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Unemployment Insurance: Requirements + How to Apply!

All governments want to make sure that all people under their rule can live a better life. There are various programs offered by the governments to reach this goal. One of those programs is unemployment insurance that is also known as UI and unemployment benefits.

This insurance program is a special program since it is conducted by the governments and is given to people who are eligible under the rule of those governments. How does this insurance work? Are you eligible and deserve this insurance program? Everything you want to know is explained below.

Unemployment Insurance- Requirements + How to Apply

What Is This Unemployment Insurance?

Unemployment benefits are one of some state-provided insurance programs. This program pays money on a weekly basis to individuals who lose their job. But those individuals who lose their job must meet some eligibility requirements in order to get insurance from the government.

People who quit their jobs and people who were fired from employment for a just cause won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits. Only people who are separated from the job because of the lack of available jobs and lose the job at no fault of their own are qualified for the unemployment benefits.

Every state will administer its own UI program, despite the program being in federal law. Workers need to meet some requirements such as wage, work, and time worked requirements.

Requirements for UI (Unemployment Insurance)

Unemployed people must meet at least two primary requirements in order to qualify for unemployment benefits from the government. The unemployed individual needs to meet the state-mandated thresholds for the time worked in the stated base period or for the earned wages.

The state will also determine that the unemployed people are unemployed not through their own fault. An unemployed person can file an unemployment benefits claim when he is fulfilling the two requirements. If one of both requirements is not fulfilled, he cannot file the unemployment benefit claim.

Each state may also have additional requirements for eligibility. Every unemployed person needs to check if there are any additional requirements before filing the unemployment benefit claim.

How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance Program

In order to receive the UI benefits, an unemployed person needs to file a claim with the unemployment benefits program in the state where he worked. There are steps to follow for the unemployed person so that he can claim the benefit he deserves.

  1. The unemployed person must contact the UI program of his state as soon as possible once he becomes unemployed. To find the state’s program, you can use the service locator for unemployment insurance. Check if you can claim in person, online, or by telephone.
  2. Usually, you need to file the claim with the state where you worked. But if you work and live in two different states, you can go to the UI agency in the state you live in now. Get information about how you can file the claim with the other states.
  3. When filing the claim, the agency will ask you for certain information such as the dates and addresses of the former employee. In order to make sure that the claim won’t be delayed, you need to give the correct and complete information about whatever they ask.
  4. After filing your claim, you will need to wait between two and three weeks until you can receive the very first UI benefit check. Some states even require one whole week waiting period. This means you will get the first payment for your unemployment claim’s second week.

As always, every state may ask you to wait for a different period until you can get the unemployment benefits. Make sure you gather all details you need from the UI agency before you start claiming. Ask them everything you need to know about this program.

How Long Will Unemployment Insurance Benefits Last?

Generally, the unemployment benefits are based on the individual’s earnings’ percentage over the last 52 week period up to the maximum amount of the state. However, below are some things you need to know about the benefits of this unemployment program from the government.

  1. The benefits of the unemployment program can be paid for 26 weeks (maximum) in most states. It is crucial to find details about the benefit period of your own state in the UI agency.
  2. Additional benefits weeks that are also known as Extended Benefits can be available during high unemployment times. Some states even provide a program of additional benefits for some specific purposes. You can check this detail in your state’s UI agency.
  3. The benefits will be subjected to federal income taxes. It should be reported on the income tax return of the individual. The unemployed person can also choose to have the agency of State Unemployment Insurance withhold the tax.

In order to get more details about the entitlement’s maximum weeks and the other state-specific laws of UI, you can visit the State UI Laws comparison’s site. Many more details about the benefits period can be found there.

What If Your Claim Is Denied?

The UI program that is conducted by each state affects the state’s decisions about the eligibility of the workers for the benefits. There are some reasons why they deny the benefit payments. Some of the common reasons why the claim is denied by the state are:

  1. The unemployed voluntarily left the work without a good cause. The benefit payments will only be paid if the unemployed quit under some circumstances depending on the laws of the state you worked.
  2. The unemployed are being discharged for any misconduct that is related to work. Misconduct is a controllable or intentional act. It can also be a failure to take any action that shows that the unemployed disregard the interest of the employer.
  3. The unemployed are not available or not able to work. Unemployed must be ready, able, and also willing to accept any suitable job.
  4. The unemployed are not seeking work actively, refusing suitable works that are offered to them, and knowingly making any false statements in order to get the benefit payments.

Unemployment insurance is a special program from the government for unemployed people. This program is designed to help unemployed people to survive with some benefits.

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