State unemployment insurance programs provides Unemployment benefits within guidelines established by Federal law. They determine the eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts as well as the length of time benefits.
The main reason of unemployment insurance is to provide workers, who are unemployed through no fault of their own, with monetary payments for a specific period of time, depending on when they finds a new job.
Before you will be eligible to receive unemployment compensation, you must meet the unemployment eligibility requirements. Either for wages earned or time worked during an established period of time. Also, workers must be determined to be unemployed through no fault of their own.
Disqualification from Unemployment
There are certain circumstances which may disqualify you from collecting unemployment benefits. This depends on state law:
- Quit without good cause
- Fired for misconduct
- Resigned because of illness (check on disability benefits)
- Left to get married
- Involved in a labor dispute
- Attending school
What Unemployment Benefits Covers
- At least, for a maximum of 26 weeks, regular benefits are paid in most states. Some states provides benefits for fewer weeks.
- The compensation in many states will be half your earnings, up to a maximum amount.
- Benefits are subject to Federal income taxes and must be reported on your Federal income tax return.
It is advisable to file for unemployment as soon as you are laid off, this because it might take two or three weeks to collect a check.
How You Can File for Unemployment
Filing for unemployment can be done online or over the phone. All you need to do is to review the information you need to open a claim. Then, visit your state unemployment office to determine the best way to open a claim, so you can get started collecting unemployment.
Before you proceed to claim, you must need the following:
- Social Security Number
- Alien Registration Card if you’re not a US citizen
- Mailing address including zip code
- Phone number
- Names, addresses and dates of employment for all your past employers for the last two years.
Provided that your claim is approved, you should be able to file weekly online, by phone or by mail. And it takes a few weeks after your claim to receive your first unemployment benefit check, direct deposit or debit card.