What You Need To Know

For Kentuckians recently made eligible for unemployment insurance (independent contractors, gig-economy workers, childcare workers, etc.), during your application for Unemployment Insurance (IU) you may receive messages stating that you are not monetarily invalid or have no claimable wages.  Our system is still being updated to accommodate recent eligibility changes and despite these messages, your claim is still being processed for approval.  All individuals recently made eligible and who have applied will begin to be notified of their claim status early next week.​

Claims by Last Name














If You Missed Your Day


In order to serve you better, UI claims will be filed on a specific day of the week based on the first letter of your last name. ​

​Apply Online

Website hours: 

Monday-Friday - 7 AM - 7 PM ET

Sunday - 10 AM - 9 PM ET


To File Your Unemployment Insurance Claim You Will Need The Following Personal Information

  • Social Security OR Alien Registration Number

  • Date of Birth

  • Complete Mailing Address

  • Phone Number

Employer Information (For the last 18 months):

  • Business/Company Name

  • Business/Company Mailing Address

  • Business/Company Phone Number

  • Dates of Employment

  • The reason you are no longer working for EACH employer

Other Information You May Need

  • ​If you worked in other states: List of states in which you worked.

  • If you worked for a Temporary Agency: Name/Address of Temporary Agency.

  • If you worked for the Federal Government: Agency Name; Component name; Copy of your Standard Form (SF8, SF50).

  • If you were in the US Military: Copy of your DD214 Member 4.

  • If you worked through a skilled trade union: Name of contractor

Waiting Period Suspended

Governor Beshear’s Executive Order means that the seven-day waiting period is temporarily suspended. ​


Click on the link below to access the Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefits Calculator

Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefits Calculator​

Unemployment Insurance Services

​​How to apply for unemployment in Kentucky Instructional Video:



Step by Step Instructions to File for Unemployment Benefits:

  1. Follow link: https://uiclaims.des.ky.gov/eBenefits_enu/start.swe?SWECmd=Start&SWEHo=uiclaims.des.ky.gov

  2. If applied for unemployment before: Insert social into provided field and last 4 digits of pin. If never applied for unemployment: Select “New User”.

  3. New users fill out the prompted fields with personal information (name, email address, social security number, enter a 4-digit pin, and security question).

  4. Once routed to the next page, new claimers should select, “File a new claim”.

  5. Once routed to the Claim Filing page, review and click, “Next”.

  6. Once routed to the Base Period & Benefit Year Dates page, review and click, “Next”.

  7. Once routed to the Existing Claim In Another State page, select yes or no from the drop down menu, based on whether you have received or applied for unemployment in another state within the last 12 months. Click “Next”.

  8. Answer all data fields from the Claim Information page. Click “Next”.

  9. Once applied, you will be prompted with a date for which you will need to log back into the site and claim the unemployment check.

COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance FAQ’s​

​Q:  What does it mean that the Unemployment Insurance Waiting Week is waived?

Under normal circumstances, the first week of an unemployment insurance claim does not receive payment. The Governor has opted to waive this if you were laid off due to COVID-19. This does not mean that you will receive benefits immediately. Kentucky pays unemployment benefits every two weeks. 


Q:  When will I get my benefits?

Benefits can only be paid after the week has passed (example: you cannot claim the week ending December 5th until December 6th or after). 

Q:  What does it mean that the Job Search requirement is waived?

Kentuckians who have been laid off because of COVID-19 have a reasonable assurance of going back to work therefore, you are not required to search for another job. If you are currently receiving unemployment benefits and required to seek employment, you will need to continue to do this, only those identified as temporary laid off and have a reasonable assurances of returning to work will not be required to seek employment. 

Q:  When do I need to request my first payment?

Kentuckians affected by COVID-19 will receive payment for their first two weeks automatically after 13 days from the day the initial claim was filed. You will need to request your next payment by either by calling 1-877-369-5984 or www.kewes.ky.gov​.  You will receive further information for subsequent check requests via email after the first payment is processed. 

Q:  When filing my claim, is COVID-19 considered a natural disaster?

​No. COVID-19, while being declared a state of emergency, is not a natural disaster.  

Q:  What happens if I can’t return to work because of COVID-19? 

You will continue to draw benefits until your employer begins operations. However, if you filed your claim and reported a date that you were returning to work, you will need to contact the UI Help Line to adjust/correct that information at 502-564-2900.  

Q:  How much can I expect as my weekly benefit amount?

You may estimate your weekly benefit amount by going to http://apps.kcc.ky.gov/career/WuiCalculator.aspx​ 

Enter your earnings into the appropriate quarters. 

You can log into your account 24 hours after submitting your claim, go to the Account Summary page and it will display your benefit amount.

NOTE: If you have wages from out of state or from employment with the Federal government, those wages may not be reflected immediately.

Q:  I tried to create an account but it says my information already exists?

The system you are accessing may contain information back to 2003. If your attempt to register as a New User shows an error stating that social already exists in our system, you will need to click ‘Cancel’. From the Log In screen, click ‘Forgot’ PIN. When prompted, enter your social security number and any name variation you may have used since 2003 (maiden, former married, shortened name i.e. John instead of Johnathan, etc.). Also note that if you have a suffix (Jr, Sr, etc), those fields are spacing and punctuation sensitive. Attempt with and without punctuation. If you are still unable to access the system, contact the UI Assistance line at (502) 564-2900, option 5, then option 6 or email UIassistance@ky.gov​.

Q:  What is available for the self-employed/contractors?

There is no information at this time. Please know that the Governor’s Office is actively working for a solution and hopes to announce something soon. 

Here is a good resource:   https://www.thinkkentucky.com/COVID-19_Resources.aspx​

Q:  Is there an extension for those who have exhausted a claim and aren’t eligible to file a new one?


Not at this time. Continue to check back for changing information.

Q:  My name has changed/is incorrect. Can I change it myself?

You are not able to change your name yourself, as this requires legal documentation. To expedite this process, log into your account, go to Document Upload, and upload a PDF or photo format of 2 forms of verification of your current name (State issued ID, Driver’s License, Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, Marriage/Divorce Decree, Passport or Military ID). Once the documentation has been uploaded, notify the UI Assistance Line by calling, email or chat. They will be able to immediately verify your documents and address any issues. You may also fax or email your documentation, but upload is the preferred method as it is the quickest and most secure​.

​Q:  What is available for the self-employed/contractors?

Unemployment Insurance benefits have been expanded due to COVID-19 to include groups that are typically not covered by UI:

  • ​Self-employed

  • Independent contractors

  • Freelance workers

  • Substitute teachers

  • Childcare workers employed by religious-affiliated organizations and non-profits

It also includes people leaving employment because of COVID-19 due to:

  • ​Reasonable risk of exposure (self-quarantine)

  • Caring for a family member affected by COVID-19

Q:  Is there an extension for those who have exhausted a claim and aren’t eligible to file a new one?


Kentucky is in the process of applying for extended UI benefits from the U.S. Department for Labor for those Kentuckians. Upon approval, we will be able to extend the number of weeks of benefits past 26. In addition, Kentuckians whose benefits have recently expired will be able to reapply. We are continuing to monitor any updates or changes to UI by the U.S. Department of Labor during this unprecedented time. As soon as an extension has been approved, we will provide instructions for those who qualify.​

20 West 18th Street

Covington, KY 41011



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