How much will you get on unemployment and is it going to be enough? This question stares every person in the face who has ever been laid off. On top of everything else, deciphering all the rules and regulations can be overwhelming. Not only is it scary, it becomes downright confusing with each state having their own set of rules.
Making matters even worse, most of the information is contradictory and depends upon what state you worked in. Let’s be blunt, it’s difficult to receive a straight answer to even a simple question. We’ve done our best to unravel this maze and start you moving forward.
First and foremost, you must meet your state's eligibility requirements to receive UI benefits. Even though it varies from state to state, generally, benefits are only available to those who are out of a job through no fault of their own. How to deal with forced retirement provides more information. You can learn about your state's rules at CareerOneStop.
Some of the states do have a waiting period before you can start collecting UI benefits. The usual length of time is one week. Nevertheless, you should still apply as soon as you can to start the process. It’s the government and we all know it takes time for anything to be done! Also, remember you can live and work in different states. Your claim should be placed in the state where you were employed.
You should receive your first payment within two to three weeks of filing your initial claim. Make it easy on yourself and provide the government with an accurate and complete claim. You should expect a phone call so being available, also, helps speed up the process.
If you are offered a severance package, it could affect your UI benefits. For example, if it pays you for eight weeks after your last day, the norm is that you won't be able to collect until that period has passed.
Vacation pay received can, also, affect your UI benefits. Some states deduct the whole amount while others use a percentage. Also, some allow a certain dollar amount of holiday pay before deductions to your payments are affected.
Again, how much will you get on unemployment varies depending on your state laws.
In many states, you can collect UI benefits while working part-time or a casual job. Half the amount you earn is deducted from your benefit up to a maximum of 90%. Thus, your payments are pro-rated to incorporate this income. If you exceed 90%, your weekly benefit is zero and an additional week may be added to your claim.
Some states do allow a certain amount or percentage to be earned over and above UI insurance. Additionally, doing this helps supplement your income and could help you network to find a full-time job.
There are certain things you must do to continue to receive your benefits payments. They are:
Double check everything you are submitting to make sure it is as accurate and truthful as possible. Even if you make an honest mistake (which we all do), this could raise a lot of red flags causing thoughts of fraud to surface. If you do not follow these steps, you could be at risk of losing your benefits. Though the issues should eventually be resolved, you'll have to start your claim all over again.
Most states offer 26 weeks maximum of benefits with some being as low as 12 weeks maximum (Florida, North Carolina).
The maximum weekly dollar amount ranges from $235 (Mississippi) to $742 (Massachusetts).
How much you will get on unemployment is broken down by state in the chart below :
Even when people are out of work, many of those who qualify for unemployment benefits don’t cash in. Unemployment insurance can help get you through that rough financial patch. How much will you get on unemployment is easier to determine when you know exactly what rules and details are needed to maximize your benefits.