Help the Unemployed


Here are 5 Things Every Worker Should Know About Their Unemployment Check

Help the Unemployed - The Federal government has extended benefits for out of work Americans. To be eligible, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own and be actively seeking work. Requirements vary from state to state. Generally, wages earned and time on the job determine if you qualify and the level of assistance you will receive.



The measure helps people whose benefits have recently expired, extending benefits by seven weeks in all states, and extending them for another 13 weeks on top of that in states with unemployment rates that have averaged 6% or higher over the most recent three months.(See state unemployment rates.)


So those who live in a high unemployment states will receive a total of 20 more weeks and nearly half of the states fit that criteria as of October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Workers typically get 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, and it's not uncommon for the government to extend that during economic slowdowns. Worried about how to make ends meet without a paycheck? Here's what you should know to take advantage of the new law Help the Unemployed


How You Qualify:


To be eligible, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own and be actively seeking work. Requirements vary from state to state. Generally, wages earned and time on the job determine if you qualify and the level of assistance you will receive.


For example, In Washington you need to have 680 hours of employment in your base year - which is the first 12 of the last 18 months of work. In Nevada, a person must have earned at least $400 in one quarter of the base year to get help.


What You Get:

States have their own formulas for determining how much you will receive and for how long, but a general rule of thumb is that you will get half of your last paycheck for 26 weeks, explained Andy Stettner, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project.


In most states that is based on what you earned over your base year - up to a certain amount. Every state sets its own maximum, based on that state's average income. The average unemployment insurance benefit is $292 a week according to the Department of Labor.


When You Get It:

Experts recommend filing for unemployment on your first day out of work. It generally takes two or three weeks after you file a claim to receive your first check. In most cases there is then a "waiting week," and then you will receive your first unemployment insurance check the week after that.


What impacts your benefits: If you work part-time or freelance while you are collecting unemployment that will most likely reduce or eliminate your benefits. The same is true for severance checks in some states. You could still get a partial unemployment check but the formula for determining what percentage of your benefit you could still receive differs by state.


How To Get in on The Extension:

In most states your unemployment insurance will be automatically extended if the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act passes. But to be sure, Stettner recommends calling your unemployment office to ask what you need to do to qualify. To find out more about unemployment insurance benefits on a state-by-state basis, go to the State Unemployment Insurance agency. - Help the Unemployed


The Most Helpful Unemployment Resources


  • www.unemployedworkers.org
    Tell Congress: Renew Federal Unemployment Insurance for 2012 Now!Unless Congress acts swiftly, federal unemployment insurance programs will expire December 31, cutting off benefits to nearly 2 million jobless Americans in January alone, with more than 6 million cut off during the coming year.

  • Unemployment Benefits
    Find information about unemployment benefits in Texas, including eligibility requirements, benefit extensions and deadlines and appeal procedures. Use our online services to apply for benefits, request payments, view claim and payment status and more.

  • Registering for Unemployment Insurance
    NYS-100 -- Employer Registration Form for Unemployment Insurance, Withholding and Wage Reporting for Business or Household Employers

  • The Employment Development Department (EDD)
    Information you need to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI)

  • The White House - How do we help long term unemployed
    We've talked a lot about how President Obama came into office facing the worst recession since the Great Depression. We've spent less time discussing another looming economic crisis: the plight of America's long-term unemployed.

  • Resume Help for the Unemployed
    "When it comes to covering resume gaps created by unemployment, it’s best to be proactive rather than reactive,” Rose says. By focusing on what you’ve achieved during this challenging period, you will demonstrate to employers your can-do attitude, resourcefulness and ability to drive successful results.

  • A survival guide for the unemployed
    How you organize your time, corral your resources and handle your money will help determine whether this job loss is a temporary setback or a potentially life-changing disaster.
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