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Unemployment Benefits—What You Need To Know

Being unemployed is a horrible situation to find yourself in, but fortunately, unemployment benefits are on your side to make sure you don’t go without while searching for a new job. These unemployment benefits could mean the difference between eating and not being able to afford to do so while job hunting, which clearly shows the importance of understanding the different unemployment benefits that are available to you!

Am I Eligible for Unemployment Benefits?

The first step in the process of looking at getting unemployment benefits is to make sure that you are actually eligible for benefits. This largely varies between different states; different states have different rules and regulations on their own unemployment benefits and making yourself aware of the rules for your specific state is therefore an important first step. Some states, for example, will have limits based on how much you have earned in a recent period of time, whereas others may have higher or lower limits on these requirements. It is worth noting that you are only suitable for unemployment benefits if you have found yourself without a job through no fault of your own. This means that you cannot claim unemployment benefits if you have voluntarily left your previous job to prevent someone from leaving a job solely so that they can claim unemployment benefits from the state. Furthermore, you are also not eligible for unemployment benefits if you have conducted gross misconduct in the workplace, such as illegal or otherwise dangerous activities that led to your employer firing you. You will be eligible for unemployment benefits, though, if you have been laid off or have otherwise quit your last job role with a good reason—assuming you meet the aforementioned requirements. It is important to note that you are only eligible for unemployment benefits if you are actively searching for another job role too. Furthermore, contract laborers aren’t suitable for unemployment benefits.

How Much Will I Get?

The amount of unemployment benefits that you will receive varies based on a number of different factors. There is no one set payout for unemployment; instead, the amount paid is based on the wages that you earned. This is based in general on your income over the last four quarters and will rise or fall in accordance with this. Furthermore, the payout is also highly variable from state to state. For example, the average payout of unemployment benefits is higher in Massachusetts, in general, than in Washington. Furthermore, it is worth considering that benefits are also usually capped at a certain period of time, although extensions are possible in certain scenarios.

How to Claim Unemployment Benefits

Claiming unemployment benefits is easy, if you are applicable for them. The most obvious way to do so is to contact your local state officers for more information. Alternatively, get in touch with your state’s unemployment insurance agency to file for unemployment benefits and to request further information on the State specific rules and regulations. From here, it’s really then just a waiting game to find out whether or not your application for state benefits gets accepted or rejected. It is worth noting that you can apply for unemployment benefits in your state of residence, as well as in states where you previously worked. Therefore, you may be able to get more benefits by choosing the most generous state, so make sure to do your research before signing any paperwork. Make sure you have details for your past employment to hand to keep the process efficient. In the event that the claim should be rejected, you can appeal the decision if you have adequate reason to believe that the decision is incorrect.