Video tutorial to help Kansans file for unemployment online

Thursday, April 8, 2010

TOPEKA -- Kansans can watch an online video tutorial before filling out their application for unemployment benefits, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

The tutorial, now available on the home page of the Kansas unemployment benefits site,, walks applicants through the online form and answers frequently asked questions about the application.

The online tutorial, hosted by a Department of Labor employee, takes applicants through the entire application and focuses on important areas that may require explanation, including how to:

* Create a user name and PIN number.

* Enter personal information.

* Search for past employers in the agency's database.

* Calculate gross wages from the last employer.

"We hope this tutorial takes some of the anxiety out of filing online," Labor Secretary Jim Garner said. "It helps when you can listen to a real person walking you through the steps."

The tutorial is the latest of several improvements to the online site, all designed to make it easier for Kansans to file their initial claim for unemployment and to provide an easy and convenient alternative to the agency's Contact Center.

The department streamlined the initial application last September, simplifying the language. The unemployment benefits Web site was redesigned in October to make information more accessible, and in December the agency held focus groups with claimants to further improve the site.

The agency also placed employees in four Kansas Workforce Centers -- Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City and Overland Park -- to help applicants file their initial and weekly unemployment claims. Each workforce center also keeps a printed version of the online tutorial to help people complete the application.

In addition, the Kansas unemployment benefits site now features podcasts that answer questions about applying for unemployment benefits and the various state and federal extended benefit programs.