Unemployed? How To Apply For Unemployment Benefits
The loss of a job can hurt, especially if you have invested a lot of time into a particular career or a company. However, it is never the end of the world. Many unemployed people find a new passion or decide to shift to a completely different career path, reaping much more satisfaction in return. One of the factors that allow you to do this is unemployment insurance, which can cover up to a half of the living costs for a certain period of time. However, it is essential to know how to apply for unemployment benefits and to do this as soon as possible.
To begin with, you must find out if you are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. The specific requirements vary from state to state, so one of the first steps is to pay a visit to your local Unemployment Office, or at least check its website, if it is available. Unemployment insurance is aimed at helping workers who lost their jobs without a fault of their own, and lasts for a certain period of time or until that person finds a new job, whichever comes sooner. A phrase “without a fault of their own” is essential – depending on the state, any of these factors could disqualify you:
- Quitting your job without a justifiable cause
- Getting fired for misconduct
- Resigning due to illness
- Leaving to get married
- Being self-employed
- Being involved in a labor dispute
- Studying at an educational institution
There are also requirements for your salary or employment time during a certain period. These factors can be quite diverse, depending on which state you live in, so there is no single answer on how much you must have earned or for how long you must have worked to be eligible for unemployment insurance. Again, you will need to check with your local Unemployment Office to find out the unemployment qualifications. In many cases, your unemployment benefits will be equal to half of your earnings, or a maximum possible amount, whichever is lower, and will last for around 60-70 weeks.
How To Apply For Unemployment Compensation
If you know the key points on how to apply for unemployment benefits, the process is quite simple and straightforward. Essentially, all you need to do is to visit your State Unemployment Office or State Department of Labor Office. You can also apply for unemployment benefits online or by phone in certain states. You need the same data you would have to provide when visiting an unemployment office in person – your Social Security Number, Alien Registration Card (if you are not a US citizen), mailing address, phone number, as well as names, addresses and dates of employment covering your employment history for the last few years.
Be aware though that no matter which method you choose, it will take a few weeks for you to receive your first benefit check. In some states, such as New York, a one-week waiting period is required, and there may be additional delays. Nevertheless, after your unemployment insurance claim is approved, all you will need to do is to continue looking for work and remember to file weekly by phone or mail.
Most state laws require that you actively seek work to be eligible for unemployment benefits, so registration for work at your local employment office is very important. Here you will find excellent resources to assist you with your job search such as career counseling, training, and help with resume writing.
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