Have you been laid off and are wondering if you’re eligible for unemployment benefits? The best way to find out is to check with your state’s unemployment agency. Every state has different eligibility requirements, so it’s important to know what they are to apply. In this post, we’ll give you a brief overview of the eligibility requirements in most states. Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, so be sure to check with your state’s unemployment agency for more specific information.
While various states such as Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, etc., may have different guidelines for eligibility, they all agree that you must be unemployed through no fault of your own in order to qualify. This means that if you lose your job because you broke company policy, were fired for poor performance, or quit without good cause, then you won’t be eligible for benefits. If you’re unsure whether or not your termination was your fault, check with your former employer.
In order to receive unemployment benefits, you must be able and available to work. This means that you cannot refuse any offer of suitable employment (meaning a job that’s the same type and pay as your previous job) without good cause. Be aware that the definition of suitable employment can vary from state to state (in some states, it’s considered suitable if the job pays at least 85% of your previous wages). If you refuse a job offer for reasons other than those allowed by your state, then you may not be eligible for benefits.
You must be able and available to work, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit by the phone every day waiting for an employer to call. Just because you’re receiving unemployment benefits doesn’t mean that you can’t look for a new job at the same time. You will, however, need to let your state’s unemployment agency know about the job leads that you find, even if they’re not suitable for one reason or another.
You must be actively seeking work to receive benefits, which means that you must contact at least one employer a week and send a resume if asked to do so by a potential employer.
Most states require that you have worked (and earned a minimum amount of wages) during an established period of time. The number of weeks and amount of money required to establish eligibility varies from state to state, so be sure to check your state’s requirements.
Be sure to check with your state’s unemployment agency for specific information about how you may be able to receive benefits. In general, however, if you lose your job through no fault of your own and have been actively seeking work during the time that you’re unemployed, then chances are good that you will be eligible for benefits. Even if you’re not sure if you’ll be approved, it’s still a good idea to apply because the paperwork won’t cost you anything.