Losing a job is never something one plans, especially if it is of no fault of your own. Losing a job and being faced with unemployment can turn a family’s lives upside down.
Not only are you losing an income, but you can also be losing additional benefits. If you have recently faced unemployment, and you would like to receive unemployment insurance, you can read the below sections to learn more about your claim options.
The Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program provides unemployment benefits to those eligible workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own, as determined under state law, and meet other eligibility requirements of state law.
Unemployment insurance payments, or benefits, are established to provide temporary financial assistance to those unemployed workers who meet all of the state requirements. State administers separate unemployment insurance programs within guidelines that are established by federal law.
The individual state law under which unemployment insurance claims that are filed determines eligibility for unemployment insurance and the benefits of the policy and the length of the time the benefits are available. In most states, benefit funding is based on a tax imposed on employers.
This tax covers the weekly payments made towards unemployment after employees file a claim. Employees are given a percentage of their previous salary as compensation while they job search.
To be eligible for unemployment insurance, you must meet the requirements set by the state for wages earned or time worked during a fixed period which is referred to as a “base period.” You must also be determined to be unemployed through no fault of your own, which will be defined under state law.
For most states, this period is usually the first four out of the last five finished calendar quarters before the time that your claim is filed. As soon as you become unemployed, you should contact the State Unemployment Insurance agency. Some states let you file a claim by phone or online.
When you file an unemployment claim, you will need to answer certain questions, such as addresses and the dates of your former employment. To prevent delays in your application process, you need to make sure that all the information you give is correct.
Typically, you should file a claim in the state where you worked. However, if you now live in a state other than the one you worked, or if you worked in multiple states, the state UI agency where you live now can provide information about how to file a claim with other states.
It usually takes two or three weeks after filing a claim to receive your first benefit check. Many states require a one-week waiting period, so usually, the second week claimed is the first week of payment, if you are eligible otherwise.
It is typical of the benefits to be based on a percentage of an individual’s earnings over the most recent 52-week period, up to your states maximum amount. Benefits can be paid for a maximum of 26 weeks across most states, but additional weeks of benefits may apply during times of high unemployment, as determined by the UI.
Some states also provide additional benefits for specific purposes. All benefits are subject to federal income taxes, and you must report them on your federal income tax return. You may also wish to have the tax withheld by the UI agency.
As part of the benefits program, you must file weekly or biweekly claims, after the week(s) has ended, and you must respond to questions concerning your continual eligibility. During the week, you must report any earnings from work that you had during that time.
You need to also report any job offers or refusals of work during the week(s). These claims are often filed by telephone or mail, and each state will provide filing instructions. When instructed, you must report to your local UI claims office or a One-Stop/Employment Service Office on the day scheduled.
If you fail to report at the right date and time for an interview, your benefits may be denied.
If you file for unemployment benefits, you may be directed to register for work with your state employment service, which will help you in your job search. If you do not register, you may still seek assistance in finding a job from the employment service.
With the help of free services from the employment services office, you can check from a list of current labor market information to see an array of re-employment services. An employee with the employment service staff can refer you to job openings in your area, or other jobs in your field if you have a desire to relocate.
They will be able to refer you to various training programs.If job openings in your field are limited, you can participate in testing and counseling to determine what other jobs you might like to do and that you have the skills to do.
If you are believed to have special needs or considerations, like physical needs, which may prevent you from getting a job, they may refer you to other agencies that can assist you with those needs and to help find you a job that is best suited for you.
If the reason for separation from your last job was due to some reason other than “lack of work,” your eligibility will be determined to see if you qualify for benefits. Typically, a participant’s eligibility for benefits is determined by the appropriate state under its law or applicable federal laws.
If you are denied or disqualified from benefits, you have the option to file an appeal. However, you must do so within an established period. Your state will guide you of your appeal rights. Your employer also has the right to appeal a determination if he or she does not agree with the state’s determination regarding your eligibility.
If you do receive a determination that denies you benefits you believe you deserve, you can contact IU directly.
Losing a job does not have to send your life into turmoil. With federal unemployment insurance, you can get the help that you need to keep your family afloat.
To see if you qualify for unemployment insurance, start filling out your application today and get yourself one-step closer to getting unemployment benefits.