Unemployment compensation is given to eligible Americans who have been laid off
from their jobs, or fired. Generally provided by your state, this compensation is
designed to provide financial stability while you search for work.
Most Common Unemployment Benefits
Your state and federal departments of labor provide several different types of unemployment
benefits to those who are currently out of work. This can include many programs
that are separate from (or in addition to) your unemployment compensation. This
article will outline some of these programs, explain their advantages, and provide
some tips on how to request more information from the appropriate agency.
Keep in mind that most benefits are exclusive to those who have become unemployed
through no fault of their own, such as being laid off, or losing a job because a
company is closing. Be sure to check the specific eligibility requirements for each
State Unemployment Insurance / Compensation: Unemployment
insurance, often referred to as unemployment compensation, is a form of financial
assistance provided to unemployed workers. This program varies by state, which affects
the amount of financial assistance you receive, how often, and how long long. Applicants
must meet requirements set forth by state laws. To maintain eligibility, unemployed
workers must generally submit a claim every two weeks showing that they are still
unemployed and looking for work. For more information, contact your state's department
Disaster Unemployment Assistance: If you have lost
employment due to a major disaster that has been declared by the president, special
unemployment assistance may be available. Examples of disasters can be flooding,
hurricanes and tornadoes – but it must be declared a disaster by the president.
This assistance is generally available to you if you can no longer attend work within
(or near) the disaster area, because of damages, injuries or other reasons directly
related to the disaster. For more information, contact your state's department of
Federal Employee Unemployment Compensation: Very
similar to state unemployment insurance/compensation, this program is intended to
provide temporary financial assistance for employees of the federal government.
Your eligibility is generally determined by the state in which your last federal
duty station was located. Benefits are paid for by federal sources, but administered
by your state. For more information, contact your state's department of labor.
Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers:
Special benefits are available to unemployed workers who have served in the military.
Former members of other federal groups may also be eligible, including members of
the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Public Health
Service Commissioned Corps. The program is administered by the federal agency that
you served. To be eligible, you must have left service under honorable conditions.
For more information, contact your state's department of labor.
Extended Unemployment Benefits: In states where
unemployment rates are high, extended benefits may be available beyond the timeframe
of your regular compensation. This program provides up to 13 additional weeks of
compensation, assuming you maintain eligibility as outlined by your state. In general,
the amount of the benefits is equal to the amount of your regular benefits. For
more information, contact your state's department of labor.
Trade Readjustment Allowances: Unemployed workers
whose jobs were affected by foreign imports may be eligible for additional compensation
after their regular state compensation is finished. This program is designed specifically
for people who held jobs that were terminated or experienced reduced hours because
their employer was adversely affected by increased imports by other nations. Benefits
can include financial assistance for relocation, job training and job searching.
To be eligible, you must file a claim under the under the Trade Readjustment Assistance
program. For more information, contact your state's department of labor.