Unemployment checks typically begin to arrive two to three weeks after the state unemployment agency receives an unemployment claim. The process takes this long because the agency must process the unemployment claim, making sure the information is accurate and the claim is valid.
Mistakes on an unemployment claim form or a conflict with an applicant's previous employer over eligibility are two factors that can potentially delay the processing of a claim. The state unemployment agency may need to interview both the unemployment applicant and the previous employer to make sure the applicant is actually eligible for benefits. Additionally, some states require a waiting period, generally not longer than a week, before applicants can begin receiving benefits. This also makes it take longer to begin receiving checks.