The job situation continues to look bleak here in the U.S. The unemployment rolls increased by 851,000 in February 2009. States, while the stock market successfully climbs out of its malaise. Many individuals are still nervous as they watch their colleagues and relatives receive pink slips. One of the major concerns for those new laid off workers is the issue of how to file for unemployment.
Unemployment insurance offered by the federal government gives several benefits to the workers who are unemployed due to a variety of reasons. The states are in charge of managing the local programs.
In order to receive unemployment compensation, eligibility requirements must be met. Some of these terms relate to wages earned and length of time on the job. If you are in the unfortunate position of being laid off, you must take immediate action to establish your eligibility.
First you will need to establish is that you are laid off through no fault of your own. Gather any documents you have that can verify your current status. Be sure to have proof of citizenship or your residency card if you are here as a resident alien. Compile any information you can on past employment and review any information on how to file for unemployment in order to be prepared.
The following reasons will disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits.
* Quitting without cause
* Resigned due to illness
* Termination for misconduct
* Choose self-employment
* Education opportunity
* Labor dispute
Filing for unemployment benefits
Immediately upon being laid off, the first thing you should do is to file for your unemployment benefits. The process normally takes two -three weeks to complete.
In order to file a claim, here is the information you must have on hand:
* Social Security Number
* Alien Registration Card (for resident alien identification)
* Mailing address along with the zip code
* Contact phone number
* Past employment information for the previous two years
After establishing eligibility for unemployment benefits call or visit your local office. You will have to fill out the required forms. Each state has a ceiling on the maximum amount you get in benefits. Normally the amount is half of your average weekly salary. In some states the maximum amount you can withdraw is 26 times your weekly benefit amount or half of your base wages, whichever is less.
Filing for unemployment in your state may be easier in person at your local office. Though you may have been paying into Federal unemployment insurance while working, your current benefits are still subject to the Federal income taxes. Don’t forget to report your benefits on your Federal income tax return.