How To Make The Most of Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Losing your job can be scary, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck. Housing and living costs are on the rise, and time without income can be a big stress. Fortunately, you may qualify for Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments if your previous employer pays UI taxes. 

Most businesses are part of the UI program, and several former employees are eligible to collect benefits. Learn more about requirements for unemployment, how to appeal if you are turned down for benefits and other helpful information.

Do I Meet Requirements to Get Unemployment Insurance?
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The Department of Labor (DOL) oversees UI programs throughout the country and territories. Almost all employers must pay federal and state unemployment taxes. The funds from these taxes are the benefits out-of-work employees receive. Employees do not pay UI taxes.

The government exempts some businesses from paying these taxes. Nonprofit organizations that have a 501(c)(3) status do not have to pay UI taxes. An employer also does not have to pay UI taxes if they hire their parent, spouse, or child younger than 21 years of age.  

Each state has different eligibility requirements. Some areas require you to participate in work training or other programs. The basic requirements include the following:

  • You are out-of-work or have reduced hours through no fault of your own.
  • You worked for at least your state’s minimum time period.
  • You earned at least your state’s minimum wage amount. 
  • You are actively seeking employment and available and able to work.

It’s important to note that in order to get unemployment benefits, you must have separated from your job through no fault of your own. That means if you get fired for misconduct or something similar, you generally won’t be able to collect any unemployment benefits.

States have different parameters for calculating unemployment benefits. Generally, it depends on the amount of money you earned in the base period, which is a specific amount of time determined by the state. For example, the base period in New York includes the four quarters immediately prior to losing your job, and you must have earned a minimum amount in each of those four quarters to qualify.

Unemployment benefits do not replace your entire income, and you can only collect payments for a limited period.

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By Admin