Career Advice Personal Finance

How Does Unemployment Work? What You Need to Know

Unemployment Insurance is a program that provides cash benefits to workers who recently lost their jobs.

It’s never when your employer has to let you go for circumstances out of your control. Being unemployed can be humiliating for some people and cause depression. What’s even more damaging is the detrimental impact it can have on your personal finances; especially if you do not receive severance pay from your employer.

Although it might be stressful, you can check to see if you qualify to collect unemployment to take some pressure off of your personal finances. While this might not solve all of your problems, it definitely can help you keep up with your basic necessities and pay your bills while you search for work.

What is Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment Insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. 

Unemployment Insurance is often relied upon when eligible workers get laid off and need cash while searching for a new job to get back on their feet.

Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment Insurance is helpful for Americans who recently lost their jobs.

Understanding Unemployment

In order to get unemployment, you must check to see if you are eligible and file the proper paperwork. The Department of Labor has different guidelines based on your type of employment and location within the United States. For example, W2 employees will have different regulations compared to an independent contractor or a 1099-employee.

Are You Eligible For Unemployment?

You might be wondering if you are eligible to collect unemployment and for good reason too. Unemployment can be very helpful in tough times. If you are panicking after getting laid off a job recently and you need to get unemployment, you need to do your research to see how you can get enrolled as quickly as possible.

According to the Department of Labor, you need to meet two criteria to qualify for unemployment:

  • You are unemployed through no fault of your own. This means you cannot quit your job for no good reason and then file for unemployment; you will not qualify.
  • You meet your state‚Äôs requirements for time worked or wages earned – every state has different requirements.

Rules on unemployment can vary based on the state you live in. Each state maintains their own unemployment insurance program that require you to file claims online, over the phone or through postal mail.

Learn more about the Unemployment Benefits Finder

Collecting Unemployment Benefits
Collecting unemployment benefits will vary based on the state you are located in.

What to Know When Filing for Unemployment

There are a few things to keep in mind when filing for unemployment. As mentioned, rules and regulations vary by state. Typically, if you are filing for unemployment, there is a brief waiting period in between filing and receiving payments.

Exact details will differ between states, so it is important to read through all of the information provided. Regardless of your situation, it is smart to do your research thoroughly and apply as soon as you can. Instead of waiting to find out if you qualify, you should file immediately so you can get the process started.

How to Get Unemployment

To begin getting unemployment, you must contact the unemployment agency in your state. To do so, you can file online or over the phone through your state-run government websites.

Make sure you take your time to include accurate details about your previous employment so you can avoid any delays.

Find Unemployment Benefits By State:

  • Florida Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-800-204-2418
  • Georgia Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 404-232-3180
  • Louisiana Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-866-783-5567
  • Mississippi Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone 1-888-844-3577
  • Montana Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 406-444-2545
  • New Hampshire Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-800-266-2252
  • New Mexico Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-877-664-6984
  • North Carolina Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-888-737-0259
  • North Dakota Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 701-328-4995
  • Ohio Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-877-644-6562
  • South Carolina Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-800-529-8339
  • South Dakota Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-605-626-3179
  • Tennessee Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-844-224-5818
  • Vermont Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-877-214-3331
  • Virginia Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-866-832-2363
  • Washington Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-800-318-6022
  • Wyoming Unemployment Information
    • File for unemployment online
    • File for unemployment by phone: 1-307-473-3789

How to Stay on Unemployment

If you think you’re going to collect unemployment forever, you’re sadly mistaken. During the time you are collecting unemployment, you are required to file weekly or bi-weekly claims. This includes details regarding your job hunt, any job interviews you have made an effort to schedule, earnings from any part-time work and any work you have refused and why you refused. You cannot expect to continue collecting unemployment if you are not even making an effort to get back into the working world.

Unemployment is a tough time for everyone and it entails a different journey for each person. Although it is difficult, you have to maintain certain standards based on your state requirements in order to continue collecting unemployment.

How to Collect Unemployment Longer

The best way to continue collecting unemployment for a longer period of time is to find part-time work in the interim. This will help you make some extra money and allow you to push off unemployment payments another week. This will help you stay on unemployment and extend your unemployment payments to add extra security for another week.

How to Get Back on Your Feet After Unemployment

To get back into the working world, you need to secure a job for yourself. Make sure you prepare a well-organized resume with your most recent work experiences and qualifications. You may be unemployed for the time being, but you won’t be for long if you take the proper steps to prepare yourself for success.

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