Most employers have to carry unemployment insurance on their employees. Do you really understand, though, when you can use your unemployment insurance benefits? Knowing the answer to this question can help you make important decisions about using this coverage.
What is Unemployment Insurance?
Unemployment Insurance is designed to help you cover expenses when you’re between jobs. It usually gives you a percentage of your working wages rather than a full paycheck.
Unemployment laws also vary by state. Although they follow guidelines from the federal government, each state’s Department of Labor determines how much coverage workers get when they file for unemployment.
Who’s Eligible to Collect Unemployment Benefits?
If you’ve been laid off or fired and are not at fault, you may qualify for unemployment. You will generally be disqualified from receiving unemployment, though, if you:
*Quit without having a good cause,
*Are fired for misconduct,
*Resign because of illness,
*Become involved in a labor dispute or
*Leave to get married or attend school.
What are Unemployment Insurance Limits?
Most states allow you to receive unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. In cases, you may be eligible for extensions based on federal guidelines or your state’s unemployment rates.
When Should You File?
As soon as you’re laid off or let go from your job, file for unemployment. It often takes two to three weeks for benefits to start, so a delay in filing means a delay in receiving benefits.
Also, realize that unemployment is not a free ride. While you can use the money to pay any expenses, you typically have to prove that you’re looking for employment to receive ongoing benefits. You’ll also have to report any hours you worked.
Unemployment insurance gives you some financial assistance if you lose your job.
Don’t quit and expect to be compensated, though. Discuss this coverage with your employer, insurance company or Department of Labor if you need further clarification.