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Thursday, November 27th, 2014


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Everything You Need to Know About Applying for Unemployment

Current unemployment rate
With the unemployment rate at a staggering 7.2%, the highest in almost 16 years, many people are finding themselves out of work. Some people are out of work for the first time since they started their careers.

December saw a loss of 524,000 jobs. The total job loss for 2008 is 2.6 million jobs. This is the most jobs lost since 1945. Teens have a 21% jobless rate, African-Americans a 12% jobless rate, Hispanics 9.2%, and Asians are at a 5.1% jobless rate.

If you have lost your job or you are worried about losing your job you need to figure out what to do next. For many Americans right now, this means unemployment. You may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if you are out of work due to no fault of your own. Eligibility requirements vary by state—including having worked for a certain period of time.

Unemployment compensation also varies from state to state. The compensation may be up to half your earnings—depending where you live. Remember, your unemployment check is taxable by the IRS. You can usually choose to have federal and/or state taxes taken out when you first sign up for unemployment. Or, you can pay these when you pay your taxes, and when you hopefully have more money.

Does it matter if I quit or get fired?
It depends on why you have quit or been fired. If you quit your job without good cause, or voluntarily, then your unemployment benefits will most likely be denied. The key words to unemployment are “due to no fault of your own.”

Unemployment benefits vary state by state but if you are discharged or suspend for simple misconduct, gross misconduct, or aggravated misconduct you may be denied anywhere from five to ten weeks to having to become re-employed and earn 30 times your Weekly Benefits Amount in insured work.

If you fail to apply for available, suitable work or if you fail to accept a job that has been offered to you then your unemployment benefits may also be denied.

Reasons you may be denied unemployment benefits
• Quit without good cause
• Fired for misconduct
• Resigned because of illness (check on disability benefits)
• Left to get married
• Attending School
• Involved in a labor dispute
• Self-employed
• Check with the Unemployment Office for other special circumstances

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What happens if I am denied unemployment?
If you feel you have been wrongly denied unemployment benefits then there is an appeals process and you can usually plead your case in a hearing.

When should I file for unemployment?
You should file as soon as you lose your job. It might take weeks before you get your first check so the faster you file, the faster you can start getting paid. Follow the directions carefully. You will probably need to apply to a certain number of jobs per week and file either every week or every other week. If you miss a filing date you may not get paid for that week.

How do I file for unemployment benefits?
1. Contact your state unemployment office. Each state differs in how you can file. Some states will let you file online or over the phone. Find out what you need and how to apply.
2. Gather everything you will need to file your claim. See next section “What will I need to file for unemployment?”
3. Apply for unemployment as soon as possible. You should have already found out where to apply and if you can do it online. If you can apply online you should do this to save some time.
4. Inquire and register with your state’s job services office.
5. Follow the instructions for claiming weekly or bi-weekly benefits. It is very important that you do this correctly so that you do not miss payments.
6. Be home for any phone calls from the unemployment office (they should give you a specific time and date for any phone interviews) or appear at your state Unemployment Office whenever you are requested to do so.
7. Look for a job and do not turn down any employment offers. Accepting a part-time job may not cancel your unemployment benefits—it depends how much money you earn. Contact your unemployment office and ask them exactly what will happen.

What will I need to file for unemployment?
• Social Security Number
• Mailing address
• Phone number
• Names, addresses and dates of employment of all your past employers for the last two years
• Alien Registration Card if you’re not a US citizen

Will I need to do anything to continue receiving unemployment benefits?
Again, this varies from state to state. Most states require that you actively search for a job. Some states require you to register with the state job service. You must be ready and willing to work. You cannot turn down a position if it meets basic standards.

What do I do if my unemployment runs out?

You can first try to file an unemployment extension. You may have heard of the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2008 passed on November 21, 2008.

No matter where you live, if you have exhausted the 13 weeks of unemployment benefits before the passage of the November legislation you are eligible for 7 weeks of extended benefits.

This means that everyone on unemployment is eligible for 20 weeks of benefits.

If you live in a high unemployment state—a state with an unemployment rate of 6% or more—you are entitled to an additional 13 weeks of benefits. That is a total of 33 weeks of benefits.

To see if you live in a high unemployment rate state check out this chart: http://ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/euc_trigger/2008/euc_122808.html

If you are still confused please check: http://www.unemployedworkers.org/extend_jobless_benefits/federal_jobless_benefits/twotiers.cfm for more information.

What can I do if my unemployment extension runs out?
This is a scary situation that more and more people are in. No matter what, remember that you are entitled to benefits. You paid for these while you were working.
• Call your state unemployment office to make sure you are getting everything you are entitled to.
• Inquire about job training programs or anything else that will give you extra benefits.
• Looking for a temporary job, consider jobs you would not have thought of before, be open to anything.
• Ask your friends and family for help
• Contact your credit cards and tell them that you have lost your job, ask for an arrangement so you won’t go to collection if you can’t pay.
• Try not to use your credit cards too much. Living off your credit cards can cause huge problems down the road.

Get Fired and Still Qualify for Unemployment
Laid off? Five Things to Do Right Away
Get What’s Coming to You: Severance Packages Explained

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8 Responses to Everything You Need to Know About Applying for Unemployment

  1. kevin says:

    what about the white jobless rate. i see everyone else but whites.

  2. Tammy says:

    I agree with Kevin on that. Also I have lost my job and tried to let my credit cards know about it. They were unwilling to help because I was not in a hardship as of yet, when I was in hardship I had no money to give. Contacting your credit cards does you no good unless you can pay their minimum for hardship.

  3. PLG says:

    The most important factor is REPRESENTATION. The attorneys at Pollard Law Group specialize in unemployment hearings and have conducted over 500 hearings with the Department of Labor. To discuss your situation contact Pollard Law Group at 866-750-7194
    http://pollardlawgroup.com

  4. Dgrier says:

    YES I AGREE WITH KEVIN ALSO;
    WHITE PEOPLES UNEMPLOYMENT RATES DON’T COUNT???
    Maybe that is why there are only 3 comments!

  5. Pingback: How to Get Fired and Still Qualify for Unemployment

  6. lover of unity says:

    lots of people are unemployed. it has nothing to do with race or color. times are bad for everyone not just WHITE people. i am multi racial non hispanic and comments about race and color are definitely irrelevent! If u feel like the white race has a higher unemployment rate maybe you ought to sit down and think about why that is. maybe the quality of work isn’t good enough or maybe they are lazier or maybe it’s what i think and EVERY RACE is having problems with unemployment!!!!!!!!!! i’m sorry that u guys want to blame others for the unemployment rate of whites and don’t want to take the responsibility on yourselves, but TIMES ARE HARD FOR EVERYONE NOT JUST WHITES so quit feeling sorry for whites and making excuses for whites and get off your butts and find a job instead of criticizing other races for getting out there and finding jobs instead of wallering in self pity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. jan bowien says:

    Is it possible to draw partial unemployment?

  8. Lindsay johnson says:

    Me and my boyfriend got fired because we were late because we had to take my boyfriends mom to the ER, she was having a heart attack. We walked in and he said if u dont have proof im firing you. No consideration, no are you guys ok, is she ok… None of that. So we ask his mom for some paperwork because that’s what he wanted and she said “no he can’t ask for that it’s confidential, personal and illegal. I’ll write him and note n he can call me.” we BEGGED her for some paperwork and she said no. We knew he would NOT be happy with just that. So when we gave him the note, he brought us in the office later and said here’s your final pay checks, get off the premises, this is not good enough proof. We started to tell him that we begged her for them and that she said he can’t legally ask for that but he shut us up after one word and said I don’t wanna hear it, leave. Is that legal for him to fire us because of that and iss it really illegal for him to ask for real paperwork proof that we took her to the ER?

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