Tips For Filing For Unemployment
When you find yourself out of work, unemployment can be a lifeline during a difficult time. Millions of Americans are able to take advantage of unemployment benefits, but many are also denied, sometimes for avoidable reasons.
Collecting unemployment requires some attention to detail, and you’ll need to make sure you’re doing everything right. This is especially true now as unemployment has skyrocketed in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To help you avoid costly mistakes, follow these tips to give you the best chance at receiving unemployment benefits.
Make Sure You Qualify For Unemployment Benefits
Before you dig in too far, you need to verify that you qualify for unemployment benefits. The Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program exists to provide unemployed individuals with temporary income while they’re looking for work.
The criteria for unemployment has recently been updated by the US Department of Labor to allow flexibility during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, you can now receive benefits if your employer temporarily ceases operations or you have been quarantined. These guidelines are specific to your state.
According to the US Department of Labor, there are three essential criteria you must meet to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits:
- Prove that you lost your employment for a reason that was not your own fault
- Meet your state’s specific unemployment insurance rules, which will include requirements regarding the time you worked and/or the wages you earned.
- Continue to actively search for work while you are on unemployment. You may be required to file weekly or biweekly unemployment claims and answer a few questions to continue your eligibility.
Unemployment benefits and the associated benefits will vary from state to state. You’ll need to search the requirements for your state to find what benefits you’re eligible for, how much assistance you may be able to receive, and for how long you can expect to receive these unemployment benefits.
Once you’ve determined that you are eligible for unemployment benefits, you can move on to the next steps.
File For Unemployment Benefits
The rules for unemployment are quite strict, so you need to know what’s required of you to apply.
Apply For Unemployment As Soon As You’re Out Of Work
One tip within a tip here is to apply for unemployment as soon as you are out of work. Even if you expect to land a new gig quickly, you can still receive benefits while you’re in between jobs and searching for work. After all — things might not end up happening quickly, and being proactive on unemployment can help you stay ahead of any potential financial struggles.
Don’t Assume You’re Ineligible For Unemployment
Especially now more than ever, don’t assume that you are not entitled to unemployment benefits
Even if you were fired or quit your job, you may still be able to qualify for benefits. There are several scenarios in which you can still receive benefits if you were fired or you quit, so make sure you do your homework to find out.
After You File — Respond To Your Unemployment Notice Of Determination
After you file for unemployment, an adjudicator will review your case and decide if you are entitled to unemployment benefits or not. You’ll receive a Notice of Determination either way to tell you if you’ve been approved or denied.
This notice will usually state that your employer is “chargeable” or “not chargeable” for your claim. You’ll need to request an appeal if the adjudicator finds your employer to be “not chargeable,” and will later have to attend a hearing. You need to file for an appeal by the deadline stated on your Notice of Determination, so act quickly.
Ready To File For Unemployment?
With these tips in mind, it’s time to file for unemployment. Simply click your state on the map to get started with your unemployment application.