|The Ins and Outs of Unemployment|
Filing for unemployment should be the first item on your agenda once you’ve lost your job, provided you meet the eligibility requirements. Unemployment insurance is something that you pay for as a worker, and is there to help carry you financially through the time between jobs.
The benefits of unemployment are provided by state programs that function according to federal law. But each state may have slight variations in eligibility guidelines, as well as the amount of money you can collect and the length of time you can collect it.
In order to be eligible for unemployment insurance, you must first be able to prove that you are out of work through no fault of your own. In most states, you must also have accumulated enough wages in the previous 12 months to be able to draw from the insurance benefits. Explore a more complete list of scenarios that may make you ineligible to collect unemployment.
Of course, you must also be actively looking for work during this time, and be able to prove to your state unemployment office that you are ready to accept immediate work placement.
Once benefits are administered, they typically will be paid for a maximum of 26 weeks. Payments usually equate to half your previous earnings, but may be subject to a lower cap, based on state laws. Unemployment benefits are also subject to federal and state taxes.