In most cases, such as in California, a claimant can simply open an unemployment claim by certifying the recent unemployed week by phone or online as it was done before the claim was suspended, reports the UnemplolymentHandbook.com. It may be necessary in some cases to talk to an unemployment representative.
A claimant may find it necessary to reopen a claim after the original claim has been suspended because the claimant found employment but was later again unemployed, according to the UnemploymentHandbook.com. Claims remain open even when the claimant is not making weekly certifications, but the period in which they do vary from state to state.
Although during the Great Recession the length of unemployment benefits was extended to up to 73 weeks in some states, as of 2014, most states have returned to what was the standard before the recession, 26 weeks, according to Business Insider. Montana and Massachusetts extend their services for a few weeks and a few states provide benefits for periods shorter than 26 weeks.
This does not mean that the 26 weeks have to be consecutive, because states generally have a benefit period in which the 26 weeks can be claimed, such as the benefit year in New York, as reported by the New York State Department of Labor. If the suspended claim needs to be reopened during this period, a claimant should certify the weekly unemployment as before.