As the economic recovery the United States has been prolonged and unemployment rates throughout the country of remained historically high the demand for unemployment benefits (sometimes erroneously known as “employment insurance”) has increased significantly. Unfortunately, the laws and regulations relating to these benefits can be difficult understand there are many misunderstandings about how individuals qualify for and retain unemployment benefits. There is even more confusion on extended unemployment insurance payments, who qualifies for them, and how long can you receive this type of compensation. In this article will address each of these issues and help you sort out what type of benefit payment you may be entitled to.
How Unemployment Insurance Works
Originally, unemployment compensation was managed through the Social Security Administration. However, changes in the laws shifted this responsibility from solely the federal government to more of a joint partnership between the federal government and each individual state’s department of welfare. Therefore, there are federal laws that outline the general structure of how unemployment benefits work, state-based laws that fill in many of the details of federal law leaves to their discretion, and each individual state manages an unemployment insurance program for its particular citizens.
If you qualify for unemployment compensation you will receive benefits for a limited amount of time which ranges, depending on your state, from a minimum of 13 weeks up to a maximum of 26 weeks. After you have exhausted this initial term of benefits from your state department of unemployment you can then file for extended unemployment benefits through the federal government. Under current laws most individuals will be eligible to receive up to 53 weeks of additional benefits. However, some people will become unemployed on or after August 1, 2011 may only have unemployment eligibility for a reduced amount of weekly benefits. For individuals who are still out of work after the 53 weeks of federal extended unemployment benefits have expired most states will then offer yet another level of compensation which usually does not exceed 20 weeks. Therefore, under the right circumstances a person whose unemployed can potentially be eligible for a total of 99 weeks of unemployment.
Qualifying For Unemployment
Although each state will have its own various rules requirements, there are some general similarities between each of them and how you qualify for unemployment benefits. First, you cannot of quit your job or of been fired due to actions that you took on purpose. Second, you must submit an application to your state requesting benefits. Third, you must demonstrate in your application you meet each of the eligibility requirements that your state will have.
Beyond being unemployed due to no fault of your own, you must show that you work for an employer prior to the time that you file for benefits who is subject to state unemployment taxes, which are used to pay out unemployment benefits to qualified individuals. Additionally, you must have earned a minimum amount of income over a 12 month period of time generally defined as the Base Period. The Base Period starts to you skip the current calendar quarter your rent as well as the one just completed. You should then add up the next four continuous calendar quarters and use that as your Base Period.
Some states will just want to see that you’ve earned a minimum amount of income during your Base Period, while others will have some sort of combination of requirements that include earning a minimum amount throughout the entire Base Period as well as a minimum amount in one particular quarter of the Base Period.
Filing For Unemployment
All states will allow you to file for unemployment benefits online. Additionally, almost all states have some sort of phone number that you can call in to, speak to a department of unemployment representative, and provide information needed to complete an unemployment insurance application.
For more information on how to obtain unemployment benefits contact your local state department of welfare, department of social services or department of unemployment (depending on your particular state).
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
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