How Do You Get an Unemployment Pay Stub?


If you're receiving unemployment benefits, you may not receive them via a check in the mail. Most unemployment beneficiaries receive their claims benefits via direct deposit to their bank account or with a debit card. 

Many U.S. states have gone green, eliminating paper and postal mail. While direct deposit ensures you receive the money on time, is better for the environment, and takes away the worry of getting lost in the mail, it doesn't give you a pay stub as traditional checks did. 

Do you need unemployment pay stubs? Why would you need a pay stub for your unemployment benefits? What are unemployment pay stubs? We'll take you through the process and answer your questions.

Table Of Contents


What Is a Pay Stub? 

A pay stub accompanies a paycheck and provides a record of the payment information for you to keep. 

A pay stub is not a paycheck. A paycheck is an official slip backed by a bank with the payment among, date, and payee's signature that you can deposit into your bank account to receive the money. On the other hand, pay stubs just contain information about the payment. You cannot receive any money from a pay stub.

A pay stub will usually display the payment date, the period of time that the payment covers, the employer, the payment amount, and any taxes or fees deducted from the full amount. When you receive paychecks, the pay stubs will accompany each check.

You should save your pay stubs for a year at the minimum. The pay stubs serve as proof of income of what you earned.

woman stressed out


Why Do You Need a Pay Stub? 

Pay stubs provide a record of the money you earned. You may need to show proof of income if you're applying for a loan, a credit card, health insurance, or even to rent an apartment. You can show your pay stubs as your proof of income.

Suppose you do not have a pay stub. In that case, you may be able to use other documents as your proof of income, such as a notarized letter from an employer, an official letter from a government office, proof of social security payments, bank statements, or a signed letter from a notary or bank. 


Unemployment Benefits

If you lose your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. You should file for unemployment claim benefits as soon as you lose your job. If you wait too long to file for unemployment insurance (UI), you may not receive payments for the time before you filled out the unemployment claim. Make your UI claim as soon as possible to ensure that you don't lose out on any unpaid time.

Take note, however, that some states require a week waiting period before you can collect your unemployment benefits. Known as a waiting week, this means that you won't be able to collect unemployment for the first week that you are out of the job. You can file for unemployment during that first week. 

If you fit the eligibility requirements for the unemployment claims, you will receive payments from your state's unemployment department. Each U.S. state has its own unemployment rules and eligibility requirements. You will usually need to have worked a minimum amount of time for the employer and lost your job through no fault of your own. 

Contact your state's labor department to find out what your process is. Each state has its own website, and you can apply online or over the phone for unemployment claim benefits. 

Be sure to have all of your information ready when you sign up. Gather the following documents:

  1. Your social security number or alien registration ID

  2. You valid ID

  3. Your contact information

  4. Any relevant personal records

  5. Your former employer's information

  6. Your former employer's employer number or Federal Employer Identification Number

  7. Any proof of income from your previous employment

  8. Your bank account information for direct deposits.

Take note of your login ID and password so you can log back into the unemployment site to track your payments and benefits. 

Also read: Employee’s Gross Pay


How Do the Unemployment Benefits Work?

Employers pay taxes for unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is handled by the state and federal government and covers the unemployment claims filed in the state. The federal government maintains a fund to help the states if their unemployment benefit fund is not enough to cover their state's filings. Sometimes states go through high levels of unemployment and need help covering all of the claims.

You could apply for unemployment if you lost your job without cause. For example, if your employer cut back on staff due to budget cuts, closed down a department, or was bought out by another company, you may be eligible for unemployment. If you quit your job or your boss fired you for unethical practices or missing work, you may not be eligible for unemployment. 

Check your state's requirements for unemployment eligibility. You may need to work for a minimum amount of time for the company before collecting unemployment benefits. You might also need to show that you are actively looking for a new job and not using the weekly unemployment benefits as a substitute for a job. 

How much money you will receive from unemployment varies from state to state. It also depends on how much you were making at your employment. You can calculate how much unemployment you can expect to get from some online services by plugging in your previous gross wages and your location.

After you apply, the unemployment agency may check to confirm your eligibility. They may call your former employer to verify your employment history, the circumstances that you left. 

If you claim that your employer fired you without cause, but your employer states that you came late and left early every day, it may take some time to confirm whether you will get the unemployment payments. If your employer makes a valid claim for letting you go, you may not get approved for unemployment. 

If you are approved, you will need to file for your unemployment benefits each week or every two weeks, depending on your state's regulations. In your weekly claim, you will need to answer some questions to determine if you are still eligible to receive the benefits. You may need to show that you are looking for a job and that you haven't yet found new employment. 

Your state may also have a limit on how long you can receive the benefits. In many states, you can collect unemployment for 26 weeks while looking for another job. 

Also read: What Qualifies As Proof Of Income?


man working at his desk

Unemployment Pay Stubs

Once approved for unemployment benefits, you will usually receive the weekly benefit via a direct deposit. You will receive this deposit through a direct transfer to the bank account you provided on your unemployment form

Receiving unemployment benefits via direct deposit means that you don't have to wait for the mail to come to get your check or worry that the check was lost in the mail. It also eliminates a lot of paper waste. 

However, it also means that you don't get a pay stub that used to come along with the check. Do you need a pay stub for your unemployment benefits? A pay stub is an ideal form of proof of income. You may need to show proof of income and how much you're receiving in unemployment benefits if you want to:

  • Open a new line of credit

  • Take out a loan

  • Rent an apartment

  • Apply for Federal Aid

  • Apply for scholarships

How can you get your unemployment pay stubs if you receive your payments via direct deposit?

  1. Log on to your state's labor and unemployment website. You should have an online account if you are receiving benefits. If you do not have an account, you will need to sign up. Note that you must sign on to the state that issues the unemployment payments. If you live in a different state than the one issuing the payments, your records will be with the state giving the payments.

  2. On your account's profile, you will find a payment history section with a listing of all the payments you received. 

  3. You can print the payment history to record the unemployment payments you received. The printed history should be enough proof of income for many places.

  4. With the information from your unemployment account, you can generate a pay stub from The Pay Stubs.

Some states may offer you the option of receiving a debit card with your unemployment funds. You can use the card as you would use any credit or debit card to make purchases, pay your bills, or withdraw funds from an ATM. 

You can get proof of income from the debit card by calling the bank on the card. The bank will be able to provide you with a list of the deposits made to your card. An official statement from the bank can serve as proof of income. 

Also read: Required Information On A Pay Stub



Are you overwhelmed or confused about your unemployment payments and unemployment pay stubs? You’re not alone! 

Others have asked the same questions you have now. We hope these frequently asked questions and answers will help you. 

woman grabbing a clipboard


What do I need to file for unemployment?

Visit your state's labor site or call your unemployment office to apply for unemployment benefits. You will usually be able to apply online or over the phone. You will typically need the following to apply for unemployment:

  • Your social security number or alien registration number

  • A valid ID such as your driver's license

  • Your contact information, including your address and contact phone numbers

  • Your previous employer's name, address, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Employer Registration Number

  • Your bank account information for direct deposits of the claim benefits if you are approved

Be prepared to answer questions about your employment history, including why you left your job. The reason for your unemployment is important and may determine whether you will receive unemployment benefits. 

The certification questionnaire may ask you whether you had other benefits at your job, such as vacation days and health insurance. 


Where do I file if I worked in a different state? 

If your previous employment was in a different state than where you live, file for unemployment with the state in which you worked. If you worked in multiple states, confer with the unemployment office in the state where you currently live on how you should file.


What does it mean that I have to certify my unemployment benefits? 

Some states require you to confirm every week or every two weeks that you are still eligible for unemployment. You will need to fill out a questionnaire proving that you are searching for a job and meet the other requirements for unemployment. If you have already found suitable employment, you will need to report it as well, as it may disqualify you from receiving the unemployment benefits.

Most states allow you to certify online or over the phone for your weekly benefits. If you are still eligible, you will receive your unemployment payment as usual. 


Can I receive my benefits via a check in the mail? 

Each state has its own rules and regulations for unemployment payments. However, most states have gone green and do not offer checks for unemployment benefits. You may have the choice of direct deposit or a debit card. If you receive your benefits via a debit card, you may be able to switch to direct deposit. Contact your state's unemployment office


Can I get unemployment benefits if I'm self-employed? 

Usually, self-employed workers, such as freelancers and small business owners, are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits. However, self-employment may be eligible under the CARES Act, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

Check with your state whether to request more information and find out if you can receive unemployment even though you are self-employed. 


How much will my weekly benefit amount be on unemployment? 

The amount of money that you'll receive in unemployment claims benefits depends on your state, your employment history, and how much you were making in your previous employment. Your state may give 50% of your former gross wages up to a maximum amount. The states' maximum amounts vary between a few hundred dollars and over a thousand dollars per paycheck period.

Check your state's unemployment website. They should have a calculator to help you estimate how much you can expect to receive along with the maximum amount they give per check. There are also online services with unemployment calculators to help you approximate the amount you will receive. 

After you file for unemployment, you will receive an unemployment monetary determination letter from your state. The determination letter will tell you how much you will receive in claim benefits and for how long. If you don't qualify, the determination letter will explain why you are not eligible. 


Do I pay taxes on my unemployment payments? 

Yes, you do pay taxes on unemployment benefits. The rate depends on your state. You can choose to withhold the taxes from the unemployment payments.

You will receive a 1099-G at the end of the year that will list the unemployment payments you received along with any taxes you withheld. When you file for taxes, include the information on your 1099-G and save it with your personal records. 


Can I still receive my unemployment payments after I start a new job? 

Whether you can continue to collect unemployment after finding a new job depends on your state's regulations and what kind of employment you found. If you're working part-time or temporarily, you may still be eligible to receive your unemployment benefits.

Let your unemployment department know about your new job, and they will inform you whether you can still collect your benefits. If you don't inform them and they later determine that you are ineligible to receive the benefits, you may need to repay the money you collected or risk serving jail time.

an interview

In Summary

You may need to show proof of income for your unemployment benefits. You can get your unemployment pay stubs even if you receive your payments via direct deposit or through a debit card. 

Log on to your state's unemployment site to get a copy of the payment history, or get a record of the deposits from your bank. This record should serve as proof of income. 

Then, create paystubs easily online with The Pay Stubs. It’s that simple.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, unemployment benefits are considered taxable income, and you should report them on your federal and state tax returns. Your Unemployment Pay Stub will help you accurately report this information.

Yes, most state unemployment agencies maintain records of your Unemployment Pay Stubs for a certain number of years. You can typically access these records through your online account or by contacting the agency.

Yes, you can usually request a physical copy of your Unemployment Pay Stub by contacting your state's unemployment agency. They may mail it to your address on file.

You can typically obtain an Unemployment Pay Stub by logging into your online account with your state's unemployment agency or contacting the agency directly by phone or email.

Unemployment Pay Stubs are usually updated each time you receive an unemployment benefit payment, which varies depending on your state's payment schedule.

Generally, there is no fee to obtain an Unemployment Pay Stub. However, some states may charge a nominal fee for mailing physical copies or providing expedited services.

An Unemployment Pay Stub is a document that provides a record of the unemployment benefits that an individual has received, including the amount paid and the dates of payment.

If you notice an error on your Unemployment Pay Stub, you should contact your state's unemployment agency as soon as possible to report the issue and request a correction.

You may need an Unemployment Pay Stub for various reasons, such as applying for financial assistance, verifying income for rental applications, or filing taxes.
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How Do You Get an Unemployment Pay Stub?
James Wilson

After graduating from McCombs School of Business in Texas, James joined ThePayStubs as a CPA to make sure the numbers we provide our clients are correct. Read More

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