Sometimes, life happens and you may find yourself out of work. Whether you quit your job because your workplace was toxic, or perhaps you were let go for reasons that were out of your control. No matter the situation, most people can receive cash benefits from the government to help you live while you are looking for your next career opportunity.
So, if you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you may qualify for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
If you are out of work and wondering if you qualify for government unemployment benefits, look to see if you meet an of these requirements for UI, or Unemployment Insurance, assistance:
- You must have become unemployed through no fault of your own
- You must meet work history requirements
- You must have earned a minimum amount of wages during your work history
- You must be actively seeking work and continue to seek employment while receiving UI benefits
- You must not have been self-employed
It’s also worth noting that some states require you to meet additional qualifying requirements, so you should always check with your state program before you move forward with submitting an application.
Depending on your state, you may receive unemployment direct deposit, checks, or a UI benefits debit card if you are found eligible. However, you will be required to file biweekly claim or weekly claims to continue to receive benefits from the program.
Generally, you can receive Unemployment Insurance benefits for up to six months. Furthermore, you will only be eligible to receive the maximum amount of benefits within your benefit year, even if you become unemployed again during this period. However, an unemployment extension may be available to you if you are receiving benefits during times of economic hardships within your state. An extension will allow you to continue to receive benefits for a limited period.
The amount of benefits you can receive each month varies by the state program. Most states provide a benefits calculator on their website that you can use to estimate your benefit payments.
If you wish to file for unemployment, you must do so in the state that you worked in, even if you live in a different state. Each state has its own filing requirements, but you can generally apply online or in person at your local unemployment office.
Once you file for unemployment, you will need to continue submitting your weekly or biweekly claims while waiting for a decision on your application and receiving benefits. If you miss a claim, you will not receive payment for that claim period. In addition, in some states, you will have to reapply for benefits.
Once you begin to receive unemployment direct deposit, checks, or payments through a debit card, you must continue to meet Unemployment Insurance requirements. These requirements will vary by state, so you should always check with your state program to avoid risking the loss of your benefits.
If you are denied benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision. Appeal processes vary by state, and you will need to submit your appeal request before the deadline after receiving a decision on your benefits.