Am I eligible for unemployment insurance benefits?

You have the right to file for unemployment benefits after you are released from the military. Your eligibility will depend on your service and release.

You may be eligible for benefits if:

  • You completed your first full term of service.
  • Your release was under honorable conditions.

In some cases, you may have a valid claim without serving a full first term.

When can I file my claim?

You may file your claim any time after your release from active duty. The sooner you file after your release date, the sooner your claim will be accepted. Your claim won’t be accepted if you file before your release date.

Where can I file?

You may file your claim in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. Before making your choice, consider the following:

  • States pay different benefit amounts.
  • You must be physically in the state when you file your claim.
  • When you file a claim in a state, all your military wages are assigned to that state.
  • You may continue to claim benefits with that state even if you move to another state.

How do I file?

You must file online on the Claimant Portal. If you don’t have internet access, you can use a computer at any Idaho Department of Labor office.

You will need:

  • A Member 4 copy of your DD Form 214.
  • Your driver’s license and Social Security card.
  • Bank account information if you want payments via direct deposit.

If you don’t have a copy of your DD Form 214, request a copy online at

Fax your DD214 to (208) 334-6400, attention: Benefits.

How much am I entitled?

Your benefit amount is based on your military rank at the time of your release. Each state calculates weekly and total benefit amounts differently.

Are payments automatic?

No. To get benefits, you must meet eligibility requirements. In every state, this includes being able and available for work each week you claim benefits. Other requirements depend on the state in which you file a claim

Who pays the cost of my benefits?

Your service branch pays for your unemployment benefits. Nothing was withheld from your salary while in the service to pay for your benefits.

Do I qualify for benefits if I retire from the military service?

You may qualify for unemployment benefits if you retire from the military and meet eligibility requirements. Your weekly benefit amount will depend on your pension.

If you are getting a retirement pension and your claim is based on your military wages, your pension will reduce your weekly benefit payment. Your monthly pension payment is divided into a weekly amount and subtracted from your weekly benefit. If your weekly pension is equal to or more than your weekly benefit amount, you won’t qualify for benefits.

Example: Your monthly pension is $1,200. Divided weekly, your pension is $300. Your weekly benefit amount is $400, so you get $100 in unemployment insurance ($400 – $300).

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