extra appeals by preparing properly for your initial hearing. Preparation tips include:
- Gathering your evidence well in advance
- Staying calm during the process
- Making a list of all relevant points
- Addressing all issues during the hearing
- Avoiding defensiveness or aggression
- Taking notes during the hearing to raise important objections when relevant
- Talking to your witnesses well in advance to ensure they are fully prepared
Typically, the person making the appeal has the burden of proof and needs to present a preponderance of evidence to win. This means showing more evidence that your case is right than your former employer presents.
Office of Appeals Contact Information
Appeals, Department of Labor
5 Green Mountain Drive
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 488
Montpelier, Vermont 05601-0488