How To Know If You Can Qualify For Unemployment

Going through a job loss is never a good experience. Most people are not prepared for the financial difficulties that losing a job with no warning can create. Unemployment benefits are offered to some people who qualify to help the transition from no job to getting a new job. The benefits usually don't cover the full income you were bringing in from your job. However, it is better than nothing while you are looking for another place of employment.

Unemployment rates have began to level off since they peaked in late 2009. However, there were still some major layoffs in 2012. Even though there are always people losing their jobs when there is no recession, only a small percentage of those being let go actually cash in on their unemployment benefits.

How To Know If You Can Qualify For Unemployment

The Department of Labor oversees the unemployment benefits and they say you need to meet two specific criteria in order to qualify. The first is that you lost your job through no fault of your own. The second criteria to meet is that you have to meet your state's requirements with regards to wages earned and time worked.

Lost Job Through No Fault Of Your Own

Losing your job by no fault of your own means that you are not at fault for losing your job. The reasons for being let go were beyond your control. If you quit your job or were fired for breaking rules or for gross misconduct, you will not be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. Gross misconduct is a vague term but often refers to getting fired for performing illegal or dangerous acts while on the job. It can also mean you were caught stealing time, money or property from your employer as well.

Meet State Requirements For Wages And Time

Each state has their own time and wages requirements to meet in order to qualify for unemployment benefits. However, if you have had a long-term, steady job at the same employer then you will most likely be able to qualify if you were let go for no fault of your own and it was out of your control. Aside from meeting those two requirements, you will also need to be actively in search of a new job. If you decide to go back to school, you will not be able to continue receiving benefits because you are not actively searching for employment. In certain states, however, if you are seeking to be trained in a high-demand field, you may be able to get an allowance of additional weeks of unemployment benefits while training as long as you are making satisfactory progress in the program.

What To Know About Filing For Unemployment Benefits

The exact details about filing will differ between states. Some states require waiting periods where you need to be without a job for a certain amount of time before you can apply. In many cases, however, the waiting period is no more than a couple weeks. The maximum amount of unemployment you can receive will also vary between states. There is a formula to figure out what you will receive and most of it depends on how much you were earning from your job. Severance pay and vacation time that you may receive at the end of your employment can put a delay in receiving benefits if you are approved for them.

What To Do When You Receive Benefits

Once you lose your job, don't wait too long to apply for unemployment benefits. It can be a long process and the sooner you get started, the better. After you begin to receive checks, you will need to do things in order to keep getting them. While collecting, you will be required to file either weekly or biweekly claims that detail what your job hunt details and if you have received any job offers for either full-time or part-time employment. If you pass up any jobs that you were offered, you will be required to submit a reason why you didn't take the job. There is no one single path that unemployed people go through after losing a job. However, you will need to work hard to get benefits while you are looking for your next job.

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