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Unemployment Insurance Benefits Eligibility

A financial tool that insures workers against unemployment is the unemployment insurance. If you make such an insurance you provide yourself with monetary payments you can enjoy if you lose your job without having whatsoever fault.

The federal law provides the guideline regarding the eligibility and amounts of the payments of the unemployment insurance. Additionally, the particular unemployment insurances that the state program offers have a predetermined period of time during which they are available.

Requirements to Meet

In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance you should:

  • Be unemployed without having any whatsoever fault for this
  • Meet wages requirements during a specific period of time (usually one year)
  • Have worked for a particular time period (usually one year)


If you have experienced one of the following situations, you will not be considered for unemployment insurance:

  • Fired because of misbehavior
  • Quitted the job because of an illness (then you can apply for disability benefits)
  • Left the job on your discretion
  • Quitted the job because of changed social lifestyle
  • Left the job to follow education purposes
  • Started your own business
  • Conflict during labor disputes

Unemployment Benefits Availability

Generally, you will be paid unemployment benefits for no more than 26 weeks. An exception is maid during periods when the state is experiencing extremely high levels of unemployment. The amount of the unemployment benefit is determined by your earnings, usually amounting to half of it. Every state has his limits on the amounts you can receive under unemployment program. Unemployment benefits are not tax-exempt, this means that you are required to state the payment into your Federal tax report and thus are liable to Federal income tax returns.

Additional Unemployment Benefits

If you meet certain eligibility requirements, you can apply for extension of the time period during which to receive unemployment benefits (usually set at no more than 13 weeks after the expiration of the 26 weeks). Extended benefits are also available under high unemployment conditions in the state, where the extended period may last up to 13 more weeks. In order to better acquaint yourself with your eligibility, amounts and time period that apply to you, call the nearest State Unemployment Office.

Application Time

After you have been laid off your work, go straight to the State Unemployment Office and file your documents. Submit your application as soon as possible so that you can faster get your unemployment benefits, since your ex-company may delay the payment of your last earned wage.

Unemployment Benefits Application Procedure

The first thing you should do is to call the nearest State Unemployment Office to get general guidelines about the future course of action. In some cases person presence may not be required since the possibility of applying by the phone may be provided. This is so due to the nature of the information you have to provide:

  1. Social Security Number
  2. Current residence address plus the zip code
  3. Phone number for contact
  4. Information about your past employers as well as the time periods you have worked for them for the last two years
  5. For non-US residents - Alien Registration Card should be provided

The Actual Payment

Don't assume that immediately after you have filed for unemployment benefits you will be directly paid. Due to administrative work, the documents take time to be processed and verified for accuracy. Therefore, generally you will have to wait several weeks until you get paid. A weekly filing by phone or email is required if your application for unemployment benefits has been approved.

Additional State Requirements

After you have registered for unemployment benefits and start to receive, you are required by law to actively start seeking a new job. This is proved by your registration with the state Job Service. The latter may itself offer you certain positions for which you are qualified and which you cannot turn down. Their rich database of vacant positions may greatly facilitate your job search. Additionally, they provide career counseling and different trainings.

Leaving Your Job

In case you have voluntarily quitted your job, you will not be able to benefit unemployment programs. If you have some "good cause" to justify your leaving, then you may be eligible for some sort of payment, which will be determined by the unemployment office of the state you reside in. If the latter refuses your pledge, than you have the right of hearing in which to present your arguments.

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