Q: I was just laid off and need to file for unemployment benefits, but the lines are out the door at my local unemployment office. How can I speed things up?
A: To get through the benefits claims process, you should file for benefits via the Internet if possible, say state employment officials. It’s a quicker process, and you won’t have to deal with the deluge of people. Be aware that there are never charges to file an unemployment insurance claim, so anyone visiting a Web site that asks for a fee should quit the site before providing any personal information. If you need to go to an unemployment office, wait until later in the week—offices and phone lines are busiest early in the week. Get more information from the Department of Labor.
Source: state officials on unemployment insurance