State Unemployment Phone Numbers and Getting in Touch With a Live Agent For Help With Your UI Claim


One thing many readers have been complaining about when it comes to getting help or information on their pending or current unemployment claim is finding a number to call so that they can get through to someone they can speak to. The challenge is that with all the enhanced unemployment programs now in place, ongoing staffing shortages at state UI agencies due to COVID work restrictions and ongoing system/IT issues with unemployment filing systems it is very hard to get through a live person that can help you.

That’s why most agencies are directing people to their website to get more information. But a lot of time that information is generic and not helpful for most people with issues specific to their claim. So with that in mind here state UI agency contact numbers and some tips and tricks to get through to a live person. This is a list in development as I get more details, so please subscribe to get latest updates. If you have any questions or numbers/approaches that have worked for you please leave a comment below. This may help others or hopefully gets you more information on your issue.

Jump to your StateFlorida (FL), California (CA), New York (NY), Texas (TX), New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania (PA), Illinois (IL) (more coming soon)

California (CA) Unemployment Number

You can see the regularly updated CA resource page for more information and reader comments on dealing with the CA EDD, but here are the best contact numbers for help with your UI Claim

General UI questions and technical help with registration, password resets, EDD Account Numbers, and how to use UI Online: 1-833-978-2511 (English and Spanish). Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days per week.

Note: EDD representatives answering general questions will not have access to your claim or payment information. To get specific claim support or information call the following numbers between 8 a.m. to 12 noon (Pacific time), Monday through Friday: For English: 1-800-300-5616; For Spanish: 1-800-326-8937

Automated phone line to certify: English: 1-866-333-4606; Spanish: 1-866-333-4606

New York (NY) Unemployment Number

Here are the best contact numbers and tips to get in touch a live agent at the NY DOL. See the New York Department of Labor (DOL) resource page for more information and reader comments.

  • New Claim: 1-888-209-8124. This is the Telephone Claims Center (TCC). Open from Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 7:30 PM & Saturday and Sunday 7:30 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Pending Claims: 1-800-833-3000
  • Weekly Certification: 1-888-581-5812 (for regular UI) or 1-833-324-0366 (for PUA).. PLEASE NOTE: PUA recipients need to certify weekly. Regular UI should be certified online or when requested by the DOL
  • For assistance or other website issues call 800-833-3000.

Like all major state UI agencies the NY DOL is currently experiencing high call volumes, so if you can get through to an agent and their website is not useful consider contacting them via their social media sites (e.g twitter) which seem to have the new updates posted regularly. Or follow me on twitter where I retweet pertinent updates.

Florida (FL) Unemployment Number

You can see the regularly updated FL resource page for more information and reader comments on dealing with the FL DEO, but here are the best contact numbers for help with your UI Claim

  • Reemployment Assistance Hotline for UI Claims – 1-833-352-7759 (1-833-FL-APPLY). The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM and Saturday and Sunday 8 AM to 5 PM ET.

You can also try and use the new use the new CHAT feature on But many readers have said this is still a bit buggy and for general questions only.

Texas (TX) Unemployment Number

Here are the best contact numbers and tips to get in touch a live agent at the TX TWC. See the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) resource page for more information and reader comments.

Claim status and payment request options are available daily, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m (CT). General information is available anytime. Call: 800-558-8321

Tele-Center Phone Number: 800-939-6631; Business hours are now Sunday – Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time.

Pennsylvania (PA) Unemployment Number

Here are the best contact numbers and tips to get in touch a live agent at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I). See the PA resource page for more information and reader comments.

  • UC Live Chat – Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.​
  • UC Customer Service Line: 888-313-7284
  • ​PUA Customer Service Line: 855-284-8545; Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m

New Jersey (NJ) Unemployment Number

Here are the best contact numbers and tips to get in touch a live agent at the NJ Division of Unemployment Insurance Labor and Workforce Development (LWD). See the resource page on this site for more information and reader comments.

Questions about your claim

  • North New Jersey:  201-601-4100
  • Central New Jersey:  732-761-2020
  • South New Jersey:  856-507-2340

Illionis (IL) Department of Employment Security (IDES) Contact Numbers

Call IDES Customer Service Center at 800-244-5631 for questions around your claim as their physical offices are closed. You can also call this number it you were unable to file your claim because of capacity or system limitations or to discuss backdating your claim with a representative.

To certify for Unemployment Insurance benefits, click here or call Tele-Serve at 312-338-4337 Monday – Friday 3:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

This article was updated on August 19

Subscribe now to get the latest updates, exclusive content and related articles delivered directly to you

68 thoughts on “State Unemployment Phone Numbers and Getting in Touch With a Live Agent For Help With Your UI Claim

  1. I have filed for pua months ago and I haven’t received my backpay yet . And just about a month ago , I’ve messed up on my weekly filing twice in a row , on the questions . I’m currently not working , and I also just got surgery on my arm .

  2. NJ, here! I am seeing in the comment section that others are also experiencing the same automated message when they call for the past few weeks: “Due to the high volume of calls waiting, we cannot take your call at this time. If you need to speak to an agent, please call back on the next business day.” I receive this message throughout the day, every day, even if I call first thing in the morning. Several weeks ago, I accidentally stated on my weekly claim that I turned down work and my benefits were suspended while they “review my case.” I had called their offices on October 7th (I believe it was) to correct this error, and spoke with a very nice woman who expedite my case. She told me to follow up in a few weeks if I hadn’t received any money. Unfortunately, I’ve needed to get in touch with them sooner to clarify other necessary questions, so I have been calling each week with no luck. I still have not yet received any compensation. My confidence is waning and it’s quite scary. I have also used their Contact Us Form on their website to submit written inquiries each week. No response. I am writing this in the hopes that someone who can assist sees this… or knows a trick that, perhaps, I don’t. Wishing everyone else on here, echoing similar experiences and concerns, the best of luck. Thank you.

    1. I have absolutely the same issues. They just stonewalling like outgoing Trump administration. Lesson learned…

      1. I miraculously got through last Wednesday!! They “further expedited” my case and I was told, by the woman I spoke with, that NJ is now starting this new process, where they compile a list of callers who have been waiting an exorbitant amount of time for answers or action (like myself), and at the end of the day, that list goes to supervisors that have more pull to put it through to the people who evaluate each case. Apparently I was placed on that list in addition to my case being expedited in their system.

        Of course, I have no backing for this, other than this woman’s word. And the issue is getting through in the first place. I was told I’d have a response by this week. It’s Wednesday and nothing has changed yet. I even tried calling again, just to see if I could get through. No luck—same automated message. But I’m not giving up yet. The fact that I even got someone on the phone, after weeks of calling, definitely gave me hope.

    2. Oh yes I have been getting that also for weeks. I have given up calling.

      1. Do not give up. It leads to depression. I have experienced recently much more legal scrutiny than this. I will keep digging into this and get you updated. You r not alone.

  3. Applied for UI NJ March missed my monetary call then tried calling everyday and finally got through in August got my monetary call September I was told i was denied for UI but I was qoing to get PUA. Then was told to go back and claim for all the weeks since March did that and my status is still Filed and $0. I have asked is anything missing im told no just keep claiming on my day every week and the numbers will be put in the system and it will appear in my account and i was sent my debit card and its been activated for 3 weeks and still nothing. I call every day all and never able to get through. Even when I call the second they open it says due to high call volume we can not take your call call back tomorrow. How the hell can your call volume be at the max and you have been open for 30 seconds. Can anyone help me


  5. So for Arizona The Pua And UI Center
    Phone number is 1-877-600-2722.For Exiting Claims: 1-877-766-8477,Office of Inspector Gentral:1-602-542-3340 The Money Center: 1-602-364-4300 & 1-602-417-3800.. To get through the prompt fast and 90% of the time get on the list of waiting so.times within 30 secs they will answer..Ok now as soon as you dial the number right,before she starts talking dial
    2-1- 2-3-1 -1 Then your social,Then 1 put your four digit pin# in then push 1 She will say she can’t find your info don’t hang up as soon as she says that she will say hold on for the next representative,Now at times as your putting everything in ,She will say you picked the wrong key listen but use that above you’ll get through I could call 10 times aday if I want to..GOOD LUCK.. Stay Safe Everyone

  6. My name is James I’m from ga I haven’t received any money from pua an it’s been over two months an I been doing the weekly request for it but still no money I have the pua paper saying how much I’m get an I have my card but no money

    1. I live in Va. I’m currently getting my unemployment but I have not received my lost wages of the 300.00/ 1800.00 am I the only one? Can someone help and explain why I haven’t? I called the number every day this week all week and could never get threw. Its now the 25th and still nothing.


      2. My name is Sherman and I too live in Virginia and can not get a hold of the VEC by way of phone. They owe me money from the dates of 08/1/20 and 10/24/20…

    2. Me too and I can’t get in touch with nobody. if you call them after hours you can get them for them to tell you that they’re closed but if you call them during hours they act like they system is not working it’s so frustrating right now to keep requesting weekly benefits to not receive anything

    3. Just keep uploading forms and documents on the site. And check to be sure you dont have an appeal open. Oh and btw that weekly filing has to be done on a specific day of the week. My state is Sunday. And to get your backpay you gotta continue and continue until it no longer says continue my claim or its all upto date. The biggest. Thing is that if you werre too impatient to download and read the handbook. Which tells you exactly what you have to answer verbatim then next time read the manual. Too late now though? Well talking to them gets you no where its all false my situation is so ridiculous. They are really something else. We are all being scammed. They never even paid my back pay they screwed up my account direct deposit and they never did give me the money but after all this time now i get a disqualifying notice that was about something i corrected right off the bat and now they are denying me and telling me that I OWE THEM FOR MONEY I NEVER RECIEVED. THEY ARE THEIFS AND ITS ALL A SHAM. THERE IS SOMETHING BIGGER GOING ON.

  7. I live in NJ and exhausted my unemployment benefits. I read that I was eligible for extension. I emailed, been waiting patiently and called but nothing. An emailed was supposed to be sent to me but I have not received no email or letter. I do understand that we are at our worst but praying that hear from someone.

  8. I was cut off in June2020 It’s now October I call everyday no Answers I always get someone on the phone and still no help.. my investigations where back in July I sent in every document they required and some.. I helped my family and friends apply so that was a flag 6 people live in my house that was a flag I’m so frustrated I don’t know what to do besides keep calling yesterday 300 calls Til someone picked up..Very sad and quickly losing everything.. Everytime you call they tell you something different send this in now it’s not email no more now it’s IDme and wait for portal message.. Is there a better way to get funds released.Help I’m drowning

  9. If filed for my unemployment on Aug 18 2020 in Alabama an was approved an on 9/6/20 I got a letter saying I was denied because I failed to call the call center within 4 calendar day ok I have called an called an was put on the call back list an never received a call back. I even wrote them 2or3 email an never back a reply can anyone help

  10. Hi, me and my daughter applied for pua on September 27, 2020. We wanted to fill in the right dates on the application but it wouldn’t let us put the date for January 2020. I believe we deserve to get the back pay but like I said it didn’t let us put the right dates. Please let us know if you can help us get our back pay.

  11. I lost my job and filed for unemployment in kentucky back at the beginning of august. I still haven’t got my first check. I try calling every day it says the wait queue is full and they will have to call me back but I still havent recieved a call back from them. I need help so bad. I cant even buy food now. I have no idea what’s going to happen. Please someone help me get in contact with them.

  12. I need my regular benefits closed out so that I can apply for pua. But i cannot get a return call.

  13. I filed my first claim the last week of June. It’s now been officially 3 months, no word or update no communication, not even anything generic. I’ve made an outrageous 371 calls to finally reach anyone. When I finally got thru, they only told me what is available to see online. Then told me that I was lucky to be in adjudication since 7/08. I called my state legislature to have them assist, as it was said to be an option. I got an ail from the ESD stating that they should have it resolved within 7-10 business days, well that came and went last week. I’m at wits end, trying to figure out when. Like everyone else, I want to know something!

    1. I have been trying to speak with a live person for unemployment in the state Of my New Jersey for the last 3 weeks and I can never speak with any one at all

      1. If you call around 1:30-2:00 u should be able to get thru. Keep calling repeatedly until u hear “for pin problems press 1, for problems certifying for benefits press 2.” Press
        #2.. You will then hear please hold for the next representative, your current
        Wait time is.. … Keep calling it may take u like 10-15 times but u will get thru

  14. I have not received my LWA. I am eligible but still have not received it. Can’t find any way of getting in touch with anyone to find out why? HELP PLEASE

  15. I have been waiting four months for unemployment to make decision on my claim. I got in touch with someone the other day and they told me that my case was not turned in properly but still I wait with no answers. The problem is that they have hired people that have no clue about what they are doing. They will tell you anything just to get you off the phone. There is no way that anyone should wait four months just for a decision.

    1. i just got my a check a few weeks ago but i have ben filing since june andi still have no pandemic pay when will i recieve my back pay

  16. I am not getting of the $600.00 retroactive money as of yet. Are retro payments delayed or unavailable for NJ? Please advise! Thank you

  17. Good morning can someone please help me get my pua benefits… I’ve called but unfortunately no response at all i have rent that hasn’t been paid bills toiletries etc.. please someone have empathy for me i haven’t received a call at all.. Bless this to reach the right person that is willing to

  18. Can’t get into my account login because someone is using my information or something trying to get a hold of someone and can’t need to figure something out for stop this now

  19. I filed my unemployment claim the second week of March, 2020 and never heard anything back from them til Apugust 13, 2020, after hundreds of attempts to contact them but failed. On the 13th of August i finally get a notice stating the reason for my disqualification. Saying they needed verification of my identity and so On the 17th of August, i mailed out the required documents to the address they gave me. Several weeks go by and still no reply. I try again to reach out to them finalky get to speak to a live agent only to find out that they never received my documents. Now they telling me i need to speak with the verification office to resolve the matter, except i cannot reach anyone at that number and no one seems to be able to help me
    If i resubmit my documents it gonna take another month at least to get any assistance.

    Fed Up with the EDD

    1. When you call the unemployment number you have to call over and over and over until it puts you on hold for an hour. sometimes you can get right through and other times you have to call 100 times to get through

  20. Extension went through in the beginning of July I called and actually spoke with someone who said I was approved for the extension. Don’t Refile just continue claiming on my scheduled day when it allowed me to actually certify it said not payable. Called spoke to another person basically saying everything is ok to claim. This time I couldn’t even certify. Now it’s going on two months of calling every day with a new born and anything I had from before is gone…, CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME??????PLEASE?????

  21. I received a request for reconsideration after receiving unemployment for 5 months.I did what they said over the phone to call on Monday to re-apply and did so.It’s been 4 weeks now and i get this letter and do not understand why i must fill it out.Been trying to call someone for help but cannot reach anyone.Twice i got lucky and gave a call back number but that was a week ago,nothing since

  22. I’ve been approved since 6/15 still yet to get my retroactive $600. I got my regular payments backdated. My kids and I REALLY need this money!!!!! I’ve tried calling every number I can find. Never get a call back. And I’ve also tried the email, and “chat with a live agent. I cannot get any answers!!

    1. Can u please help me and tell me how did you get your The Back-up dated money I haven’t received anything since June and I’ve been trying to get in touch with every number everything and I don’t know what to do if I have two babies and I don’t even have a dollar to my name I’m sure they supposed to pay me all that back there in money like you said they paid you back but if there was a way that you know how to do it or something please if you can you can email me you can give me a call please help me out I’m a single mom with two kids and struggling I just got an eviction and is very hard please help me in any way thank you and God bless

  23. I’ve been trying to reach anyone concerning my login issue. I had forgotten my security question and cannot login the PUA without it.. What must i do?

    1. Go to reset pin and it should have a link id me that should take care of that I just got back in my account

  24. I have been receiving unemployment for a for weeks now. Just as of the last claim I had to complete I started receiving only $600, instead of the 1,000 they were giving me. I just received my money today and it’s legit only $90!! I have bills to pay and currently no job opportunities available, does anyone know why this happened? or happened to you as well? I really need to get in contact with someone

  25. My name is Mable Abrams and i wondering when I’ll receive my pua I’ve Been approved for it 2 1/2 months ago and still haven’t received it

    1. I’ve been approved since May and haven’t received anything. They said it was under review and that was holding it up. Then I was approved and taken off review but have yet to see anything. And they will tell you whatever they can to get you off the phone and move on to the next person. They are close to $20,000 that I’m supposed to get paid from back dates and all the current weeks I’ve been filing since

  26. please help me with my unemployment for pua I have certified five times and I haven’t received anything I also have not received the letter in the mail

    1. Same here I been calling emailing evrything. Says I received first payment July 29th yet I still haven’t received anything. Relicard has no info on me when I type in my info to find out where my card is.

    1. Updated article – but here it is :

      You may access IDES services using the following methods:To file an Unemployment Insurance claim, click here.

      If you have questions about Unemployment Insurance, please call our Customer Service Center at 800-244-5631. Individuals with a hearing impairment who would like to speak with someone in the Claimant Services Center should dial 711 for the Illinois Relay System. Once connected, please direct the communications analyst to call IDES at 800.244.5631.

      To certify for Unemployment Insurance benefits, click here or call Tele-Serve at 312-338-4337 Monday – Friday 3:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

  27. I was receiving payments and my bank account closed there are still no updates on my account whats should I do

  28. I have lost my job filed unemployment and when I was working less hours my employer also filed for me but has not received any financial assistance yet.. I don’t know what is going on but I’m trying to find out I need help and no one is available

  29. I need to know if Georgia pays retroactive unemployment. I filed my online claim with loss of job date as 3/23/2020. I filed UI in May, and so far have not received retroactive money. They started paying me on 5/10/2020 and there is no way to claim the money for the previous weeks. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. I have a few friends that live there and they said yes they pay retroactive! But you and I are dealing with the same exact issue!! I am in NC but the been out of work since end of March ,getting weekly payments but been trying to get my back pay for over 2 months and keep being told to be patient I will get it they just can’t tell me when… not even an estimated time frame just say be patient! I took screenshots of me being told that when I did the live chat option… my patience are gone now tho!! I have seen a lot of other states there website had it set up where you can go on and choose whichever weeks you have not been paid for, fill it out and then every one says they usually get it in with their next weekly payment!! Ours needs to be that way….

        1. if you find out anything please let me know i filed in Aug started receiving my weekly pay the next week I sent an email the following week for backpay and not so much as a confirmation i call everyday and those people who answer know absolutely nothing im not even sure they know what unemployment is for crying out loud. ive reached out to my legislators and state representative’s and still not a thing i just dont get how hard it is to push some buttons and actually help people find out what’s going on with our cases must be nice their working why should they care just like the negotiations form another stimulus check they do not care about the American people thye are millionaires and still working how convenient

    2. All states pay retro unemployment, but you may have to go back and certify for past weeks. But this will mean calling a representative.

      GA Unemployment Insurance (UI): 404-232-3001
      UI Customer Service: 877-709-8185

      1. Its Thursday the 25th and I still haven’t received my Lost wages. I got my reg pay but not the 1800. Everyone else is. Can someone help explain why I didn’t? I’m single with 3 kids and I’m struggling getting ready to loose my car among other things. Please if anyone can answer this I’d appreciate it. I’ve been calling that number for the last 4 days still haven’t been able to get threw

    3. My son filed for umeployment on march 15 2020 and the PUA he have lost his place and everything he is still waiting haven t even recieved his card the giving the amount he suppose to get every week but know nothng do anyone know how to contact the Georiga DOL here in Ga i have fax the text them and sent a handwritten letter still have not heard any

  30. I’m in NC and receiving the PUA each week but I have been unemployed since March 28,2020. I helped my brother ,step mom and several other people fill out their initial claim and were approved in less than 24 hours and within 3-4 days after being approved they received deposit for their back pay plus their weekly amount! But I called to find out what I needed to because it was right before the PUA was even a thing so the representative actually filed my initial claim for me over the phone which was the worst mistake I could have made…. she put incorrect answers down on several things but thankfully that was fixed right away but it has messed me up majorly because she got the correct date as far as my last day of work due to COVID-19 on everything except for ONE form so the wrong date on one form had it looking like I worked until May 17th instead of March 28th so I have been receiving total of $734 each week since end of May, which I am thankful for that but I have called so many times and waited hours on hold each time till I was able to speak with someone,I have done the live chat option MANY times,I have sent emails every week sometimes twice a week just as several different representatives told me to do and been told every time that I have actually spoken to a live person that they seen where the mistake was made and they were fixing that date while we were on the phone and that because of that change a supervisor would call me within 48-72 hours so they could send my back pay to me immediately we’ll needless to say I haven’t gotten a single call,email response or received the back pay!! I’m a single mom of 4 small kids and I am almost 6 months pregnant with twins!! I lost my home over all of this, have been staying in a “not so great hotel” Nothing but drugs,prostitution and break in’s to vehicles here but it was only place I could afford and that would rent me a room since I have so many kids… But I really counted on the back pay coming in by now and since it hasn’t and my money has run out my kids and I are actually staying our last night tonight so at 11am tomorrow we have to check out and I have absolutely no clue where to go,what to do or anything…. esp with my vehicle sitting on empty and I am not from around here so I don’t know anyone and I Was raised by my grandparents so as far as I know. I don’t have any family still living so I don’t have anyone to turn to for help so I’m lost as to what to do…. I considered trying to go to the local unemployment office here because it’s abt 3 mins down the road from this hotel but just wondered if anyone else had tried that and if so were they able to get any answers or anything? Or was it a total waste of time? I am just really tired of hearing “just be patient” from the representatives… I feel I have been but at this point with my situation my patience are gone and I am being told to wait and wait because of one of their employees making mistakes filing my claim NOT because of anything I did wrong!! I’m just stressed and frustrated and wondered if anyone else had anything similar happen to them??

  31. I do not understand why the Pandemic Unemployment insurance was said to be available and if you apply would most likely get it but 2 months later not a word. In meantime bills pile up …billions of dollars are sitting there supposedy for this one particiular group of unemployed due to pandemic.there 3 phone numbers to call no way to get thru to any of them,,bizzy 24/7…nobody repsonds to email or texts,,even tho i faxed in all info needed and keep applying weekly ..where will it end? did they run out of money?? are thy under staffed?? is so hire mpre people…our unemployemnt in Oregon wa shandlied very very badly and thousands still wait..its cruel to everyone involved…

  32. I am in NJ. I have called everyday with a recorded “113” calls in one day with no answer for the past three weeks. I get the same message as other states…”due to high call volume, we cannot answer your call, please call back tomorrow”. It’s very stressful when you need the financial assistance and no one to speak to.

    1. Same thing is happening go me. I made a mistake on my claim and cant seem to get a agent on the phone. Its been two weeks.

      1. I applied in March everything is in the system for PUA have my debit card and have certified for all 34 weeks and no money yet. Call and never getting through

  33. I called the Missouri Unemployment Customer service number yesterday at 7:58 AM. I got a message: “we are currently closed. Our office hours are 8am to 5pm M-F”. Then I hung up and called back intermediately. It was about 8:02am at that point. I then got the message: “all of our customer service lines are full and we are not taking any more calls at this time. Please call back tomorrow”…. (followed by a hang-up). It appears that getting a hold of anyone is just about impossible!.

    1. Sadly hearing this story from several people. Try direct or private messaging them via social media channels. You may at least get a call back as some states are doing. But don’t share any confidential information online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link